, a Cupertino fixture for decades, where locals bellied up to the counter for a real honest-to-goodness breakfast was closed by officials March 9 for failure to pay rent.
“This is huge. It was a bastion of Cupertino,” said Gary Jones.
"You went there because they knew your name. It was like Cheers, really, but it wasn't a bar," he said.
Before there was Denny’s, Cupertino had Bobbi’s, a true American diner, an institution, Jones said.
The eviction notice hangs on the door next to a No Trespassing sign and a FedEx attempted delivery tag. Beyond the door, worn blue vinyl seats sit empty. A “please wait to be seated” sign stands holding a clipboard and pen on a string where names of waiting customers are scribbled when Bobbi’s is rocking on weekends. Beneath the sign a pile of rifled-through newspapers dated themselves and echoed the loneliness of the evicted premises.
A dry erase board on the back wall lists the specials of the day—SF Burger, vegetable soup, potato salad, bread pudding—the last day Bobbi’s was open before Santa Clara County Sheriff’s officials posted the court ordered eviction notice at the close of business Friday when closing time was 2 p.m.
Bobbi’s was especially busy on Sunday mornings and customers would shop at neighboring after breakfast, said Grace Olson a Yamagami’s employee.
“A customer bought me a side (order) of bacon one time,” said Yamagami’s worker Brittany Lambert. Soaking in the food aromas that wafted across the shared parking lot she mentioned to a couple of customers how good the bacon smelled; it was making her hungry. A little while later the couple appeared with an order of bacon for her. That was the kind of regular who frequented Bobbi's.
On sunny days little tables were placed outside and people would bring their dogs and sit outside, nosh and sip coffee, said Lorena Gorsche, another Yamagami’s employee.
“It was a classic. It was where you could get down-home food,” she said. “They always supplied us with coffee.”
Yelpers raved about the diner’s crispy hash browns.
“The BEST breakfast around for the price. The hash browns are thin and crunchy as they should be. Perfect,” wrote Robert L. on Yelp.
“The best hash browns in the county,” added Charlie N.
A five-day notice to vacate was given to the diner on March 2, giving employees little notice of the impending closure.
“It’s upsetting. People came in here after eating there. I feel bad for the (Bobbi’s) employees. They depended on that place,” she said.
Bobbi’s was owned by Mary Miljarak, a longtime Bobbi's waitress who bought the business from the previous owner in 2006. The building is in trust to Borel Private Bank and Trust for Toya Yamagami, who is listed on court papers as the lessor.
Miljarak and Yamagami could not be reached for comment.
Miljarak is behind in monthly base rent payments of $2,662 for a total of about $56,000, according to court records.
The diner’s phone is disconnected and its business license expired March 13, 2012.