The former Denny’s in Eureka still has signs saying IHOP is “COMING SOON.” “Soon” is, of course, relative. | Photo by Ryan Burns.


PREVIOUSLY: After 50 Years in Eureka, Humboldt County’s Last Denny’s Will Close May 31, Soon to be Replaced by an IHOP


Keep your syrup warm a bit longer, corporate diner fans: Your Cinn-A-Stack® Pancakes and Hand-Crafted Cali Roasted Turkey Melts are still coming, but the opening of an IHOP in Eureka has been delayed.

Back in May, when we reported that the Denny’s on the corner of Fifth and C streets would be closing after half a century in business, then-owner Safar Ghaffari assured both customers and his own employees that the restaurant would be closed for only about four to six weeks while Denny’s crawled into its cyclone fence chrysalis to transform into a beautiful IHOP.

Alas, four months later, here we are with nary a rainbow sprinkle, let alone a heaping stack of buttermilk Cupcake Pancakes.

Reached by phone a few weeks back, Ghaffari sounded a bit annoyed by the delay, which he attributed largely to bureaucratic red tape from the City of Eureka.

“If I knew what I know now, I would have rolled the dice and kept [Denny’s] running in the summer season,” Ghaffari said.

He sang the praises of the incoming IHOP franchisee and promised to pass our contact info along to him, but we never heard back.

A message sent online to IHOP Media Relations yielded the following reply: “This restaurant is expected to open by the end of the year. We should have more information in a couple months.”

This afternoon, a hungry LoCO reader reached out via email to say he heard a rumor that the delay is due to the ongoing conflict between Security National CEO and parking lot stan Robin Arkley II, on the one hand, and the City of Eureka’s plans to build affordable housing, on the other. So we reached out to Eureka City Manager Miles Slattery.

Not Arkley-related at all, turns out. According to Slattery, the new franchisee has been issued a permit for their exterior IHOP sign and another permit for facade improvements. 

“Right now [the new operators] are taking out the outdoor patio,” Slattery said. “Then they’ll do the facade improvements, then the interior.”

The interior remodel sign required a building permit, which required a public hearing. The hearing has taken place, though Slattery said he wasn’t sure whether the permit has yet been issued, but the IHOP operators are motivated.

We know they’re in a hurry because all the other stuff was time-sensitive for them,” he said.

As for an opening date?

“I would be guessing two months,” Slattery said.