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Update: Stringz & Wingz closed 'until further notice,' says owner

Complaint regarding donations sent to prosecutor’s office

by Bob Gaetjens | Editor Published: January 15, 2014 9:45 AM

“Until further notice,” Stringz & Wingz is closed, said Owner “Chef” Bill Thompson in an interview Jan. 14.

Thompson said he returned leased audio equipment from the business that afternoon, and shortly after that, police were at the facility with a representative from A & Z Management, the  the company that owns Streetsboro Plaza, where the business is located. 

Streetsboro Police Lt. Troy Beaver said the locks were changed at the business by the A & Z Management.

Neil Lader, director of leasing for A & Z Management, said Jan. 14 Stringz & Wingz is “out of business.”

Thompson said it’s possible Stringz & Wingz could reopen if he’s able to sell it.

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In addition to Steve Mathis and Robert Kale, who both invested when Thompson opened the Streetsboro Plaza location, and Manager Kyle Kendrick, “there are four different potential investors,” said Thompson in an interview Jan. 14.

Owner ‘Chef’ Bill Thompson plans to turn over reins of Streetsboro’s Stringz & Wingz

Stringz & Wingz Owner “Chef” Bill Thompson said he’s giving up ownership of the restaurant and entertainment venue at Streetsboro Plaza, effective Jan. 15.

Taking over as owners are current minority partners Steve Mathis and Robert Kale, as well as General Manager Kyle Kendrick, according to a Jan. 13 news release from Thompson.

Kendrick said he's "just an employee" at the facility and isn't becoming an owner.

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"There's nothing that's been turned over to me," he said.

Streetsboro Family Days Founder Chuck Kocisko filed a police report Dec. 30, which alleged Thompson hadn’t yet paid to Streetsboro Family Days about $28,726 from a fundraising concert for Streetsboro Family Days regular Sonny Geraci’s family, according to Streetsboro Police Lt. Darin Powers. 

Thompson said bad publicity from the event moved him to part ways with Stringz & Wingz.

“That way, [the new owners] can salvage the business,” he said. “I’ve just been dragged through the mud.”

Geraci has been recovering for about 18 months from an aneurysm, and the funds are to be used to help defray medical costs. Powers said the case has been handed over the Portage County Prosecutor’s office.

Thompson said he plans to pay $23,860 to the Geraci family directly sometime this week via his attorneys, bypassing Streetsboro Family Days in the transaction. Thompson said he had earlier planned on donating about $4,796 in expenses that he no longer plans to donate, which accounts for the lower figure he plans to pay the family.

For more, please see the Jan. 15 issue of The Gateway News.

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mufasa Jan 21, 2014 8:52 AM

For years Chef Bill has been bsing this city and its just sad its taken this long for people to see him for the real pathetic loser he really is !!!!

PinkyandtheBrain Jan 20, 2014 8:00 PM

I guess we can finally put this dead horse to rest, talk around town is that Chef Bill Thompson paid all money owed (talk around town is that he generously donated $35 of his own money, too).


Parrot Jan 20, 2014 12:22 PM

Why would anyone continue working at the place (for a man who demanded employees' checks be cashed by HIM) without PAY??? Also, it is not against the law for employees to work without pay?

ratchet Jan 20, 2014 7:14 AM

What about the former employees that are still owed several weeks of back pay?

horatio Jan 19, 2014 5:28 PM

 Any updates on this story?

Rumor has it that if the owners of the "newest bar in town" paid Bill Thompson the money they owe him, he'd  have at least 1/3  of the money he owes the Geraci Family covered.

getreal6789 Jan 16, 2014 5:23 PM

A fact is a truth proven with research and evidence. Both of which were provided.

So am I to assume Bill had a written contact with the PD and the schools and that's why there were no problems with the donations? It's been 3 months since the Geraci benefit. When would be a good time to collect?

So are you telling me I can throw a benefit for someone and if I don't have a written contract as to when the money has to be in; I can keep it as long as I want?

sk8rjason Jan 16, 2014 3:44 PM

The FACTS? Who died and left you in charge of the FACTS getreal6789? The facts are Chef Bill had no contract with Chuck or anyone else to deliver funds on any time frame. That is a fact admitted to by Chuck Kocisco on New 5 when he was interviewed. Another fact, Chef Bill held many many benefits for everyone from the Streetsboro PD to the Streetsboro schools and not once was there any problems, none.

getreal6789 Jan 16, 2014 1:44 PM

The FACT remains he kept the money! His accounts were locked? For 3 months? Why can't he just hand it over right now and make it right? That's right... he can't because he used it to try and dig himself out of a hole. 2 weeks after the event he had the complete count of all the money but then suddenly he wasn't answering his calls or showing up for meetings to hand over the money. Those are facts you can read about in the police report by simply requesting a public records request. Another public records request will show you he never pulled permits when doing work in Stringz so his "thieving contractors" could not be held accountable. Had he pulled permits he could have used their bond to go after them. Yet another public records request will show you he's being sued by his former landlord for $53,000. These are all facts but go ahead and continue to make excuses for the FACT that he kept nearly $24,000 that was raised in his establishment for Sonny Geraci. Those are facts you cannot dispute.

