A popular, family-owned South Bay restaurant, and its customers, got some bad news during the holidays -- a huge rent increase means it has to shut down.
Ali Moein is the owner of Ben's BBQ & Brew, but also served Wednesday -- and the regulars appreciate it.
"Thank you for everything,” said BBQ fan Dave Taylor. "And got to know Ali, he's a really friendly guy, interesting to talk to."
Taylor, along with dozens of Bay Area athletes, even has a spot on the wall.
"And I noticed that some of the pictures were with regular people, and I mentioned that I had a picture with Brent Burns, and he said ‘bring it in, I'll put it on the wall,’ and sure enough, it's on the wall,” said Taylor.
After three solid years, Ben's BBQ and Brew, named after Ali's late brother, is closing -- a casualty of ultra-high Bay Area rents.
"Our new rates are gonna be $13,000 and I'm currently paying about six [thousand] a month … More than double,” said Moein.
Ben's, and Ali, will be missed.
Many customers said they're angry. Angry at local jobs being lost, angry at losing a popular gathering place, and losing Ben's, with a Costco coming in soon, is not the trade-off they want.
"It's a hard business, and they can't pay enormous amounts of money, so it's a labor of love for these people, and to double their rent is just obscene,” said Moein.
NBC Bay Area reached out to the developer who owns the building, but did not hear back.
Moein said he'll be open through Friday, and will eventually try to open somewhere else nearby.
But knows it's very expensive.