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Popular Boise Greek restaurant closes after 5 years due to rent increase

“Five months ago, when we started the negotiations, no way did I think we would be here, that we would be right here packing and leaving,” said Aki Kalatzakis.

BOISE, Idaho — Popular Greek eatery Meraki, in Downtown Boise, will move from its current location on May 31st.

According to restaurant owners, Farrah and Aki Kalatzakis, their property owners raised the rent and decided to go with a tenant who had bigger sales projections.

“We put so much money and everything into just making it exactly how we wanted it,” said Farrah. “We are in the process of moving everything out, it looks chaotic and crazy.”

The family-owned and operated restaurant has been in Boise for five and a half years. The owners had planned on renewing their lease because business was booming.

“Five months ago, when we started the negotiations, no way did I think we would be here, that we would be right here packing and leaving,” Aki said.

“It’s something that’s happening across the board, across the Treasure Valley, business owners especially are dealing with the rents going up high,” Farrah said.

The couple said their landlord presented them with a new lease that had a thirty percent monthly increase in rent from $6,300 a month to $8,190.

“We did not want to leave, so we found a way that we could make that work, they accepted our offer for the rent but we needed to make some concept changes to our front and our backline, and at that time they said they had another interested party,” Aki said.

According to Aki, after two weeks of letting the landlord know they would deal with the rent increase, he was notified by Hendricks Commercial Properties that they were going with a different tenant.

Hendricks Commercial Properties is based out of Wisconsin and owns property across the street from Meraki, which they plan to turn into a food hall, showcasing over 20 local restaurants and retailers. According to the Kalatzakis, they were unable to secure a spot in that building.

“We tried to negotiate, there wasn't really any budging on it, it was just this is what it is,” Farrah said.

Kendrick commercial properties denied an interview with KTVB but sent a statement on the matter.

“The notification period for the Tenant to exercise their renewal option lapsed and subsequently the Tenant did not accept the renewal terms offered by our leasing team. We wish Meraki the best in their future endeavors - they are a great asset to the Boise community," Hendricks Commercial Properties said in the statement.

“I came here for the small family business feel you know passion,” said Butch Reichard, a manager at Meraki who’s been there for five years. “The small businesses are being pushed out and the bigger businesses are being brought in.”

Employees say they will stand by the couple's side and stick it out for a few months to before looking for a new job.

“To us, we are not done, we love what we do and the food that we bring the customers, the community, so we will find a new home,” Aki said.

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