There are all kinds of reasons things happen the way they do? You're right... bad financial planning on his part, his borrowing tens of thousands of dollars from people and not paying it back, not paying his rent for at least 6 months, bashing other businesses in town, taking money that didn't belong to him. ALL his decisions that he made... those decisions put him in the place he is now. He and he alone got himself in this mess.

You are entitled to your opinion and really, that's all it is; speculation and opinion. I have facts and they all can be checked with a little effort and paperwork. Once the Prosecutor is done going over all the information, are you going to dispute his findings?

whizzard Jan 16, 2014 11:13 AM

Did you ever think that maybe his accounts were locked and he was working to free them.  Could it be possible he didn't expect these funds to be trapped and unavailable to him when the time came due? 

There are all kinds of reasons why things happen the way they do.

And if you can say one thing in public but another in public or choose to stay quiet in public then that is not really being smart.  There's another word for it but it is something you shouldn't be proud of.

Apparently Bill was a very trusting man and just trusted the wrong people and they got one over on him.  Everyone is susceptable.  I used to have several Encycolpedia sets and vacuums. 

Rather than speculate or add to the fuel, provide the proof and your name to back up those accusations other than the bad checks.  You mentioned there was more but the fact that nothing is documented and you don't want to use your name to backup those accusations just tells me it is another who is just blowing smoke to confuse and to persecute.

It's just like the Dix Publications hiring a less than effective web writer.  You noticed it when you tried to post a link.  Before they changed to this web publisher, the paper worked good on-line.  Now, I would rank their sites and papers they publish on-line as probably the worst in this nation.

The sites don't post public opinions (Gateway), they lose comments people made which makes reading the comments difficult to follow, it takes a couple weeks and multiple calls to their office when you paid to get the paper on-line but the programming doing it is defective.

Even many of the articles are less than accurate.

Now that you have experienced it, there's my proof.


Martin Fleming



getreal6789 Jan 16, 2014 8:35 AM

Well, the links to Portage county court records didn't show up in that last post... weird.

getreal6789 Jan 16, 2014 8:31 AM


The FACT is he kept nearly $24,000 that did not belong to him. I did not have any run ins with Bill, I did not steal from him and I was not one of the second rate contractors that he hired. I am, however intelligent enough to know right from wrong and  what he did was wrong. The blame can't be put on anyone else he had around him because not one of those people held a gun to his head and made him make the choices he did.

At one time, yes, he did a lot of good for the city but he was also doing things behind the scenes that he should not have been doing.

You want proof? Here is proof of the bad checks he got in trouble for  I suppose that was because of the "riff raff" that hung out in his bar.

Here's some more proof that he makes bad money decisions:

No one is responsible for what happened except for him. Plain and simple, he stole from a very sick, wheel chair bond man. He was sinking in debt, thought he could use the money then replace it. It back fired and now he is in the postion he is in... facing felony charges.

Bill Thompson is the ONLY person responsible for this mess. No one else.

I am not a coward but I am smart enough not to open my mouth in public or on facebook. I stay neutral in public but let's be honest we all have an opinion.

I have only stated facts in this posting and I have stuck to the facts which is the reason why  I spoke up when someone was trying to bash your daughter... she has nothing to do with this and has done nothing wrong.

whizzard Jan 16, 2014 6:52 AM

Bill Thompson has put forth quite a bit for this community.  The sad fact is that in his move, he was heavily devasted in cost overruns that shouldn't have occurred in the first place.  His unfortunate choice in contractors showed that there are legal theives out there.

For those making their comments against Bill, it is most likely these are people who have had run ins with Bill and he caught them taking advantage of him or stealing from him and now they are lashing out at Bill, however their claims have no merit for they do not include their real name in their comments.  If they were to use their names, then everyone would know the real truth and that is why they won't use their real names.

They are cowards, cheats, and Lord knows what else and that is why they can't use their real name.  They have courage behind a screen name for know one knows who is saying it (except for a few who I know and am waiting for them to have the guts to post their name), but once in public they no longer have a voice for they never knew what they were talking about to begin with.

It is so sad that people can make these accusations without their name and proof.  There is likely reasons why this occurred and it probably was a wakeup call to Bill to let him realize that he better be more careful of what type of riff-raff he let's into his establishment and who he befriends.

Martin Fleming

getreal6789 Jan 15, 2014 11:15 PM

I also thought he should've called bar rescue. Maybe it would've helped.

