SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) — A restaurant sign is at the center of a battle in North County.
The owner says the 30-year-old sign leads customers to her business, but the city of San Marcos says the sign must come down.
The Sand Crab Tavern is a little off the beaten path, in an industrial part of Escondido and the new owner fears without the sign customers wont be able to find it.
"I don't know what problem the sign is giving anybody," said Anne Mittman who is getting ready to re-open the restaurant.
The restaurant has been near Mission Road and Barham Drive for 30 years.
Mittman bought it from the old owners in December.
"We had been wanting to buy a restaurant for many years," she said. "It's been a lot of work, a whole lot of work, a few sleepless nights here and there."
And a notice from the city of San Marcos didn't help - it brought Mittman to tears.
Their restaurant sign located down the street on Barham Drive is actually on property owned by the city of San Marcos.
The city administrative manager tells CBS News 8, it's not only on city property - it also advertises a service that's not at the sign's location, which is not allowed under the city's sign ordinance.
New rules were passed by the council in 2012.
"It came with the restaurant and, again, its been there 30 years," said Mittman.
"We've really worked hard to get things done and then you get something like that. It's just so disappointing."
Mittman has called the city.
"I begged," she said. "I said 'please leave it up there.' I said 'it's the only lead sign we have. I'm afraid people wont be able to find the restaurant.'"
But so far - no luck.
Mittman is trying to stay positive.
"We love people," she said. "We want to make people happy. This is a happy place."
If all goes as planned, the restaurant will open at the end of next week. Mittman is just crossing her fingers everything goes smoothly.
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