KFnet in T-Town

Apr. 30, 2013 at 6:32am

1022 'Genius' Ousted

News 'round Tacoma has been a little hard to digest of late: Some mighty heated discussion about what is authentic Hilltop, the shuttering of Tacoma's Weekly Volcano entertainment rag, and now a tectonic shift at many people's favorite place for a craft cocktails: 1022 South.

An email being forwarded around tells the tale of outrage from someone close to the "talented genius of a person who has invested his creative life blood for the past four years into a thriving Tacoma jewel of a business" Chris Keil.

The gist of the letter mentions Chris' pouring of his heart and ideas into 1022 in return for a small percentage from owners Neil Harris and Richard Stubbs. The author writes, "Chris was fired this morning and, after seeing how these two men have treated other business partners in the past, I recognize that these two do not have Tacoma's best interest in mind."

There are certainly two sides to every coin especially when it comes to business but the outcome remains the same. You can, however, keep your eyes on Chris' next adventure via Hilltop Kitchen if you're a devout follower of his good works. Nevertheless, like the letter's author, will you avoid (and encourage others to) 1022 from here on out or see how it fares its post-Keil phase?

comments [8]  |  posted under bar, restaurant, tacoma

Comments

by B.Lauman on 4/30/2013 @ 11:02am
So this article is based on the rock solid foundation of..."An email from  this one guy ,who knows that other guy"? Why not talk to some of the actual people involved before you start calling for people to stop giving business to someone who has done nothing but support local business ?
 

by arriegold on 4/30/2013 @ 12:30pm
In response to the above comment... The post was by his partner Katy Evans---so the trickle traces right back to the source. Sounds like someone actually involved to me. Here is the full read:
"My partner and best friend Chris Keil is, I think we can all agree, an amazing, talented genius of a person who has invested his creative life blood for the past four years into a thriving Tacoma jewel of a business: 1022 South.
Chris partnered with two men, investing his sweat equity and expertise into building one of my favorite local businesses in Tacoma. He worked with these two, negotiating a small percentage of the business in exchange for his vision and hard work.

Now, after struggling for more than four years, justifying his work and the importance of cultivating appreciation, education, professionalism, and curiosity in Tacoma's food and beverage culture, they have unceremoniously forced him out.

Chris was fired this morning and, after seeing how these two have treated other business partners in the past, I recognize that they do not have Tacoma's best interest in mind.

If this announcement shocks you (maybe even strikes you as a crazy move) I encourage you share your sadness that Chris is no longer the key visionary and work horse for 1022 South.

Chris has a lot of exciting projects in the works so his signature delicious cocktails will once again be available, don't worry. BUT the extreme change at 1022 South is a huge blow and I know I won't be going there again."

by KevinFreitas on 4/30/2013 @ 12:45pm
Thanks @arriegold. I was asked not to name names @B.Lauman so I didn't. Likewise, I'm not a journalist but comments here are always open to fill in more parts of the story anytime. Knowing how rabid fans of 1022 can be this sort of business drama is worth putting out there, imo. I wish Chris all the best and hope 1022's owners are good people and do right by their mix-masters and love all things Tacoma deeply. In this case at least, the letter's author doesn't appear believe they do.

by KevinFreitas on 4/30/2013 @ 12:50pm
Also [a little] more via the TNT: blog.thenewstribune.com/tntdiner/2013/04...

by Erik on 4/30/2013 @ 4:12pm
Update:

Chris Keil Says Goodbye to 1022 South

By Katy Evans,
April 30, 2013
The beauty of not being a journalist
is that sometimes I get to be radically partial. I love Chris Keil and am honored to share his goodbye with you here:

“I don’t really know where to start. I guess the best place is to convey my deep sense of gratitude to my friends and family.

I really appreciate all of your support through the lean first couple years and the busy last couple. I wouldn’t have been able to be creative and do
something that I truly love without all of your support through kind
words, patience, and frankly, patronage.
I know that a lot of people think that the bar is stuffy,
pretentious, or the spearhead of gentrification in a neighborhood that I
love, but for me it was at its heart just a neighborhood bar. I tried
(with varying degrees of success) to create a place that I would feel
comfortable coming into after a day working in the yard or taking a date
out on a Friday night.

It has been a privilege to build something and
share it with all of you. I can’t express how much it has meant to me
that so many people have shared so much of their lives with us – from
the parents who had a sitter and grabbed a quick snack and a cocktail to
the young man who proposed to his girlfriend out front. It has been
fantastic that the bar was the local spot for everyone from the barbers
next door to professors at UWT and Puget Sound.
I’m not going to get into details about what happened Monday morning
other than to say that they terminated my position, after which I told
them that it would be a good idea to dissolve our business relationship.

The majority of my equity in the bar was in a handshake agreement which
they told me they had no intention of honoring. When I asked them to
buy out the equity that is in writing, they offered a small amount in
return for me signing a non-disclosure agreement. I declined the offer,
they threatened with having my reputation in the community destroyed,
and at that point I promptly left.

I don’t know what is going to happen to the bar, but it can’t and
won’t be the same because the owners don’t share my values. I would be
shocked if they continued to work with local farmers and vendors or if
they sourced ingredients based on quality and not profit margin. Who
knows, maybe it will end up fantastic, but it definitely won’t be the
same.

My new project Hilltop Kitchen is still in the works with a friend
and different business partner. It should be open in about a month or
so.
We are very excited to see all of you and to get the chance to serve
you food and drinks again. You can follow our progress or get in touch
through all of the usual social media.
Thank you so much to Katy for being awesome. Thank you so much to
Corey, Cynthia, Jena, and everyone else who works or has worked at the
bar. It has truly been an honor to work with all of you. You are my
surrogate family and are the kindest, funniest, most generous and
creative group of people I could have ever asked for. Thank you.”

 Chris Keil,
formerly one of the owners of 1022 South, the once-favorite Tacoma
haven for cocktails and community. Please support him in his next
venture, Hilltop Kitchen.postdefiance.com/chris-keil-says-goodbye...

by chairkicker on 4/30/2013 @ 4:47pm
It's a sad sentence that uses the words "equity" and "handshake" together.

by NineInchNachos on 5/3/2013 @ 7:42am
get that shit in writing yo.  a sad day for beards. 

by NineInchNachos on 5/3/2013 @ 7:44am
but they say alcohol is satan's mouth wash.  That's why I don't drink. instead I send all my extra money to my local mega church.

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