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Finally getting the heave-ho

By rgordon
Thursday, February 22nd, 2007 at 7:07 pm in Uncategorized.

The Castaway
Though no one’s been around the place for a decade, the old and long-ago-closed Castaway restaurant at Coyote Point (pictured here) is finally getting its official eviction notice from San Mateo County. Late, as they say, is better than never.

The sad saga of the Castaway, which was, for decades, an iconic restaurant and banquet hall with sweeping views along the San Francisco Bay, opened in 1964. According to the county, the tenants, the Coyote Restaurant Corporation, stopped using the premises as a restaurant in 1997, when it was closed for remodeling. Sporadic discussions with the county’s Planning Commission about how to refurbish it never went anywhere. They have not paid their $800-per-month rent since July.

Those facts, the county says, “lead to a belief that the tenant has abandoned the premises. Efforts to negotiate an agreement to terminate the lease have not been productive.”

On Jan. 3, the county sent the corporation a “Notice of Belief of Abandonment,” which told them that the property would be deemed abandoned unless the county received a response demonstrating otherwise by Jan. 24. The corporation didn’t respond in time, but an attorney for the corporation sent a letter dated Jan. 25 indicating that the tenant would deliver a revised draft of the county’s proposed agreement to terminate the lease. The draft never surfaced and the county finally drew the line.

The Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday to officially give the restaurant the boot.

“The previous use of the park premises as a restaurant is not consistent with the anticipated long-term use of Coyote Point Park,” reads a memo from Steve Alms, the manager of the county’s Real Property Division. “Termination of the lease will facilitate demolition of the improvements, exploration of more significant revenue-producing opportunities and expanded public access to the park.”

The county Parks Department is spending about $300 to $500 a month to secure the abandoned premises. According to the memo, the eviction does not prevent the county from pursuing past rent due and damages, “but the tenant maintains that it has no assets, from which to meet such demands.”

Rumors have swirled that the county has explored the idea of putting a performing arts center in the Castaway’s place.

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4 Responses to “Finally getting the heave-ho”

  1. Dennis Logie Says:

    How sad to see the likely demise of this wonderful restaurant. Although the food quality varied over the years, it was an early location for a memorable wedding anniversary dinner for my wife and me; the first time I experienced a lavish buffet brunch; a charming wedding reception site; a destination for a birthday dinner on an incredibly stormy night; and many more fine memories.

  2. david hakman Says:

    We would like to build and occupy an office building on this site subject to a satisfactory ground lease. Please Please advise status. Dave Hakman

  3. Sylvia Taylor Says:

    I sincerely hope that an appropriate restaurant open on the property – please do not let
    an office building be placed on this special location. I have very happy memories of family
    dinners at the Castaway. Before my Father passed away he would get the family together as often as possible to have a special dinner there, it was his favorite.

  4. Lisa Donohoe Says:

    This is the saddest news i’ve heard in a long time!!! I no longer live in the bay area, so i thought id look up the Castaway on line to make sure the hours of operation were still the same. To my shock and dissapointment, I came across an old news artical,talking about the Castaway being abandoned! I could not believe my eyes!

    I have so many fond memories, of dineing there on cold and stormy autumn evenings with my first boyfriend! The Castaway, was our favorite restraunt! The interior was well appointed, in a cozy old world decor. It kind of reminded me of an interior of an old pirate ship, with lots of rich dark wood and beautiful set tables twinkling by candle light !!! The food was wonderful, and the saled bar was always very fresh and delicious!!! I remember the castaway bartenders were very customer service oriented, and they made the best bloodymarys i’ve ever tasted!

    The gorgeous view of the bay as the sun went down, is unforgettable!!! This restraunt was a true gem, and will never be replaced by no other!!! The Castaway will be imbedded in my memories, as the most romantic, and fine restraunt I’ve ever experianced!

    Hopefully someone with an eye for class and elegance, will buy this place and referbish it, and bring it back to the way it was in its day, that would be wonderful news!!!

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