Surrounded by friends, customers and family, Point Pizza Malibu owner Hye Song Oh closed her 24-year-old restaurant on New Years Eve.
Oh, who thanked the Malibu community for the support, worked up through the 8 p.m. closing, giving out hugs and asking about her customer's lives.
Earlier this week, Oh released a statement expressing her sadness at the Dec. 31 closure, which was because Point Dume Village owner Zan Marquis refused to extend her lease. Instead he signed a new lease with D'Amore's Famous Pizza, which already has a location in Eastern Malibu.
"The most difficult part of this closure is the fact that I will not be able to see the customers that have been coming into the store over the years. I know their families, have seen their children grow up and bring in their own children, and I know what they are going to order even if they have not been in the store for months or years," Oh said. "I feel like I am losing part of my own family."
Jody Kern, who grew up in the Ramirez Canyon area of Malibu, said he was one of the first cooks at Point Pizza under the original owners. He was out of Point Pizza Monday with the last torpedo sub.
"The day it opened, I was really happy we had a pizza place on this side of town," Kern said, adding that he started by delivering pizzas and subs when he was 17 and worked off and on until he turned 27.
"Zan Marquis has a black heart," Kern said.
Hamish Patterson, who ran for Malibu City Council in April, said he is going to miss his two slices of pepperoni jalapeno pizzas.
"I'm officially going to go out of my way to make their life difficult," Patterson said of D'Amore's. "It's a scumbag move."
Patterson and others thanked Oh for providing jobs and a hang out for Malibu's youth.
"She's always been part of the community. It's an attack on the youth," he said.
A closing party began just after 5:30 p.m., but some customers, like Patterson, hung out at the restaurant all day.
By 7:20 p.m., only 10 pizzas were left.
Sam McGee, who began working at Point Pizza when he was 16, said he has mixed feelings about the closure.
"I'm happy I got to spend time with them. I'm happy the community came out today. I'm really upset they are closing. It's not going to set it for a few days," McGee said.