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SOLD – Fandee’s – A Long Deal, But Worth the Wait!

By in 2023 - Volume 25

Fandees’s Restaurant, Sebastopol

Andy Mirabell of Restaurant Realty Company is proud to announce the sale of the Fandee’s Restaurant located in Sonoma County’s beautiful northwest Sebastopol, at the intersection of Highway 116 and Covert Lane

For the most part, good things come to those who wait. I had the pleasure of being contacted by Tareq Alrehani in the Spring of 2022. He was interested is selling his very successful local eatery in Sebastapol; a small town in Sonoma County. He took over the restaurant space in 2014 and branded it with the catchy name, Fandee’s Restaurant. This elevated, diner-chic, eatery quickly took root amongst the locals serving serves up Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily from 8am-9pm.

Tareq focused on using fresh, quality ingredients for all the dishes on his diverse and comfortable menu. He never strayed from this, even in years like 2020 and 2021 where consumers saw quality drop in many restaurants due to the strains of the Pandemic and inflated cost of good.

In May of 2022 I confidentially listed Fandee’s for sale, along with a SBA Preapproval Letter from Plumas Bank to help broaden the Buyer pool and Buyer confidence in this business’s financials and profits. Restaurant Realty and Plumas Bank have worked hand and hand on many transactions. Although Restaurant Realty fielded a great deal of interest it was tough to find the right buyer in this small Sonoma community. Tareq’s patience worked to his
advantage, as I reinvigorated on my absolute favorite restauranter teams to this profitable opportunity in Sebastopol. Originally, the commute from their East Bay homes and existing restaurants was a deterrent, however Ramesh “Dev” Shrestha and Lila Neupune found a third chef-partner, Chef Ramu, willing to make a change in location and run the kitchen at Fandee’s daily. Now this team of three was postured to take on this project as well as manage their other popular restaurant, Solano Junction located on the busy Solano Ave restaurant row within Albany. Dev and Lila have owned many other establishments and concepts, including Thai and Pizza restaurants, but have grown to love the quality of life and margins that can often come with a breakfast, brunch, and lunch focused establishment. I have now represented this team in the selling of two of their past restaurants, as well the purchase of two more.

It was quickly clear that I had brought the right team to the Buyer table at the right time, and we entered contract for them to purchase Fandee’s. Once in contract we had many hurdles to conquer prior to closing escrow. Sadly, Dev’s mother passed away and he had to return to his home country of Nepal to attend to his family there. We briefly cancelled the purchase contract to allow time for him to heal. The deal was reinvigorated in the Summer of 2023. We quickly dove into the SBA loan process, which is very intensive and time consuming, as well as landlord approvals for these new tenants.

Enter hurdle number two! After getting tenant and lease assumption approvals from the building owner, the building was quietly sold to new owners, and this tenant approval and lease assumption had to start again. It came as quite a surprise to the new owner that we were requesting approval for a tenant change and lease assumption within days after they took ownership. After weeks of hard work, I was able to share and convince the new building owner that Dev, Lila and Ramu are outstanding restauranters, qualified tenants and honest people.

The third hurdle came in the form of good news, Tareq and his wife were expecting the birth of their second child! As any parent knows, planning major life changes or professional changes during the birth of a second child comes with an enormous amount of stress and exhaustion. Tareq was fantastic and stayed the course as we got closer to closing escrow. As mentioned, the SBA loan process was extensive, but we also were concurrently dealing with all the other aspects of this transaction including the transfer of the Beer & Wine License, abiding by Sonoma County’s Department of Health Change of Ownership guidelines, Sonoma Fire Inspections, requirement of the Lender and Escrow and much more.

After months of hard work by all parties involved Dev, Lila and Ramu became the new owners of Fandee’s Restaurant. Tareq and his family could now focus on, what is important, their new son. Tareq couldn’t have been happier to see Fandee’s sell to such dedicated and kind people, as they shared many of the same professional values. I have no doubt Fandee’s and the Sebastopol community are in good hand for years to come. It goes to show that perseverance and patience as a Seller and as an Agent can pay off!

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