Kevin Echevarria, owner of Dream Hall in downtown Elgin, was ordered in court Thursday to pay $20,000 to a former tenant who moved out last month after a dispute.
Echevarria and Tyrrell Tomlin, owner of the former Elgin Area Taproom, 51 S. Grove Ave., had settled their lawsuit in November, agreeing that Echevarria would pay $35,000 to Tomlin with installments of $15,000 by Nov. 20, $5,000 by Dec. 20, and $5,000 each by Jan. 20, Feb. 20 and March 20, court documents filed last week show.
Echevarria failed to make the Dec. 20 payment and Tomlin asked the court to compel his former landlord to pay him the full remaining amount. A Kane County Court judge on Thursday morning entered a judgment of $20,000 plus $400 in attorney's fees against Echevarria.
Tomlin said he felt vindicated. "It's pretty goofy not to pay," he said.
"A judgment is a judgment. They have every right to collect," Echevarria said.
Echevarria said he withheld the $5,000 payment because Tomlin was not adhering to the terms of their settlement, which include not disparaging each other.
Echevarria claimed Tomlin is behind a complaint lodged with the city about concerts hosted by another Dream Hall tenant, Legit Dogs & Ice. The city determined the venue is not allowed to host concerts and is requiring it to go through the planning and zoning process for approval.
Tomlin denied he made the complaint.
The two men once shared a vision for Dream Hall, which opened in early 2018, but their relationship broke down with accusations on both sides.
The lawsuit in September alleged Tomlin had not paid rent since the Taproom opened in May. Tomlin's response was that Echevarria owed him money and was not adhering to the terms of his lease regarding use of space. At one point Echevarria filed a "no contact" order against Tomlin. The two settled Nov. 20.
In another twist, Tomlin's son, Cameron Tomlin, 22, was arrested by Elgin police Wednesday on charges he stole money from a tip jar at Legit Dogs on Nov. 11. Police spokeswoman Kristie Hilton said Tomlin was released after paying 10 percent of his $3,000 bail. His next court date was not available.
Tyrrell Tomlin said he had no comment on his son's charges.
Tomlin said he initially planned to move the Elgin Area Taproom into a spot at 77 S. Riverside Drive in Elgin but changed his mind. He's back in the alcohol delivery business and plans to partner with an existing bar owner on Randall Road in Elgin.
Echevarria said he's working on promoting Dream Hall and hopes to open a bar/lounge on the mezzanine around mid-February.
"We are glad to no longer have him squatting in our property," Echevarria said of Tomlin.
Tomlin said he's moving forward. "In the end, men lie, women lie ... numbers don't," he said.