Sunrise Restaurant on 24th Street may be closing its doors for good on March 29.
On top of coping with the economic impacts of the coronavirus, owner Alba Guerra wrote in a Wednesday Facebook post that she’s fallen into debt to the tune of $30,000 with very few means to repay it.
“My dream is to reopen this place to which I have invested all my life but everything indicates that the abusive owner will keep all my effort with all my equipment and with everything and invested in this place ….” Guerra wrote.
“I feel that I am not going to be able to open again … because the receipts do not stop arriving, water light, garbage, telephone, rent, etc,” she added.
Guerra was referring to her landlord, Andrew Kong, who raised her rent by $3,000 in February 2018, and whom Mission Local revealed has allegedly been abusive toward both Guerra and a tenant living above her. Kong has violated so many housing codes that the San Francisco City Attorney began investigating him in fall 2018.
Nonetheless, Guerra managed to stay open. It’s a place that has a strong following — among everyone from low-income workers to the Mission’s Latino intelligentsia. Her pupusas inspired this video, and the small restaurant often hosts poetry readings during MAPP.
As small-business revenue has dropped to virtually zero, Mayor London Breed has halted commercial evictions for small- and medium-sized businesses until April 13, and may extend it for another 30 days. But the moratorium will not last forever.
Most San Francisco small businesses are having an existential crisis and are scrambling for whatever assistance becomes available.
Guerra did not return a call seeking comment, but wrote in her post, “God bless you all Take care and stay safe and hopefully we will be the winners of this pandemic.”