SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - As restaurants learn to adapt and overcome in the era of new closures and regulations, not all are able to make it over the hurdle. Multiple San Diego staples have announced permanent closures, including The Balboa in Bankers Hill and Cafe on Park near Hillcrest.
Andy Haenfler said he opened Cafe on Park 25 years ago and has devoted his life to this business.
“I opened Thanksgiving weekend in 1995 to a line down the block and thought 'oh my goodness what have I done,'” said Haenfler.
He said this past March, they closed their doors, thinking it was temporary, but they were never able to open them again.
“We had just gotten a shipment of $5,000 worth of product in so we gave it to the staff, the staff took it home and gave it away to their neighbors,” he said.
Haenfler said he had hoped to stay open a few more years then retire and sell his restaurant to employees, but that goal is no longer possible. His message to the community now is to support local businesses so this doesn’t happen again.
“It’s us little one-owner, one-shop places that the community really need to support,” he said.
Nearby restaurant The Balboa has a similar fate. Owner Tom Logsdon said the business started years ago with him cooking at home then it grew into what it is known for now: a community spot with good burgers.
“The type of business we had is really built around dining in, it’s built around community coming together,” said Logsdon.
He said he did try to reopen, but the takeout burgers weren’t able to save the business the way regular customers who sit and have multiple drinks would.
“Without people hanging out and having some drinks, it just wasn’t working,” he said.
Logsdon said he’s permanently closing his Bankers Hill location but has a second location in Chula Vista, so he’ll be consolidating the business and focusing his effort on the one spot.
“I’ve spent about a third of my life in that building. I’ve got a big attachment to the neighborhood and the community there but after three months of just losing money like crazy, the reality was we just couldn’t keep that going,” said Logsdon.
Both Logsdon and Haenfler said this is the necessary decision right now, but once the industry recovers, they hope to reopen more restaurants and continue with their careers.