Cubbie Fans, This Budweiser Lawsuit Is For You!

For years the building at 3701 North Kenmore in Chicago has been known around the country, and even the world. Now, nobody famous was born there, or died there, or as far as I know did anything of consequence there. No, the reason the building is famous is because of what’s painted on top of it. It’s the Budweiser Building that has long been visible to anybody attending a Cubs game or watching at home on television.

Well, it’s status as the Budweiser Building may soon be changing according to the man who owns the building. Tom Gramatis bought the building back in June for $8.35 million, and it’s worth it, given the amount of money he can bring in through advertising on it’s rooftop. Of course, it would help out a lot if the boys at Anheuser-Busch could pay their bills on time.


“It’s available,” owner Tom Gramatis said. “It’s known as the Budweiser Building, but it’s the Whoever-Wants-To-Go-Up-There Building.”

Anheuser-Busch was late on its quarterly payment earlier this month, Gramatis said. His lawyers sent a five-day notice and then terminated the lease after not getting paid within that time frame, he said.

Anheuser-Busch disputes that. In a statement, local marketing director Jeff Schmidt said Gramatis, after buying the building, was late in providing a rent statement and tax ID number. When he did, Anheuser-Busch sent an $86,821.87 quarterly payment — only to have Gramatis return the check uncashed.

And now the two sides will meet in court to decide the matter.

This isn’t the first time that Gramatis has stirred the pot this year, as he’s already been in a fight with the Cubs about the profit-sharing from the three other rooftops he owns outside Wrigley Field, and the Cubs have gone on record saying they’d prefer that the Budweiser sign remains across the seat.

Now, I’m no business man, but it seems to me that Gramatis should probably try to appease the Cubs. After all, without them the four buildings he owns wouldn’t be all that valuable, and you probably shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds. Of course, maybe Gramatis is just a Miller guy that can’t look at himself in the mirror knowing he’s helping out Budweiser.

It’s a tough decision to make: beer or money? On the one hand, beer is the most important thing in the world, but on the other hand, you can’t buy beer without money. Man, I’m glad I don’t have to decide.