Schilleci’s Bakery & Deli, 1103 E. 27th, will be closing at the end of the month after 13 years under the same ownership.
Schilleci’s owner Loan-Lam and her husband, Hiep Vuong, decided to close the restaurant after they couldn’t come to an agreement with their landlord, Randy Kaiser.
The couple bought the restaurant from Wayne Schilleci in 2004. They kept some of his offerings including bierocks and added a Vietnamese menu.
Both sides tried to work out an agreement to renew the three-year lease starting a couple months ago, but were unable to do so, Vuong and Kaiser said Wednesday.
“Up until a couple weeks ago, we were trying to see if we could make it work for them,” Kaiser said.
Kaiser said his liquor store, one of two he has in Hays, is growing and he wanted to move the wall between the two businesses about 5 or 6 feet to add storage.
Vuong said moving the wall would remove too much of the space for seating in the restaurant. Kaiser said he checked with the city, and was told it would not create any changes in the restaurant meeting city codes.
Vuong said state regulations were a problem, though.
“The (state) regulations say you have to have enough space for the tables. So we had no choice. That’s state law — so much space, so many tables,” he said.
Kaiser said he would have liked to the see the restaurant stay and made offers to work out a solution, including letting them rent month to month to work things out beyond the end of the three-year contract.
“He decided being in the restaurant business he didn’t want to do that,” he said.
Vuong said he understand’s Kaiser needing more space and has no bad feelings toward him.
“I don’t blame him for anything,” he said.
The couple did consider moving to a new location.
“I looked at a couple places,” Vuong said, including locations near Dillon’s on Hall Street, on Eighth Street and north of Interstate 70.
“It would cost $30,000 to $40,000 to set up, just to set up,” he said of moving the restaurant.
“Otherwise we would love to stay a few more years, but it doesn’t work out,” he said.
Kaiser said his plans now are to put a door in between the two spaces and use the restaurant for the needed storage space while leaving it available for a possible future tenant.