The restaurant business can be brutal for owners struggling to survive amid thin margins and fickle tastes.
A squeeze of some kind seems to be felt at Otus Supply on East 9 Mile in Ferndale, the Detroit Free Press discloses.
It "appears to be in a precarious financial situation that is negatively impacting employees, potentially in violation of state and federal labor laws," Mark Kurlyandchik reports.
Ten current and former employees of the nearly three-year-old restaurant . . . paint a picture of an overly leveraged and poorly managed business that has been writing bad checks for months. Employees say they were all eventually paid for their bounced checks, mostly in cash payments direct from the owners days after their dedicated payroll dates. . . .
At best, the trouble at Otus Supply could be a case of mismanagement. At worst, it may be against the law.
The paper adds that an Eastern Market vendor, Del Bene Produce, is suing the restaurant over almost $40,000 in allegedly unpaid invoices. The supplier says Otus Supply wrote six bad checks to Del Bene between last May and August.
The 11,000-square-foot restaurant and performance venue opened five days before Christmas 2016.
The Freep includes a statement from owners Scott Myrick and Thom Bloom:
"Otus Supply remains 100 percent committed to the long run and remaining a local destination for thoughtfully prepared food, meticulously crafted cocktails, and amazing live music.
"Over the past spring and summer the Nine Mile and Woodward area has experienced ongoing construction disruption that has impacted local businesses, including ours.
"While we did experience temporary cash flow problems, any issues were handled in an immediate and appropriate fashion. Otus Supply is committed to our employees, guests and vendors. We are excited and optimistic about our growth and forecast for the 4th quarter and beyond."