One of the the Top 10 eateries from SFR's 2017 Restaurant Guide, Back Street Bistro, might be on the verge of shutting its doors. Longtime owner David Jacoby tells SFR that staffing issues and disagreements over rent top the list of problems that led to the soup-and-sandwich establishment's recent switch to carry-out service only.
"There's a lot of rumors going around and honestly, I can't even tell you what's happening at this point," Jacoby said Wednesday afternoon.
According to a database maintained by the county assessor, Robert Montoya owns the property the restaurant has occupied for over 20 years, and sources tell SFR the landlord wants to raise the shop's rent by as much as 30 percent, a number SFR couldn't confirm as of this post.
"Yeah, there was a huge rent issue," Jacoby says, "but we seem to be getting that under contro. The landlord realized that he may not be able to get the kind of rent he was trying to screw me out of."
We are definitely on team Back Street Bistro, as their Hungarian mushroom soup is hands-down the best in town and we love small business.
Santa Fean Andrea Braverman Clark agrees. "I was appalled," Braverman Clark told SFR after she recently tried to get a table at Back Street. "It's a place for locals, it's affordable and it's near downtown; it's friendly and it showcases art; [Jacoby] is such a supporter of the community, and I think the community should support him—it seems like any local small business is just being price-gouged."
While the future of the sandwich shop remains sketchy, Jacoby remains optimistic. For now, he tells SFR, he'll look for new staff to start next week and hopes to re-open for full service soon.