The building that once housed Hero’s Sports Lounge and St. Stan’s Brewery in downtown Modesto and has been vacant for more than two years has a new owner with a familiar name.
Skewers Kabob House has bought the building and is having it remodeled, said Brad Morad, who owns the downtown Mediterranean restaurant with his father, Jonathan Moradkhan.
“We have one year left on our existing lease,” Morad said, “but our target date to move to the new location is by end of this year.”
He said Skewers has a good relationship with its landlord and the rent is affordable, but buying made sense. “We are going to be property owners,” he said. “It secures our future more than renting. (And) it’s just a beautiful building.”
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Morad said the new building is 16,500 square feet, which is slightly more than twice the size of the restaurant’s current site. He said the brewery is coming out and will be converted into a banquet hall that seats 200. He said Skewers plans to take on more staff in its new building, from 23 employees to 30.
Skewers which celebrated its 14th year in business last month —won’t be moving far from its current location at Ninth and J streets. Its new home is at Ninth and L streets, across from the DoubleTree hotel.
Morad said once Skewers moves it could use its current location as a banquet hall until the lease expires, or he and his father could open another restaurant at that location.
Linny Goodrich — who is one of the partners who owns the building that now houses Skewers — said the partners are waiting to see what plans Skewers has for the building before looking for a new tenant once the lease is up.
Stockton resident Larry Mariani had owned building that housed Hero’s and St. Stan’s and said during the more than two years that it was vacant he had to deal with graffiti, squatters and other problems. “It was a shame,” he said, “because it was a nice place.”
Mariani said he sold the building for $1.4 million. Morad confirmed the purchase price.
The building made the news last year when a Southern California businessman sued Modesto, claiming the city’s land-use regulations were too restrictive and muddled and prevented him from opening an adult cabaret featuring strippers in the building. The businessman later abruptly dropped his lawsuit and his plans to purchase the building.
Kevin Valine: 209-578-2316