February 10, 2010
Midtown eatery Cornerstone facing closure

*This story has been updated from its original version

Owners of a popular midtown breakfast spot are considering legal action against their landlords after receiving notice that their lease isn't being renewed.

The Cornerstone, located at the corner of J and 24th streets, will have to close as early as this month.

The neighborhood restaurant has been a popular breakfast and lunch spot for 16 years.

"We really feel like we are a part of the neighborhood and it is heartbreaking to be told we are going to have to leave," co-owner Danny Leung said in a prepared statement.

Leung contends that the property's owners haven't given him a reason for not renewing the lease, but claims it may stem from he and co-owner Joe Jang having purchased a 1/4 interest of the building from one of the four original owners late last year.

Calls for comment from the building's owners have not yet been returned.

Leung and Jang, who are relatives through marriage, started the breakfast joint after graduating college.

"They really liked the small, neighborhood coffeeshop feel," said Eric Rasmusson, a friend and spokesman for the Cornerstone.

Leung and Jang are hoping neighborhood outcry will move the property owners into letting them renew the lease, but are exploring options in the downtown and midtown area, Rasmusson said.

"It's got to be affordable and still have that kind of eclectic feel that Cornerstone has," he said.

Many customers are frustrated that the restaurant may have to leave, but the owners are trying to work with the property owners daily to negotiate a new lease, Rasmusson said.

Are you a frequent Cornerstone diner? What do you think about the possibility of it closing? Post your thoughts and comments here.

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