Harvey Milk’s Diner closes due to financial woes

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SAN DIEGO – A Hillcrest community staple has closed and it’s likely the Harvey Milk Diner won’t reopen.

Many employees of the restaurant located in the heart of Hillcrest at University and 6th avenues weren’t aware they’d be out of work until their last paychecks bounced.

Adam Brown worked at the diner and told Fox 5 he was one of many employees who went to cash their check at the business across the street and was denied money.

“I’ve not been paid for this entire month,” said Brown.

“This is not right,” said Sam Arabo, who owns the cash checking business on University Avenue.

Fox 5 learned $4,500 worth of paychecks bounced and tracked down one of the diner’s owners, Frank Lechner, who admitted the business simply ran out of cash.

“We had an enormous amount of expenses in the back of the house that just ate up our reserves,” said Lechner.

He admitted he was wrong for not letting his employees know sooner that the diner would close and for not getting them their money.

“We’re very, very sorry that this happened and we apologize for the not such timely manner that we communicated with everybody,” he said.

UPDATE: After initially reporting this story, Lechner was seen inside his restaurant Wednesday evening paying his employees cash.

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