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Harvey Milk's, Pernicano properties

Questions remain on 2 Hillcrest restaurants

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The fate of two major adjacent Hillcrest restaurant spaces still hang in the balance a week after the closure of Harvey Milk's American Diner, and a month after the Pernicano's/Di Baffi property was put up for sale.

"We'll know more when the rent comes due at the end of the month," said Marc Frederick, a Colliers International associate who represents the property, where Harvey Milk's was a tenant for in the space at 535 University Avenue for only about 14 months.

"I believe we will hear some definitive news on both the Harvey Milk and the Pernicano's spaces within the next 30 days," Frederick said.

Frederick said the average going rent for the property is about $3-per-square-foot, which would work out to $14,400 per month for the 4,800-square-foot space.

A flyer on the door indicated Harvey Milk's -- which was named for the slain San Francisco politician -- might re-open after a reorganization, but it hasn't yet.

Meanwhile, rumors have been flying about the restaurant since it closed.

Both the San Diego Eater and LGBT Weekly discussed the possibility of a reopening, but they also said a concept similar to a Phil's Barbecue was being considered for the space.

In the meantime, the employees' checks bounced earlier this week. The estimated 41 workers were reportedly paid later, but not before workers posted complaints over various social media sites blasting restaurant co-owner Frank Lechner, who could not be reached for comment.

The restaurant opened in August 2013. It was closed a month for a major remodeling in January to change the theme from the long-established City Delicatessen.

The property is owned by a group of local investors known as KG Ventures -- who also own the Afghanistan Khyber Pass Restaurant, Taste of Thai, Smart Wireless and Mint Footwear, each of which are on the same block as Harvey Milk's.

"I've never known for there to be more than one vacancy in these spaces," Frederick said.

KG Ventures also owns the retail spaces at 3849-3863 Fifth Ave. in Hillcrest. CoStar Group (Nasdaq: CSGP)reported those spaces are occupied by the Alexis Greek Cafe and Flashbacks Fashion Reinvented.

While Frederick said the $12 million the Pernicano family has asked for that property may sound a bit steep, there is a lot of interest in the high-profile block on Sixth Avenue.

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