SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A long-time South Sacramento diner is closing — at least for now.
The owner of Original Perry’s on Stockton Boulevard near Mack Road said he is closing his restaurant, which has been open for more than 50 years.
But Original Perry’s may reopen after repairs to the building are made, according to the landlord.
“We come here all the time, I remember being a child coming here and eating, and some of my childhood favorites are still here,” customer Alejandro Esmael told FOX40.
Perry Potiris opened Original Perry’s in 1968 and ran it until 2008.
Current owner Paul Fraga remembers working for him as a busboy when he was just 15.
“Great guy, great boss. Old Greek-style guy from the old country. Hard nose, hard work, best boss I ever had,” Fraga said.
Potiris died in 2010.
That same year, Fraga bought the restaurant from the new landlord. He said his family grew up in the business.
“Met my first wife here, met my second wife here, my kids have all worked here,” Fraga said. “As soon as they could walk, I brought them in here.”
Fraga said business was good but five years in, he just was not making a profit. So, he called a professional to review his books.
“After I paid him 15 hundred dollars, he told me basically I paid about five times more for the business than I should. And I was paying double what I should be paying in rent,” Fraga said.
At the time, his landlord agreed to lower the rent. But over the years, Fraga said he can’t afford to run the business with rent and minimum wage continuing to raise.
“And we’re going to go 50,000 in the hole just to get out,” Fraga said.
But Original Perry’s may not disappear forever. The landlord is the current owner of nearby Mr. Perry’s.
A general manager at that restaurant told FOX40 there are plans to make repairs to the building and reopen under new ownership in several months.
“That’s good, good for them. They can do whatever they want,” Fraga said. “About time they fix some stuff. I’ve been trying to get some stuff fixed from the landlord for about five years.”