By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday June 4, 2014
Lister grill owner plagued by money woes
One personal bankruptcy, at least four corporate bankruptcies associated with his name, and one business pushed into receivership with millions of dollars in debts that led to the forced sale of a Puslinch horse farm.
At least two successful civil lawsuits against him as a defendant, including one judgment against him of nearly $160,000 that resulted in the forced sale of a Burlington condominium unit.
At least 15 small claims court lawsuits against him or his companies with outstanding judgments and claims totalling nearly $100,000.
And the list goes on.
One company he was associated with dissolved for failure to comply with Ontario’s Corporations Tax Act.
The suspension of his standardbred horse license by the Ontario Racing Commission.
At least $348,000 owed at one point to the Canada Revenue Agency, and another $145,000 owed to Ontario’s finance ministry, based on DesRoches’ bankruptcy documents.
DesRoches, the man who turned his downtown La Costa restaurant into a small chain across southern Ontario in the 1990s, is preparing to open 28 Lister, a 1920s-style chophouse on the ground floor of the Lister Block. The opening of the restaurant has been postponed several times since last year for a variety of reasons, including the death of the executive chef in April.
DesRoches and his company, 28 Lister Restaurants Inc., were chosen by the city from four submitted bids for the lease in April 2013.
In addition to the $267,000 that the city agreed to pay for the project, documents show that DesRoches would invest another $200,000 to develop the restaurant.
According to an April 2013 report to city councillors, “28 Lister Inc. met all of the criteria including the financial criteria.”
But the city now acknowledges it was unaware of the financial information about DesRoches uncovered by the Spectator’s investigation. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)