Due to an overwhelming and stunning amount of support from you, our community, Chuck and I have decided to start a fundraiser to help offset mounting legal fees from a legal dispute that has arisen over the sale of our family’s beloved business, Moe & Johnny’s. This litigation has been devastating for the Mack family, both financially and emotionally, but one bright spot has been the many offers of help we have received. In response to these inquiries, we have created this fundraiser.
As most of you know, over the last 26 years, Chuck painstakingly built our business one day at a time. One customer at a time. And one concept at a time on the corner of 54th & College. We did it every step of the way with the most amazing and cherished staff, friends, neighbors, and strangers – many of whom have become friends & family by our sides. In 1994, we picked up where the treasured Bulldog left off as THE Butler neighborhood sports bar and evolved over time as the best places always do; happily becoming three little dining neighborhoods under one roof, serving our community & city with pride and joy! Like so many of you, we raised our family there. We lived our life there. We never turned anyone away and learned that where there is a friendly face, a corner booth, employees who care, a warm meal, a place to watch the game, or enjoy a stiff drink when you need it most – Moe & Johnny’s could be a place for everyone.
Last year, Chuck, at 74 years old, began the process of selling Moe & Johnny’s (specifically, the sports bar & family dining room) “on contract” to an employee he loved and trusted. Chuck was ready to semi-retire after working 40 plus meaningful years in the hospitality business. Unfortunately, down the road, this employee partnered with someone with whom we did not have a trusting relationship.
The deal eventually reached some significant roadblocks and as a result, our former employee and his business partners have taken us down a legal path we never imagined and cannot sustain. He and his partners/investors have purposefully sabotaged the deal, refused our good faith efforts to finalize the sale, and instead have taken numerous actions to try to harm our family and the business we built for decades.
Many of you may recognize the legal strategy of waging a “war of attrition”. The buyers have engaged in an unrelenting campaign to make this dispute contentious, expensive, and time-consuming for us in an effort to achieve their objectives – namely, to renegotiate the original contract so that they can pay a fraction of the agreed upon purchase price and acquire property that was never included in the agreement. If successful, the buyers could walk away with our family business and the highly prized real estate in contrast to what Chuck negotiated in the first place. We can’t read their minds, but their actions make it apparent that their goal is to outspend us to either force us to accept a different deal or bleed us dry in the meantime.
Put simply, the buyers are exploiting our financial situation to enrich themselves. The hardest part is that we won’t ever have the chance to have our day in court to prove that this is simply a case of buyer’s remorse (at best) if we can’t afford to defend ourselves against their baseless allegations and pursue our claims against the buyers. We are currently faced with the potential of years’ worth of litigation and tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees simply to ensure the buyers to honor the agreement they signed. We were blindsided by their faithlessness, aggression, and greed. It’s unfathomable to us that someone would come along and feel entitled to heartlessly rip away a man’s entire career and life’s work for their own gain.
Chuck is now a 75-year-old medically retired Vietnam Veteran with a Purple Heart, a body full of shrapnel, scars ravaging his chest and holes blown out of his ankles from a land mine in Vietnam. Men he served next to never left the field that day. Part of his decision to retire was due to the incessant physical discomfort and damage in his legs and tendons with shrapnel from the explosion. His age exacerbates his symptoms and has made it harder for him to participate in our business in the ways that he used to. Upon completing the sale, Chuck wanted to spend the rest of his life focused on his 501c3, the Veterans Industries & Arts as a Sustainable Community Partner. This non-profit organization is an in-depth project working w the VA Hospital, State, Local & Federal Veterans Affairs Offices, IUPUI, Butler & Marian Universities and Ball State University’s Sustainable Community Institute. Chuck has a passion for assisting his brother & sister Veterans – who, more often than not, have life altering challenges and disabilities from their time of service – he has been committed to this work for over the last 12 years.
Please consider helping us through this legal journey, as so many of you already have by letting us know you and serve you over all of these years, by donating to our GoFundMe. Every cent donated will go to offset our legal fees with the dynamic and trusted team at Jeselskis Brinkerhoff and Joseph LLC . They have guided us with integrity, wisdom, and honesty and have vowed to see us through every agonizing minute until we can resolve this traumatic situation.
If you do not have the means to donate, please share our story, as a share is just as helpful as a donation. If you donate, PLEASE comment a testimonial so that we can all commemorate the times we shared within those happy walls and on those cozy patios. We are so looking forward to gathering again on our favorite corner!
After our legal bills are paid, any remaining monies raised through this effort will be joyfully donated to Second Helpings ; an organization very near and dear to the hearts of the hospitality community feeding the hungry and working to eradicate poverty.
In Chuck’s honor, he always signs off with the Marine Corps motto Semper Fi; always faithful. “In the chaos of battle, character matters”.
Semper Fi and our deepest gratitude…The Mack Family
- Betsy Alt
- Michael Roncarati
- Chris Graham
- Zach Skidmore
- Caitlin McGinty
Fundraising team (2)
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