A popular local restaurant that has been situated in an old train depot located in downtown Norcross for the last two decades is being forced to move after the city decided not to renew its license. Ken Weatherford, the owner of the Norcross Station Cafe, says that upon the expiration of his 15-year lease earlier in 2013 he was informed that he would have to put in a bid.
“When I submitted my request to renew in November, it went unanswered until August of this year,” Weatherford told Sandra Parrish from WSB. Prior to submitting a bid, he was also informed that whoever occupied the site would be responsible for both the roof and the exterior of the 104-year-old building, both of which had previously been the responsibility of the city.
Weatherford says that it would also cost him $60,000 in plumbing upgrades and that he had to factor in these expenses upon submitting a bid to lease the building for $1,000 less than his current rent at $3,000 per month; however a bid of $7,500 was submitted by the Cuban restaurant owner from across the street, which was the winning bid. Weatherford will not be making a move with his current restaurant but intends to use the depot to open a second restaurant.
“This wasn’t anyway in my imagination that something like this could happen here,” Weatherford admits. “You always want to go out on your own terms if you can.” Having made $250,000 in improvements to the building, Weatherford is deeply disappointed by the treatment he has received and that he will have to move elsewhere.