Sunrise Cafe owner Ed Chun plans to open a new restaurant on West Main Street in December, but that doesn't mean he's leaving downtown.
Chun had hoped to expand at the downtown site where he has operated his 45-seat cafe and catering business since early 2010. But the former Medford city councilman reached an impasse with Miles Family Properties, so in early September he announced his intention to relocate once his lease expired at the end of November.
But Chun was able to work it out with his landlord and signed a four-year deal for the 1,600-square-foot space at 130 E. Main St., and will remain downtown after all.
Meanwhile, Chun, who operates the business with family member Carol Hendricks, will add a second location, at 1320 W. Main St., that also will serve as his catering base.
The new site, a former dentist office that recently housed Grandpa's Mexican Restaurant, has a large commercial kitchen and a parking lot — much needed elements, Chun said.
"We've had our eye on that location for a while and had been looking at it for a couple of years," he said. "We're moving the majority of our catering operation there and will manufacture our sauces, dry rub and salad dressings there."
The 2,000-square-foot location will feature traditional Hawaiian lunches, complete with biodegradable plates.
"We're making it much more of a to-go model," Chun said.
He said both sites will be called Sunrise Cafe and be differentiated by "Downtown" and "West Main" when the new location opens.
"Downtown will stay basically the same, just like we never changed," Chun said. "The only difference is that we're going to give up the downtown dinners on Friday and make it more available for private parties every evening."
He said the move will require hiring an additional employee and expanding the hours of the existing staff.