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Part-owner and investor of multiple Colorado Springs bars accused of misusing funds

Untitled design - 2022-06-09T152342.652
KRDO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A part-owner and investor in four popular downtown Colorado Springs restaurants and bars is now accused of misusing funds related to operations within the businesses.

Thursday, the four bars, Wild Goose Meeting House, Good Neighbors Meeting House, Epiphany, and The Well issued a joint statement accusing investor/owner Russ Ware of misusing their funds.

In the statement, a spokesperson hired by the four businesses said Epiphany has "ceased operations" for the foreseeable future. The other three businesses will continue operating under new management. Each bar says they have acted to separate Ware from their business operations.

At this time, the details surrounding the allegations against Ware are unclear. Charges haven't been filed against the part-owner.

Sgt. Jason Newton with the Colorado Springs Police Department tells 13 Investigates a complaint has been filed against Ware, and an investigation is active and open. However, financial crime investigators just received the complaint Thursday morning.

Recently we have been made aware of the misuse of funds related to the operations of Wild Goose Meeting House, Good Neighbors Meeting House, Epiphany, and The Well by owner, investor and/or operator, Russ Ware. While we are still in the due diligence phase of better understanding the depths of his actions, each enterprise has acted to separate Russ Ware from the operations and management of these entities. 

At this time, each LLC is reviewing the impact of these actions including auditing of financials, understanding of cash flow and possible legal implications. We are in the early stages of researching this troubling discovery but are committed to a thoughtful approach that reveals the facts of the matter. Each LLC is dedicated to working together to better understand how the misuse of funds occurred.

Collectively, each LLC, which includes multiple investors, subscribes to the power of community, connectedness and convergence to inspire the best in our growing city. We believe in gathering places and communal spaces for rich conversation, ideation and openness for what’s possible for our city. This vision is truly the touchstone for our investment in these businesses. 

The actions of Russ Ware represent a gross act of defiance and violate all aspects of trust among investors, community and business stakeholders and the greater community.

At this time, we are assessing the strength of each enterprise to better determine what the future holds. As of June 4, 2022, Epiphany ceased all operations. It is unclear whether Epiphany will reopen. Wild Goose Meeting House, Good Neighbors Meeting House, and The Well will remain open and run under the management of current staff, with oversight from the respective LLC. Changes and adjustments will be made as needed. We are committed to open and honest communication with all staff members and are working hard to demonstrate their value and importance to the future of the business.

While we are devastated by the actions of this individual, we are unwavering in our commitment to these invaluable community assets and how they strengthen our city.

Joint statement issued on behalf of Wild Goose Meeting House LLC, Good Neighbors Meeting House LLC, Epiphany COS LLC and 315 Food and Beverage LLC.
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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

Comments

2 Comments

  1. If they earn the tips, you gotta give them their tips. This sounds very Broadmoor-esque.

    1. I don’t see any reference to the misuse of funds being related to employee tips. Is this just speculation on your part, or do you have information from elsewhere?
      .
      I just find it interesting that all these places have names that appear to have religious undertones, which makes me wonder if this is a case of for-profit businesses masquerading as non-profit organizations.

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