The sun sets over Sunrise Diner
A Maricopa institution is no more.
Sunrise Diner, a restaurant that has hosted customers in Maricopa for almost as long as the city has been incorporated, has closed.
Formerly called Sunrise Café, the restaurant at 20917 N. John Wayne Pkwy. near Fry’s Marketplace has changed hands since 2020 and has recently been plagued by poor health inspections and sluggish business.
Owner Billy Godwin is trying to sell the restaurant for $195,000, according to a listing on BizBuySell.com. Management lamented the need to sell in a post on its Facebook page.
“We sadly want to announce that Sunrise Café has officially closed for good,” the post read. “With revenue down about 50% and current owners unwilling to work on a solution or use our $15,000 deposit given at the time of purchase, to help in such cases.
“We are so grateful to all of our loyal customers, supporters, regulars and even people who had nothing nice to say. You have all been part of our journey which has led to some absolutely amazing relationships in our community. From our family cheers, thank you all for the experience.”
InMaricopa previously reported that Godwin paid $90,000 for the restaurant in 2020.
The listing says monthly rent on the 2,800 square foot space is $4,666.67 per month, but Godwin told InMaricopa that with “triple net” expenses — property taxes, building insurance and maintenance – the lease cost him more than $7,000 a month. , more than a similarly sized space in Ahwatukee would cost, he said.
“It’s unfortunate, but we’ve lost a lot of family businesses here in town over the years, going all the way back to Ramsey’s and Teakwoods and Mama T’s Pizza,” Godwin said. “We’ve lost a lot of good restaurants because they just can’t afford the rent and the landlords aren’t willing to work with us.”
A notice of readmission and owner’s lien was posted on the door of the restaurant stating:
“TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
“Due to the non-payment of rent by the tenant and the breach of the lease, the lessor of these premises, the lessor returned and took possession of them, pursuant to ARS 36-361 § (A.) .
“In addition, the lessor has a privilege and has seized the movable property located on the premises to guarantee payment of the rent pursuant to Articles ARS § 33-361 (D) and 33-362.
“UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY TO THESE PREMISES OR REMOVAL OF PROPERTY MAY RESULT IN CRIMINAL AND/OR CIVIL PROSECUTION.”
The notice is signed by Walter H. Gilbert of the Scottsdale Gilbert Bird law firm.
The restaurant closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Godwin purchased it, remodeling and renovating the space.