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New ownership for Tavern Law after founder filed for bankruptcy

In the latest chapter from the fallout of a crumbled family of food and drink businesses, two Eastside real estate professionals have taken over Tavern Law, one of the pillars of Pike/Pine’s craft cocktail scene.

Mark O’Shea, a Bellevue property manager, recently bought the business along with Derek Straight, a former executive with a large West Coast housing developer. O’Shea confirmed the ownership change with CHS but we are still waiting to hear details on the duo’s plans for the 12th and E Madison bar.

The buyout comes in the wake of financial troubles faced by Tavern Law co-founder Brian McCracken, one of Capitol Hill’s craft cocktail pioneers. In June, CHS reported on the $2.4 million bankruptcy behind the sudden closure of 12th Ave’s The Old Sage. According to documents filed in Western District of Washington United States Bankruptcy Court, McCracken and his wife filed May 20th for chapter 7 protection over some $2.4 million in debts. The big number is owed to Key Bank — $1,248,498.16.

In 2013 after a longer than expected opening process, The Old Sage marked the duo’s second venue on 12th Ave. In the meantime, Spur Gastropub and The Coterie Room, before it transitioned into an event space, made for a constellation of buzzworthy businesses around the city.

Following April’s closure of Spur Gastropub in Belltown, McCracken said his plan was to keep his Capitol Hill assets operating. McCracken opened Tavern Law with Dana Tough in 2009.

Tough wasn’t listed as an officer for any of the businesses in state corporation filings. According to bankruptcy filings, McCracken held only a 33% share of Tavern Law’s ownership but was sole owner of the other venues

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