Driving up and down Pacific Coast Highway twice daily for two decades from Malibu to Junior’s Deli, David Saul said he’s not sure what he will do when the restaurant closes on Jan. 1.
Junior’s Deli, which opened in 1959 Pico Boulevard in 1959 and moved in 1967 to its current location on Westwood Boulevard in West Los Angeles, is closing due to a dispute over rent. Saul co-owns the business with his brother, John.
“It’s like grieving a death. My employees are like my family. I’m losing my loyal customers,” Saul told Malibu Patch. “… On Jan. 1 when I open my, eyes I’m not going to know where to go.”
Saul, who serves as a Public Safety Commissioner in Malibu, said the closure comes as his family is grieving the loss of his mother, who died three months ago. His father and Junior’s founder Marvin Saul, died last year at the age of 82.
"It’s not about me. They’re losing a staple on the Westside," he said.
Saul said he has been on the phone non-stop to try to find his 95 employees new jobs. Some of them have been working at Junior's for 40 years, he said.
Saul said he’s looked into reopening in Malibu, but the rents are too high.
“If I could find a place that had reasonable rent, I would get backers together and open in a heartbeat,” he said.
It’s not just about location for Saul, who said he also wants to provide a quality menu at a reasonable price.
“It’s an iconic restaurant. It’s the heart of the Westside. It’s the place you come for comfort food. We’ve had generations and generations,” Saul said.