Sunrise Restaurant on 24th Street is facing a $3,000 rent hike, leaving its owner unsure if she can stay in the space.
It’s unclear if the hike will displace the restaurant immediately, but its owner, Alba Guerra, says paying such high rent will be a struggle. “We want to try to stay here,” she said.
On April 1, 2018, the restaurant’s rent will rise from $4,800 to $7,800 per month, Guerra said.
Sunrise has been serving Latin American breakfast and brunch on 24th Street for 13 years.
The hike comes as Guerra’s five-year lease is set to expire, she said. Before she signed the five-year lease, she had been paying $4,000 for the space.
Her landlord, Andrew Kong, bought the building three years ago in March.
Diana Ponce De Leon, a liaison between the neighborhood and the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, is attempting to negotiate with Kong, Guerra said.
Kong has neglected to do maintenance on the building, such as fixing a water heater that leaks into one of the restaurant’s hallways, as well as a crumbling wall at the exterior of the building, Guerra said.
“If you want to raise the rent, you have to fix what’s broken,” she said.
Kong could not be reached for comment.
Guerra said she does not plan on closing immediately if Kong doesn’t budge. She said she’ll try to survive by raising the restaurant’s prices, as Kong had suggested after she asked him not to raise the rent, she said.
She also said she might try hosting events more often, but wasn’t sure. “I don’t know,” she said. “But I don’t want to go.”
Guerra started the restaurant in 2005 after working for a long time in the food industry. “This is my dream,” she said. “When I was working in restaurants, it was my dream to have my own place.”
It has also been a space for community events like music and poetry, as well as a meeting place for local organizations.
“Now, if I close, it closes a place for the community, too,” she said.