When he was 21 years old, Eddy Shakarjian’s family fled Lebanon during the war and made a home in north San Diego, opening a family business, The Armenian Café. Now, after 27 years in business, the beloved restaurant plans to shutter its doors.
“We’re gonna miss this location. It’s unique,” Shakarjian, the owner, told NBC 7. “There are a lot of memories.”
The restaurant is family-owned and operated in every sense. Shakarjian's daughter, Leah, is the manager. His sons, Matthew and Andrew, also work there.
But soon, all of this will change.
A hotel, a Springhill Suites by Marriott, is being built at the site of the restaurant, and Shakarjian said his business has to be out by the start of the New Year.
In 2007, the Carlsbad City Council approved plans for the 104-room, three-story hotel. The new hotel will take over the site currently occupied by The Armenian Café, the 28-room Surf Motel, and a single-family house.
A fixture in Carlsbad for the last three decades, Shakarjian is determined to keep his family business going -- some way, somehow. He's hoping the restaurant can perhaps take up shop inside the new hotel.
“I’ve been here 27 years,” Shakarjian said. “My kids were raised here and it's gonna be a tough one, but we're gonna do it and hopefully the landlords will come through and we'll be in the new building down the road. There’s no restaurant in there right now, but we hope we can do it."
If this plan doesn't pan out, Shakarjian said he's also looking into other locations for his restaurant, including a site near his home in Vista.
For more information on The Armenian Café, visit this website. For now, the café, will remain open through the end of 2015.