The Easy Street Cafe has been a fixture in San Anselmo for decades. Delicious food, and the child-friendly atmosphere have kept families eating there for years.
The Red Hill Shopping Center changed owners, and the new owner and manager, Tom Arntz, decided that it needed a remodel to be more upscale. One of the main areas for remodeling, a shaded area with a wisteria-covered trellis and benches, was directly in front of the Easy Street Cafe. The dust and noise from the remodeling significantly impacted the Cafe's business, and they wrote a letter of hardship to Arntz, which was ignored.
Now, the shaded area is gone, replaced with manufactured cobblestones, planters full of wood chips, and no benches. Six other businesses were unable to survive the impact the renovation had on their revenue, and several more tenants may be unable to stay open. Easy Street has been issued an eviction notice because they are unable to afford the renovations that Tom Arntz has required them to make to change their decor.
Easy Street is going to be replaced by a chain restaurant, Chipotle. This Chipotle, as well as lacking the local ownership and family atmosphere of Easy Street, is likely to impact the business of the local Mexican restaurant, Burritoville OBB, just a few doors down in the shopping center.
To add insult to injury, when the owner of Easy Street tried to post a letter explaining why they were going to be closing, they were threatened by the management of the shopping center and told that if they didn't take them down, their signs would be forcibly removed and that they would be charged for it.
I have been eating at Easy Street for literally longer than I can remember, my family having lived in Fairfax when I was a toddler, and Woodacre until now. I can remember playing with the toys in the children's area, and eating some of the best grilled cheese sandwiches in Marin. Many, many families have made a tradition of eating here, and it's about to end forever.
In addition, Easy Street Cafe has supported local children's sports teams and school classes.
Easy Street Cafe deserves a place in the Red Hill Shopping Center, not to be pushed out by greedy management who have no concern or appreciation for the local community, no empathy, and are driven to do solely what they think will make them the most money.
An letter to the public by Avi Bikser and Robert Mitchell, the owners of the Easy Street Cafe, is available here:
An article about this story is available here:
In addition to signing this petition, you can contact Tom Arntz at email@example.com if you wish to tell him your thoughts.
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