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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Real Story Behind the Threat to Louis' Restaurant

Posted By on Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 9:42 AM

click to enlarge The long-term lease for the diner space near the Cliff House is going out for bid. - EASYWRITERGUY/FLICKR
  • easywriterguy/Flickr
  • The long-term lease for the diner space near the Cliff House is going out for bid.
Today at our sister news blog, The Snitch, Joe Eskenazi grabs a phone with Tom Hontalas, one of the owners of Louis', the Sutro Heights diner whose landlord is putting the place out for bid for a 10-year lease. The Hontalas family has operated Louis' here since the 1930s, but that doesn't give it a leg up in the bidding. Eskenazi explains:
The restaurant sits on land owned by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), and is thereby governed by the same regulations as a snack bar in Yellowstone or hot dog-stand in Yosemite. Instead of just re-upping Louis' lease, federal law stipulates a contract for the restaurant site must go out to bid. And if someone outbids the Hontalas family ― goodbye Louis'.
As we noted Friday, the Hontalas family is soliciting customer reminiscences via Facebook to help convince the GGNRA they should get to stay, and they're hosting a sort of rally April 17. Read all about one family's uphill struggle to hold on to its business.

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