End in Sight for Cafe Eccell

By: David Norris Email
By: David Norris Email

COLLEGE STATION, Texas The owners of Cafe Eccell said they've reached an agreement with the developer who wants to tear the building down.

"We've resolved it amicably, that's all I can say," Cafe Eccell co-owner Costa Dallis said Friday.

Dallis said they've agreed to close up their current location along Church Street and Wellborn in the Northgate district for good by March 8.

Dallis said he's sad to see his beloved restaurant go, but he's glad the fight is behind him.

"It's been pretty daunting," said Dallis. "If you spend enough time worrying about litigation, it takes your eye off the ball of business. It takes a lot of time and a lot of energy on it, so I'm glad it's behind us."

The new owners of the land that Cafe Eccell sits on, Houston based Assett Plus, want to build a multi-level family living development with retail space on the bottom floor. Cafe Eccell was supposed to be one of those retail locations, but Costa said negotiations broke down when Assett Plus went back on a promise of dedicated parking for the restaurant.

Officials with Assett Plus said they never promised Café Eccell exclusive parking.

The land was sold to Assett Plus in January. Cafe Eccell's lease expired that same month. Since then, the two have been entangled in a legal battle.

Dallis said the outpouring of support from their many fans has been great.

"Every day they ask questions like what's your future, how long are you going to be here, we really don't want you guys to go," said Dallis. "That part has been really nice, to know that you're so well supported."

Since Dallis and his group first opened their doors to Cafe Eccell in 1989, they've had many employees stick with them through the good times and the bad. Dallis said those employees are like family to him, and he wants to protect his family.

"They've stayed faithful. So we want to stay faithful to them whenever we do find another location," said Dallis.

Dallis said he doesn't know how long it will take to find a new location, but his approximately 45 employees will get good recommendations wherever they go next. And when Cafe Ecccell does reopen, his employees are welcome to come back.

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