The comment about Melanie was really uncalled for. She's done nothing wrong but be friends with someone who broke the law. She has nothing to do with this and your comment was just catty and mean.

Stay on topic here....

MoreFull Jan 15, 2014 9:57 PM

Where am I going to get a whole pizza and 5 beers for $10 on Thursday nights?

And where are the hood rat hoochie mamas going to go to shake thier groov thing now?

I feel like a lost puppy.

ratchet Jan 15, 2014 11:22 AM

The former owner cast the first stone when he neglected to live up to his responsibilities…

candy0 Jan 14, 2014 6:03 PM

By golly, you're right, Getreal-I stand corrected. Way to go, Parrot (sorry for thinking you were hitting the pipe).

getreal6789 Jan 14, 2014 5:56 PM

Wasn't Harvey Dent 2 face? ....there you go.

Bill came off like an upstanding guy but in the end greed took over.... I see the similarities.

candy0 Jan 14, 2014 4:51 PM

I do not see any similarities between Harvey Dent and Bill Thompson...

PinkyandtheBrain Jan 14, 2014 4:14 PM

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.


ratchet Jan 14, 2014 3:26 PM

Don’t go away mad - just go away!

He has to be threatened with legal action to pay money that’s not his? What a saint…

getreal6789 Jan 14, 2014 2:48 PM

Why didn't he just give the money when it was first accounted for? It was all accounted for at least 2 weeks after the event. He keeps saying it took 6 weeks to account for everything but what no one is hearing is that the money was accounted for 2 weeks after the event. Several times he told Family days that he wired the money just a couple weeks after the event. Listen to the news!!!

All you "loyal" followers are just so blind and refuse to see that this man was so far behind on rent and payments to vendors that he kept the money to try and dig himself out. His intent was to have another great venue and pay it back before it was missed, however that great venue never came. Why? Because for the last year the place has gone down hill. Chef Bill did keep an eye on it like he used to and he let his "Mini Me" Kyle run the place.

Bottom line: He didn't give the money like he was supposed to and people got angry. The people of Streetsboro had the best of intentions when donating and attending the Sonny Geraci benefit. They trusted Chef Bill at Stringz & Wingz. When you break the trust of THAT many people, you lose alot.

People need to open their eyes and stop blindly following the wolf in sheeps clothing.

Thedude Jan 14, 2014 2:20 PM

Did Parrot really just quote a line from batman??

cindee Jan 14, 2014 1:46 PM

Chef Bill put himself in this situation. He needs to do the right thing and give the money to the Geraci family. 

candy0 Jan 14, 2014 1:43 PM

Seriously, Parrot??? Are you serious???? Put the **** pipe down and snap back to reality. 
I pray you're not a registered voter.

Parrot Jan 14, 2014 12:27 PM

Hopefully, Streetsboro is able to recover from this.

Sometimes the truth isn't good enough, sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded...
The truth is this: you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Chef Bill Thompson did  those things. He's not a hero today, but can be...maybe not in Streetsboro, but somewhere. He was not the hero we deserved but the hero we needed for a time. Nothing less than a Chef.

Thedude Jan 14, 2014 12:03 PM

What happened to my comments?? Are we not allowed to say the truth in here? Or are these comments only for one side?!?

bobbysmommy Jan 13, 2014 8:39 PM

Well said

horatio Jan 13, 2014 6:19 PM

You're better off, Chef Bill...let the mess go. All of the haters will someday see that there is no peace in hating and causing grief for our fellow man. You are young enough, talented enough and smart enough to move on to bigger and better things.


God Bless you and your family.

Shadows on the hills, sketch the hills and daffodils...catch the breeze and winter chills- in colors on the snowy linen land.

ruhappy Jan 13, 2014 3:26 PM

didnt you read the part

Thompson said he plans to pay $23,860 to the Geraci family directly sometime this week via his attorneys, bypassing Streetsboro Family Days in the transaction. Thompson said he had earlier planned on donating about $4,796 in expenses that he no longer plans to donate, which accounts for the lower figure he plans to pay the family.

candy0 Jan 13, 2014 3:25 PM

Really- "...dragged through the mud"?  I guess he should have been allowed to keep $23,000 collected for a dying man- no questions asked. What a silly thing to say...get real and wake up- the current situation was self- inflicted. Stealing is wrong.

ruhappy Jan 13, 2014 2:50 PM

pretty quiet in here..No one is bad mouthing chef now are they..is everyone happy making a good guy who has a family to support to sign over his business and lively hood...i hope the people that ran their mouths are satisfied sitting at a second rate whole in the wall establishment, that was always living in the shadows of Stringz, eating second rate food and hanging around second rate two face people enjoy their moment in the sun...just remember he has a family and he never did anything to you