Norcross Station Cafe owner said he will have to close his doors - CBS46 News

Norcross Station Cafe owner said city is forcing him to close his business after being outbid

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In downtown historic Norcross, next to the train tracks, there's a popular restaurant that's been in business for 20 years.

It's a place owner Ken Weatherford's daughter refers to as Dada's house.

"Well when she started talking she said 'Are we going to Dada's house tonight?' Because that's where Dada always was," Weatherford said.

Weatherford moved the Norcross Station Café into the old train depot back in 1993 and last week he found out he will be forced to move out.

"It's like getting any sort of termination letter or bad news. At first, you get the wind knocked out of you and then you kind of say 'wow!'" Weatherford said.

Norcross city manager Rudolph Smith said the city leases out the train depot and was required by law to award it to the highest bidder.

"The city didn't have a choice," Smith said. "It's not a new law, it's a law that through legal, it was brought to our attention. Sometimes when you walk in the dark and see the light, now you walk in the light."

Mojitos Cuban American Bistro in Norcross placed the highest bid and will take over the depot at the first of the year.

"It's going to be like a steakhouse, all American food and my husband has some experience in that so he's really excited. We're all excited," Mojitos owner Yanin Fernandez said.

Not everyone in town is excited about the change.

"Why would you take such a part of the foundation away from us?" Patron Wayne Epps said.

It's now uncertain what the next stop will be for the Norcross Station Café.

Weatherford said he was informed by the city that he had to leave behind any improvements he made to the building as well as some of his equipment. He now has an attorney involved.

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