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Palo Alto restaurant faces eviction after owner pays rent one day late

After nearly three decades in business, Mike’s Diner Bar in Palo Alto is facing the threat of eviction.

Mike’s Diner Bar owner Mike Wallau said he got a letter from the property owner’s agent after he was one day late with his payment on July 18.

“It says: ‘We received your check on the 18, it was due on the 17. We’re moving forward with the eviction,’” he said.

Wallau says he was three days late on rent last year. So, he says he signed an agreement with the landlord saying he wouldn’t be late again. But he says there was a good reason his check was late last month.

“When I was stuck at El Camino Hospital, admitting my daughter on the 17. I didn’t get to the property management company with the check until the 18. So, they by the letter of the law could say, OK, we’re going to evict you.”

NBC Bay Area reached out to the property management company for comment Saturday but didn’t hear back.

Wallau says he’s faced other challenges before. He spent a good chunk of money, expanding and renovating and then, the pandemic hit.

“We had basically had to basically mortgage my house to finish the remodel and then, having COVID hit, you would have to have some compassion,” Wallau said.

Several other businesses have also moved out of the area. So, there’s a push by the community to try to support businesses and revitalize the midtown Palo Alto neighborhood.

“There are a number of these stores that are vacant. So, business people are having a hard time and the city really wants to help this area. It would be devastating to lose Mike’s. Mike’s is the crown jewel of the midtown area,” said Len Flippu, head of the Fairmeadow Neighborhood Association.

“He’s been very enthusiastic, and we want to make sure he stays. He is a treasured business here in Palo Alto,” said Palo Alto mayor Lydia Kou.

Wallau says he will file a motion to set aside the eviction.

“We just want to work out something that works for both sides,” he said.

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