A rally aimed to show support for Point Pizza Malibu, which is closing in December because its lease was not extended, and other local businesses is set for Friday.
The rally is set for 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 on the sidewalk outside Point Dume Plaza, an organizer for the protest wrote on Malibu Patch.
It's unclear how many people plan to show up, but a Facebook Group called "Save Point Pizza" has more than 900 members, many of whom have been calling for a rally since Tuesday.
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Pamela Duke-van Ireland wrote on the page: "I am bringing signs and plan on being there a while."
Duke-van Ireland said in an interview that the protest is about more than just speaking up for Point Pizza.
"This small town community feel is disappearing right before our eyes," she said.
Duke-van Ireland, who has lived in Malibu for the past 20 years, said she believes Malibu is turning into a tourist driven city.
"We only have a few local establishments left. We want to save and protect those," she said.
Lt. Jim Royal of the Lost Hills/Malibu sheriff's station said he had heard rumors of a protest taking place on Friday.
"People have a right to protest on public property as long as it is orderly," Royal said, adding that he hopes that protesters do not obstruct traffic on Heathercliff Road.
Many in Malibu have expressed outrage over news that Zan Marquis, owner of the Point Dume Village, opted not to extend a lease with Point Pizza Malibu owner Hye Song Ooh.
Instead, Marquis said he chose to sign a new lease with D'Amores Famous Pizza, which has another location in Malibu, because of an effort to offer more healthy food at the center. He said that D'Amores will offer organic ingredients.
Charles Lee, the son-in-law for Hye Song Oh, said his mother-in-law is a private person and did not want to speak directly to the media.
Lee said Marquis only mentioned once that he wanted to see more gourmet offerings several years ago.
"As a result of that meeting Hye Song added things like her homemade pesto sauce for sandwiches and pizza, beet salad, goat cheese, white pizza, etc. and also remodeled the store in 2009. We received one email from Zan in July of 2009 that says he was very pleased to see the upgrades taking place and sees it as a very positive step," Lee said.
Lee said Hye Song uses high quality ingredients including Thumann’s deli meats, fresh produce, including some organic, and some items imported from Italy. He said she also started picking up bread daily at Bristol Farms when her bread supplier stopped delivering to Malibu.
"The only thing we really could not do was organic cheese because we could not find a supplier that carried organic mozzarella cheese," Lee said.
He said his mother-in-law, who is 60, was ready to start winding down her business over the next five years, but that she was not quite ready to let go of the space at Point Dume Village.
"At this point, it is too late for her to stay there. The problem is finding another spot. There are a few problems. One is finding another spot that is not a huge space. It’s difficult. Her space was only 450 square feet. It was tiny. The other problem is she is getting older," Lee said.
He released the following statement about how his family found out about the decision to bring in D'Amore's:
"Week after week I sent emails asking if there was any feedback to the proposal we had sent, but I was told that they were still reviewing the information. To this day I still do not know if Zan even looked at our proposal. I was expecting some kind of comment from them such as 'Do everything we want, or we cannot renew your lease.' However, no comments ever materialized. During this process, we heard a rumor from a customer that a deal had already been reached with D’Amores. As a result, I emailed Kathryn and asked her directly if the rumor was true and she said that they were considering D’Amores, but the owner has still not made a decision. That email was sent on Sept. 21, 2012. The next time I heard from Kathryn was on Oct 3, 2012 and was told that they were not going to renew Point Pizza's lease."
He said that his family has been thankful for the outpouring of support from the community.
"She is grateful for all the support from the community, but she is a very private person, so she doesn’t state it," he said.