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Circuit Nightclub closed over owner dispute

Patrick Harms refutes claims raised by Mike Macharello

Chicago, IL — Circuit Nightclub, 3641 N. Halsted St., is temporarily closed over an apparent dispute between co-owners Mike Macharello and Patrick Harms. 

ChicagoPride.com first reported Friday that the Boystown mainstay had closed after Macharello posted a statement alleging that the property landlord had dramatically raised the rent for the space.

"My landlord continues to raise the rent on us by thousands of dollars and all the money you spend at Circuit, the majority goes to him. I do not want that for myself, for you or the future of Circuit," Macharello wrote in a statement posted on the club's website and Facebook page. (Update and retraction below)

In response to an inquiry by ChicagoPride.com, Franklin L. Friedman of Sterling Properties, which manages the building, called Macharello's implication that Circuit closed because rent had been increased "absolutely and completely false."

Friedman told ChicagoPride.com that Patrick Harms, not Macharello is the tenant of the building. He said the building ownership enjoys a "close and harmonious" business relationship with Harms, who is listed as co-owner of Circuit on the club's website. 

On Saturday Harms confirmed that he is the leaseholder of the property and maintains an "excellent working relationship with Mr. Friedman and his family." Harms said that in August 2010 he negotiated a significant rent reduction because of the economy. 

According to Harms, Macharello removed the business licenses from the Circuit premises on Nov. 1 because of a "serious disagreement over administrative and operational concerns."

"Despite my best efforts to reach to an amicable solution, Mike and I have been unable to find common ground," said Harms, who also serves as board president for the Northalsted Business Alliance

In his statement, Macharello said Circuit will be closed until further notice, but he promised to reopen a new and improved bar dubbed "Circuit 5.0" when the issues are resolved. ChicagoPride.com contacted Macharello for comment but as of publication have received no response. 

Circuit Nightclub began 16 years ago as Halsted Street Café and had grown to become one of the largest dance clubs in Boystown. Circuit closed for renovations in 2004 and reopened in March 2005 after enduring battles over noise levels, a threat of a dry precinct vote and six months of renovations.

According to Cook County Assessor and Recorder documents, the 11,925 sq. ft. property owned by Halsted Sterling Venture, LLC is tax valued at $288,422.00.

UPDATE (6:05 PM 11/4/2012): New signs indicate further financial trouble for Macharello as debt holders have apparently seized Circuit Nightclub and Boi Magazine, which is also owned by Macharello. 

"As a matter of public notice: As of November 1, 2012 all assets of Michael Macharello d/b/a Circuit Nightclub have been seized by first position debt holders," read a message at circuitclub.com. 

A similar message was posted to the Boi Magazine website.

"Effective November 1, 2012 Boi Magazine is no longer under the control of Michael A. Macharello," read a message at boimagazine.com. 

Boi Magazine is a bi-weekly magazine published Macharello. No word on the future of the LGBT publication as calls by ChicagoPride.com to Boi Magazine went unreturned.

Editor's Note: (2/7/2013)
Mike Macharello contacted ChicagoPride.com to retract and clarify a previous statement made about his landlord.

"It was erroneous on my part to either state of infer that Frank Friedman and Sterling properties raised the rent any more than was commensurable with current area market and times. It was further erroneous to either state or infer that this was the cause of the closing but rather that the closing was caused by many factors, many of which included a depressed economy. While most consumers these days are looking for bargains and cheaper prices, the fact is that supplies, inventory, utilities, taxes, licenses, payroll and other costs associated with doing business, all continue to rise. For most businesses it's a challenge to bridge the gap between rising costs and offering competitive prices to their customers. Circuit was no exception. However, throughout my 15 year relationship with Sterling, Frank has always done his utmost to work with me and my colleagues in order to perpetuate Circuit Nightclub. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize If I have said or inferred anything which was looked on as detrimental to Frank Friedman and/or Sterling Properties," wrote Macharello.
 
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Never cared for Circuit anyway. why can't us queens just get along to make Boystown a friendly place for all. This squabble is an embarrassment to our GBLT community-
Posted by Thomas Lindsey Hooppaw on Sat, 11/3/2012 5:32 PM
FBItem: 27708481369_260806927375204_1058879
...\u003C3 'd Circuit when I lived in Chicago on W. Patterson at N. Broadway (1998-2003) - just a minute walk!...
Posted by Guytano995 on Sat, 11/3/2012 5:48 PM
FBItem: 27708481369_260806927375204_1058905
http://www.circuitclub.com/Circuit/Circuit_Home.html
Posted by joecocker123 on Sun, 11/4/2012 1:43 PM
As a matter of public notice:
As of November 1, 2012 all assets of Michael Macharello
d/b/a Circuit Nightclub have been seized by first position debt holders.
Posted by joecocker123 on Sun, 11/4/2012 2:55 PM
^Thanks for the info. Not that I care, but I knew there had to be more to this "story" (there always seems to be with the news related to this area as of late). I don't care what time you passed that place after dusk, on what night....there always seemed to be a disturbance outside of it. Glad to see it gone. I think you'll see more of this in the near future if they don't get it together out there.
Posted by lakeview773 on Mon, 11/5/2012 1:13 AM
Maybe he should pay his bills from time to time...
Posted by Joe Fimtimwimbimsim Moag on Mon, 11/5/2012 5:14 PM
FBItem: 27708481369_116348965190777_88280
No loss if "Boi" goes away (except for the staff that had jobs there). Such dreck and uncreative content.
Posted by Malone927 on Mon, 11/5/2012 5:19 PM
The SHADE of it all....
Posted by alteregoevil on Mon, 11/5/2012 5:23 PM
FBItem: 27708481369_116348965190777_88297
...more details are surfacing...
Posted by Guytano995 on Mon, 11/5/2012 6:07 PM
FBItem: 27708481369_116348965190777_88394
Someone should tell both owners STOP the feuding and Lies and get the Damn Business Reopened. Not the first time they have done this.
Posted by tiger on Mon, 11/5/2012 7:37 PM
FBItem: 27708481369_116348965190777_88549
http://articles.redeyechicago.com/2012-11-05/news/34930711_1_liquor-license-web-site-boi
Posted by Markram773 on Tue, 11/6/2012 7:45 PM
It will be missed dearly <\3
Posted by Jenaro904 on Wed, 11/7/2012 10:32 PM
Sorry I missed this posting . . . good reporting.
Posted by ChicCoyote on Sun, 11/11/2012 11:20 PM
Chicago Commercial Collective Chicago Commercial Collective Greenhouse Theater
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