Brunch Snob deal for Sunrise Diner space falls through

Negotiations that would have brought a location of Ahwatukee restaurant Brunch Snob to the former Sunrise Diner space have fallen through, leaving the site in limbo. The space is just north of Fry's Marketplace on John Wayne Parkway.

Negotiations that would have brought a popular Ahwatukee brunch restaurant to Maricopa in the space of the now-closed Sunrise Diner have fallen through.

Celine Hillsbery, co-owner of the Brunch Snob, said she and her husband, Keith, were hoping to expand their breakfast-and-lunch restaurant to Maricopa.

She would not provide details but confirmed the deal has fallen through.

“We’re not going to be opening in Maricopa now. We’re not able to now,” Hillsbery said. “It was kind of a mutual decision with the owner. You’d have to talk to him about it and the reasons why it didn’t work out.

“We wanted to open there but we just couldn’t. It just didn’t work out for us.”

The Hillsberys negotiated to take the space vacated by Sunrise Diner just north of Fry’s Marketplace, at 20917 N. John Wayne Pkwy., which encompasses suites 103 and 104.

Hillsbery declined to comment on whether the failed deal had anything to do with the rent or other operating costs.

The Hillsberys own the original Brunch Snob at 4747 E. Elliot Road in Ahwatukee.

Celine and Keith Hillsbery are co-owners of the Brunch Snob, restaurant in Ahwatukee. They had been looking at a Maricopa location in the former Sunrise Diner space.

Ryan Bird, an attorney with the Gilbert Bird Law Firm of Scottsdale, who represents the owner of the property, would not comment on why the deal fell through, citing attorney-client privilege.

The real estate broker for the property, Gabe Ortega, of NAI Horizon Phoenix, was unavailable for comment.

Sunrise Diner served local patrons for nearly as long as Maricopa has been incorporated. It closed July 14. The restaurant had been under new ownership since 2020 and had been plagued by poor health inspections and flagging business.

InMaricopa previously reported Sunrise owner Billy Godwin paid $90,000 for the restaurant in 2020.

A business-for-sale listing stated in July that monthly rent on the 2,800-square-foot space was $4,666.67 per month. However, Godwin told InMaricopa with “triple-net” expenses – real estate taxes, building insurance and maintenance – the lease cost him more than $7,000 per month, more than a similar-size space in Ahwatukee, he said.

“We are so thankful to all our loyal customers, supporters, regulars and even the people who had nothing nice to say,” Godwin said at the time he closed Sunrise. “You all were part of our journey that has led to some absolutely amazing relationships throughout our community. From our family to yours, thank you all for the experience.”