Lumpia Hut Closure Gets Strange and Ugly
February 3, 2011
Weekly Editor Mary Duan, who knows Oldtown Salinas ins and outs enough to make Steinbeck blush, filed this note on the odd, ugly aftermath of Lumpia Hut's shuttering:
The saga of the Lumpia Hut in Oldtown Salinas took a turn for the bizarre last week, when police had to prevent former restaurant owner Rod Daquiaog from changing the locks on space that no longer belonged to him.
Daquiaog had been evicted from the Main Street joint he spent more than two years and about $400,000 transforming from a furniture store into a restaurant serving Filipino cuisine. Landlord Cleo Burks, who’s owed thousands of dollars in back rent, took the space back on Jan. 18 and found all of the equipment had been removed and most of the fixtures removed—including sheet metal ripped from the kitchen walls and an air conditioning unit taken from the roof.
Burks had a cleaning crew in to scrub down the interior, which reeked of food that had been left out to rot; according to neighbors who witnessed the scene, Daquiaog came in last Friday and tried to muscle the crew out. Salinas police intervened and Burks’ attorneys had to produce documents proving the eviction was done legally.
Burks’ attorney Ted Cominos declined to comment on the ongoing drama, except to say, “It’s really a sad situation. He spent a lot of money fixing the space up, but my client also is out quite a bit of money.”