“They are not going to renew our lease,” said Denny’s franchisee Jeff Jones of the restaurant at 800 Garnet Ave. managed by landlord Covey Commercial. “They want to modernize that building that is over 50 years old. That is too valuable a piece of property for a single user. They want to possibly redevelop it as mixed-use with commercial on the bottom and housing on top.”
Jones, who's owned the Denny’s franchise for several years, one of six he manages in San Diego, expected to be closed four to five months for repairs and an extensive remodel from the 2018 fire.
That fire, suspected of being arson set, caused an estimated $700,000 in damages to the structure, $150,000 in damages to the contents. A suspect in the case remains at-large.
Pointing out that Denny’s corner lot is “one of the most valuable pieces of property in PB,” Jones added, “So the landlords are going with multiple users with both housing and commercial. It has to be redeveloped to achieve the maximum value of the property. Our hope and belief is that we will have an opportunity to be there (again) after the building has been remodeled — and we will be in the same spot for another 50 years.”
Jones noted Covey Commercial owns the adjacent parcel of property to the PB Denny’s, where Ramiro’s Mexican Food is presently located. He said he owns four other Denny’s franchises within 3 1/2 miles of the Pacific Beach one.
“I’ve got a year to relocate if I choose to do that,” said Jones of his new timeline now that his lease has not been renewed. “So I’ve got a year to find a new site.”
Jones noted his PB franchise was a “late-night Denny’s.”
“It was one of my better, and harder, stores to run because of the late-night crowd,” he said, adding his PB patrons were mostly millennials coming from the bars to eat after other restaurants in the area closed.
Jones said he has no regrets about his landlord’s decision.
“It was inevitable,” he concluded. “It makes no sense for them to lease to a single-story Denny’s when they could build a three-story building on that corner, including the property they own next door with the Mexican restaurant. I can’t blame them. It’s the most valuable corner in all of PB, so one user can’t just be on that property.”
Covey Commercial could not be reached by Beach & Bay Press for comment.