A deadline of March 15 was given to Mike Slusarski and his wife, Becky, to vacate their restaurant The Tomato, a pizza restaurant long considered to be an iconic part of the eclectic Fry Street area.
The article said: Last week, owner Mike “Ski” Slusarski received word that he would need to be out of the building at the corner of Hickory and Fry streets by March 15. This deadline followed the end of discussions between Slusarski and United Equities Inc. about the restaurant’s move into the proposed Fry Street Village.
The article said: The Tomato was one of a number of businesses on the property to receive official eviction notices from the Houston-area developer in early January. The notices cited Jan. 31 as the final day, but an official with the development company indicated the firm would work with the businesses individually.
Tim Sandifer, project manager with United Equities, confirmed the March 15 deadline and added that he was talking to several other businesses about earlier move-out deadlines. Sandifer indicated that he was still in talks with a couple of businesses about relocating into the proposed retail development.
Slusarski said that initial talks with the developer about relocating to the new development did not include the time that the business would be closed. However, recent talks included the possibility of seven months between the time his current location would not be available and the proposed location at the proposed Fry Street Village would be ready.
The article said: “That doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “I can’t be out of business for seven months.”
Sandifer said the company tried to work out a deal with The Tomato but was not successful.
The article said: “We bent over backwards to offer him an opportunity to relocate within our property and he was unable to do it,” Sandifer said. “We tried to do what we felt the public wanted and it’s just a shame.”
In the mean time, Slusarski is trying to set up appointments to tour local properties for potential relocation. One possibility is a former fast-food restaurant near Best Buy off Loop 288 so he can stay in the area.
Slusarski has not planned an official last night of operations, although he is being urged to set up one. His main concern, however, in addition to figuring out where to go and how to get there with less than 24 days left, is how to make sure he can support his family.
The article said: “I haven’t done anything else since 1980,” he said.