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¿Hola Newton?

July 22, 2011

After The Artist's Cafe closes Saturday, the building's owner says the restaurant space won't be vacant for long.

"If (Artist's Cafe owner) Louie (Dimarhos) decides to close, he will move out some time next month," said property owner Lynn Nguyen. "After he moves out, another new owner is going to move in."

Nguyen said an owner of a Hickory Mexican restaurant is interested in opening a business in the downtown Newton restaurant space that includes kitchen equipment and furniture. She said she is hopeful that the new restaurant will be open within six months.

This week, owners of The Artist's Cafe, Dimarhos and Tim Andrews, announced plans to close the restaurant after five years in business.

Citing an inability to "come to terms on a new, more affordable lease," the business partners closed the restaurant to the public Friday night.

A final, private party was planned for Saturday, Dimarhos said.

"I totally understand how slow it is right now," said Nguyen.

As owner Nagano's restaurants in Conover and Hickory, she said she understands the economic challenges of operating a business during the current economic climate.

She also said, however, when it comes to negotiating a new lease for The Artist's Cafe, the rates set in a proposed lease she offered are "good" at about $4,500 for the 1,700-square-foot restaurant space. Those lease negotiations also included payments toward kitchen equipment in the restaurant, she said. Owners of The Artist's Cafe sought a rent in the $2,700 range, she said.

"I cannot rent out the building for $2,700, and that is what they asked me for, including payments for my kitchen equipment. I also pay for the building insurance and everything like that ... I think I already do a lot for them," she said, adding her prospective new tenant for the space is currently paying a higher rent rate. "In Hickory they are paying $7,500 for a very small square footage. They are very happy to move in."

Nguyen also said she understands the decision to close The Artist's Cafe.

"If (Dimarhos) decides to move out, I totally understand, and I appreciate his business," she said.

Nguyen also owns The Artist's Lofts adjacent to the restaurant, and she said two of the building's four apartments are currently vacant. She plans to wait to move in new tenants until after the restaurant space is vacated and a new business opens.

"I want it to look good," she said.


Only one benefiting will be sign makers

July 26, 2011 by LeeHarper (not verified), 3 years 44 weeks ago
Comment: 572

The only business that will benefit from the departure of the Artist Cafe is local sign companies who make "for sale" and "for rent" signs. Newton is basically dead and will only get worse with the loss of the Artist Cafe. I doubt that any business will want to locate in a town where a great attraction wasn't allowed to make it.

Gone is a contributor to our town. Gone is great food. Gone is a place to hear very good music. Gone is a friend.

I guess we can welcome heartburn, stale chips, and the smell of grilled onions to the courtsquare.

Isn't it ironic that asians, europeans, and now the hispanics control our cullinary future here in sleepy Newton.

Re-paint the water tower as we have a new trademark...."Newton; Triangle of death" We will now have three points to connect drunk drivers of Latin heritage. I don't think I would travel between the drunk mexican parties at Newton Expo, the drunk crowd at Club Senoral and now the former Artist Cafe.

I'm just glad that Backbone isn't Norwegian.

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