At Loop, 'business as usual' - The Explorer: Business

At Loop, 'business as usual'

Restaurateur 'truly in this for long haul'

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Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:08 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

It’s “business as usual” at The Loop Taste of Chicago restaurant in Oro Valley, owners Mark and Marcie Rusin asserted Saturday.

Notice of foreclosure has been filed against the Oracle Road property. The Rusins’ company, MMP 10180 LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors in early December.

“We are simply seeking protection under the law as we reorganize our financial plan and restructure,” Mark Rusin said Saturday. “I filed Chapter 11 to avert any foreclosure proceedings. We’re not going belly up. Patrons will not notice any changes.”

“The business continues to operate as it always has, and the customer experience will not suffer in any way as a result of the reorganization,” attorney C.R. Hyde said.

Rusin disputed reporting that the property has been scheduled for sale at public auction in February. “This is not true,” he asserts.

Rusin said The Loop, a Chicago-themed restaurant featuring pizza, chef-prepared meals, a bar and patio with Pusch View vistas, has been affected by recession, the demands of creditors, difficult access to its Oracle Road property, and more.

“The slow economic times over the past three years have forced many businesses to simply close its doors and walk away,” Rusin said. That’s not the case with The Loop. The couple is “truly in this for the long haul,” and believes they’ll emerge from bankruptcy proceedings “better and financially stronger than ever.

“They are going to drag us both out of here in handcuffs … before we give up on our dream,” Rusin assured customers, employees, friends and the public.

When the Rusins began negotiating to buy the business four years ago, “everyone wanted to lend us money, as nobody saw this economic downturn just ahead,” he said. “Hell, if I knew this recession was coming, I would have never asked for the money, and the banks surely wouldn’t have given it to me.”

Over the last three years, Rusin said, he has tried to modify terms with his primary lender, “to no avail. They still want all their money now, as if there was no recession, and that’s just not fair.”

Secondary creditors are also involved. Rusin did say the Small Business Administration “has agreed to work with me, and granted me two deferrals to help me get through it. They were good to me.

“I remain optimistic,” Rusin said. “The plan is good.”

The Loop Taste of Chicago is located at 10180 N. Oracle in San Jose Plaza, just north of El Conquistador Way. Rusin has asked the Arizona Department of Transportation and the Town of Oro Valley for a left-hand turn lane into the plaza from southbound Oracle Road. Southbound motorists have to drive past the center, then make a U-turn at the busy El Conquistador Way intersection to access the properties east of Oracle.

Oracle is a state highway. Access to The Loop is directly across from Greenock Drive, which serves as east-side entrance to the Oro Valley Country Club and a neighborhood of several hundred homes. There is a left-hand turn for northbound travelers from Oracle onto Greenock.

At a neighborhood meeting this fall, ADOT presented reasons “why they would not allow” two facing left-hand turns at the location, Oro Valley communications administrator Mary Davis said. Because of sight line and safety considerations, “you can’t have two lefts there. One or the other, but not both.”

Residents, as well as businesses on the west side of Oracle, have said overwhelmingly they want to keep the northbound left onto Greenock.

The situation has been forwarded to the Oro Valley Town Council for “further consideration,” Davis said. Tentatively, that discussion is planned for Jan. 5.

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