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article imageBeloved local coffee shop re-opens after a 10-month exile Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Mar 12, 2014 in Business
Daly City - For small business owners across America this is some good news. A local family owned business that got evicted after more than 30 years, seemed as if all was lost. But through perseverance and the help of the community they bounced back.
Cheers and thankful tears of joy were expressed at the official ribbon-cutting re-opening of the Westlake Coffee Shop in Daly City on Feb. 22, 2014. The Choi family which has owned and operated the beloved coffee shop for more than 30 years had been evicted from their original location at Westlake Shopping Center last year. It was reported that they were unable to meet the unanticipated demand, when the rent was increased to $10,000 per month.
Owners Moon and Yoon Choi, were devastated when they were locked out and forced to find a new location, amid frustrating efforts to try and negotiate with the new landlord, Kimco Realty Corp. Despite attempts at intervening in the dispute by Daly City officials, the Choi family let go of their hopes to remain at the original locale, which had been a coffee shop known and loved by the community for over 60 years.
With the help of the community, Daly City City Council officilas and the morale support of many long-time customers, Westlake Coffee Shop found its new location at Pacific Plaza along busy Junipero Serra Blvd not far from the original location in Westlake, a district of Daly City adjacent to Lake Merced on the outskirts of San Francisco.
Christina Choi had spoken to this reporter last year when on assignment for The Peninsula Progress. She explained that her parents and family were devastated by the treatment they got from the new landlord, a corporate company.
Rather than becoming bitter she conveyed that her parents were resolved to survive and carry on with their business. Earlier this month Christina told The San Francisco Examiner that she credited current and former mayors David Canepa and Ray Buenaventura with going beyond the call of duty to help her parents’ business survive the upheaval and find a new home.
On Saturday  Feb. 22  2014  the Westlake Coffee Shop reopened to the delight and happiness of Owners...
On Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, the Westlake Coffee Shop reopened to the delight and happiness of Owners Moon and Yoon Choi, (seen here with their staff/crew) who were forced out of their previous location when the rent was raised to over $10,000 per month.
Courtesy of the Choi family and Westlake Coffee Shop, Daly City, CA
In turn, Canepa praised Daly City's City Manager Pat Martel for finding an appropriate space for the longtime local restaurant. Martel told The SF Examiner, that although Pacific Plaza on Junipero Serra Blvd has seen a lot of turnover, over the past few years, she felt Westlake Coffee Shop was a perfect fit. A cinema is in the complex and as Martel pointed out, employees of Pacific Plaza tenants such as Kaiser Permanente and DeVry University had been "clamoring for a cafe to patronize," she added.
Just in time for spring, which is symbolic of new beginnings, the re-opening at the new Pacific Plaza location will help to revive an area that has been struggling, especially since the economic down-turn of 2008.
Moon Choi had said at the grand re-opening that the 10 months it took to get relocated seemed like 10 years. But he and his entire family are happy and grateful to be back in full operation.
Christina who has been taking on more responsibilities for the Coffee Shop on behalf of her parents, noted that almost all of the entire staff from the original location was able to return to work. And, that even with a new contemporary design/decor, Westlake Coffee Shop will retain much of its original "diner" charm and menu selections will remain in tact.
The cafe will be open until 7:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, but in an effort to attract the nighttime weekend crowds, Westlake Coffee Shop will keep doors open until 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays on a trial basis. For more details and a peak at the menu, visit the Westlake Coffee Shop web site.
More about Westlake, Westlake Coffee Shop, Daly City, San Francisco Peninsula, San Mateo County
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