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Sun's Owner Fears For Restaurant's Future

"I think I'm going to be out of here," said Sun's owner Phillip Sun. However, a representative for the family could not confirm that the building was on the market.

Sun's Owner Fears For Restaurant's Future

Sun's Restaurant at 6441 North Figueroa Street has been a fixture in Highland Park for 27-years, but owner Phillip Sun now fears that its future may be in jeopardy.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Department of City Planning will consider a request for zoning variance submitted on behalf of property owner Linda Colburn.

According to Christina Toy-Lee, of the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, the area of North Figueroa where Sun's is located was rezoned from C2-1VL, a commercial zoning classification, to RD 1.5-1, a residential zoning type, in October of 2000.

The variance would grant both Sun's Restaurant and the retail building next door exceptions allowing them to continue operating with their current permits.

On the surface, the owner's application seems like something Sun's lovers would want to support, as it would bring the building's zoning type into compliance.

However, Sun told Patch on Tuesday afternoon that he fears the property's owners have plans to sell the building to a developer, and there maybe little he or community supporters can do to stop it.

Sun said that, if property was re-zoned as commercial, the current owners would be free to sell it.

"The family is interested in selling," Sun said. "If it gets transferred to commercial, it's basically a done deal."

The only hope for keeping Sun's in place, he said, would be for the building to maintain its current residential zoning classification, which would forestall any sale.

"If it stays as residential, the buyer might drop off market," he said. "Maybe I can renegotiate with the property owner and get the community involved."

Eddie Navarrette of FE Design, who is listed as Colburn's representative on the notice for Wednesday's public hearing, said he could not confirm that the family was interested in selling the property.

"I think that owners is trying to get some new tenants and they found out that they couldn't do anything until the permits are taken care of," he said. "I think it's more for the bike shop."

Sun told Patch that he won't be attending Wednesday's meeting, and has ultimatley resigned himself to the fact that the property will be sold. He says, if that's the case, he has no plans to relocate.

"I have nowhere else to go," he said.

Sun insisted that he was only going public with his concerns as a way to let the community know that he was willing to fight for the future of his restaurant, which he believes has a positive impact on the community.

"I'm not afraid of going out, but this place won't be the same," Sun said. "I've been here so long, this restaurant is bonded to the community. I had nightmares when I first found out, but now I've moved on. It's not about me, It's about what's best for the community."

In April of 2011, Highland Park Mount Washington Patch food columnist David O'Roscoe listed Sun's among the neighborhood's best restaurants.

"Sun's [...] is a Chinese restaurant like there used to be," he wrote. "They offer real American Chinese food. Chop suey, egg foo yong, sweet and sour pork, egg rolls--all of your favorites are offered here. They also have excellent Chinese dishes. The dining room is friendly and a good place to bring the kids."

Meeting Info:

When: Wednesday, January 30, 2013, 11:00 a.m.
Where: Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Room 1020

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