Brians’ eatery abruptly closes amid legal disputeAround the City Thursday, July 5th, 2012
Brians’ American Eatery has been a staple in the Hillcrest community for more than 13 years, and Facebook and Twitter have been humming with the news of the closure. “I’m gonna be SO SAD when you guys are gone. Thanks for all the good eats, good times, and good memories,” commented Louiegee Faustino on Brians’ Facebook page; “What the hell, you’re closing? Where am I going to eat? What do we need to do to save the joint?” lamented Ed Brophy. Aaron, San Diego Tweeted, “Brians’ American Eatery (closing this Sat.) You’ve been an institution for many a late-night post-clubbing grubbing! You’ll be missed!”
The staff, many who have been there for years, are facing the reality that they will no longer have jobs. Nevertheless last Friday, they were still being their usual friendly selves, greeting patrons as they walked in and checking attentively on diners as they ate. Donna Summer’s“On the radio” played in the background as customers rotated in and out. It was one of the few places that offered breakfast all day and stayed open after hours, when Hillcrest bars and clubs shut their doors for the night.
According to some employees, the location already has new owners and will be opening up again in a few months. What it will be called or whether or not they will be as welcoming to the LGBT community remains to be seen. The current owner, Brian Stout, is thought to be moving to another location a few blocks away.
The closing is said to be due to a financial dispute between Stout and previous owner/partner Brian Savage. Sources tell San Diego LGBT Weekly that a lawsuit pending in San Diego Superior Court, in which Savage is suing the owners of The Good Egg San Diego restaurant over loans he allegedly gave them, is in some way related to the Brians’ closure. Savage claims to have provided loans and cash advances to The Good Egg; and he wants to collect at least $128,000 in damages. There is no trial date, but the trial’s estimated length is four days.
Neal Putnam provided some reporting for this article.
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