MALIBU (CBSLA) — Famous for its expansive Pacific Ocean views and celebrity residents, Malibu is also home to a vibrant community of small businesses that are suffering a third blow from the Woolsey Fire – a precipitous drop in business that could permanently close their doors.
Months after the Woolsey Fire scorched the canyons of Malibu, which was then deluged with torrential rain that caused mudslides, residents returning to the seaside enclave might not find their favorite restaurants and businesses waiting for them.
“There’s a point in time where –the old saying? ‘Throwing good money after bad?’” says Joe D’Amore, the owner of D’Amore’s Pizza in Malibu.
Hundreds of homes were destroyed in the Woolsey Fire. And while D’Amore’s survived the fire – and in fact stayed open to feed thousands of first responders free, fresh pizza – it may not survive the aftermath. D’Amore says he is losing $50,000 a month to keep his two small pizzerias open in Malibu.
“I need people to come from the outlying areas and keep me going here, or there were won’t be a D’Amore’s here when they want to come to the beach,” Joe D’Amore said.
D’Amore’s is not alone. The owner of Coral Beach Cantina and Zooma Sushi wrote a letter to customers informing them they would be closing after 37 years in Malibu.
“We have been through many fires, floods, road closures, power outages, torrential rains, and mudslides, but never faced the prospect of closing our doors permanently,” Peter Andrew Soli wrote.
Soli says went back and forth, pleading with the landlord to help them as they recovered from the Woolsey Fire, but to no avail.
The news of the closure prompted one customer to start a petition, asking the landlord to reconsider.