Old City Hall eviction under discussion

Gilroy
– Cash-strapped restaurant owner Glen Gurries may soon have to
pack up his restaurant and leave Old City Hall, as city attorneys
begin discussing eviction for his failure to pay $1,000 in rent on
the city property for the last three months.
Gilroy – Cash-strapped restaurant owner Glen Gurries may soon have to pack up his restaurant and leave Old City Hall, as city attorneys begin discussing eviction for his failure to pay $1,000 in rent on the city property for the last three months.

Officials have tallied his current bill as $3,000, which includes back rent for the months of October through December. Gurries, who closed the restaurant just before Christmas, said he is seeking to either re-open with a partner or to sell the business outright.

“It’s a landlord-tenant relationship,” City Treasurer Michael Dorn said. “We have a right to ask for the return of the property.”

He said city attorneys are beginning the process of gaining control of the building for breach of contract.

Dorn said Gurries had an “erratic” history of lease payments throughout the last 12 to 13 months since he moved.

“He’d been late sometimes,” Dorn said. “Other times he’d pay ahead.”

The normal lease rate for Old City Hall is $3,000 per month, but the city lowered that figure to $1,000 per month to reward Gurries for renovations to the building. The work included painting, revamping the patio, and installing a brick oven.

The restaurant has faced steep utility costs since it opened in Oct. 2003. Gurries said he averaged between $4,000 and $4,500 per month in utility bills to operate his restaurant in the uninsulated historic building, located at the corner of Sixth and Monterey streets. Two other businesses have failed at the site since the city began leasing it in 1998.

Dorn said the city sent Gurries a delinquency notice on his rent at the beginning of December. The restaurant owner informed the city at the end of the month that he had closed his doors.

It remains unclear if Gurries will sell his business outright or find an investor. He said several parties have expressed interest, although he would not specify if they wanted to buy his business or come on as a partner.

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