Savory Closes Doors Following Problems with Landlord

Savory owner and executive chef Paul Shoemaker says his team has "given up their long and hard battle with Point Dume Village landlord and part-owner Zan Marquis."

UPDATE 2:30 p.m. Thursday: Point Dume Village owner Zan Marquis issued a statement explaining that he's disappointed in the closure, but it was due to the decision of Savory owner Paul Shoemaker. Marquis said Shoemaker had defaulted on rent payments.

ORIGINAL POST: The owner of Savory Restaurant in the Point Dume Village said he decided to shut the restaurant's doors Wednesday following issues with the landlord.

"This is a sad day and one of the hardest decisions I have had to make. I love Malibu and everyone here. We will never forget this amazing experience," Savory owner and executive chef Paul Shoemaker said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

Shoemaker and his team fought a long battle with Point Dume Village landlord and Savory part-owner Zan Marquis, according to the statement.

"We would like to thank the entire community and the city of Malibu, all of our guests that have supported us over the last two and a half years, and most of all we would like to thank our incredible and amazing staff," Shoemaker said. "We are so appreciative to have had such a talented, professional and loyal group of employees working with us all of this time."

Shoemaker was not able to gain any resolve with Marquis and he and his team have had to finally give up this fight, according to the statement.

The popular local spot was listed in Los Angeles Magazine's Top 10 Best New Restaurants in 2011, along with being nominated for a 2012 James Beard Award.

The news comes as Point Pizza Malibu is closing its doors in December after Marquis opted not to extend its lease. A rally to protest both the closure of Savory and Point Pizza is set for 4 p.m. Friday at the Point Dume Village, according to organizers.

Property manager Kathryn Natalia said she could not comment on the closure and Marquis could not be immediately reached.

Robert Coutts November 08, 2012 at 03:40 PM
My wife and I loved Savory. The breakfasts were great. We will very much miss it
Dreamer November 08, 2012 at 04:14 PM
He already has a new restaurant with others! He was partners with Zan so who knows what happened, but again, I'm thinking people chould get facts before they steam and boil over... Just a thought!
Jackie Robbins November 08, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I understand your passion John, but as a "small business" owner in Malibu for almost 40 years, I'm afraid the time has passed for small owner/run businesses in Malibu Central. They are all gone already or operating in alternative spaces outside the retail zones on PCH. You can't bring them back, rents are unrealistic, and if you believe in capitalism we know that we can't tell a landlord what he/she can charge for rent. To me, the problem is greed. I wish I had a solution to offer, but all I can say is "use your pocketbook" to tell the community and commercial property owners what you want and what you are willing to support. And support local small businesses where you can find them!
Kristine Bocchino November 08, 2012 at 05:58 PM
As a former member of the Savory Family, and a former Malibu restaurant owner, I know 1st hand how difficult it is to own and run a small business in Malibu. There is such a small pool of people to draw from, and certainly no shortage of opinions about how you should be running your business. Paul and Chris are great Chefs, and were willing to take a chance and give Malibu something different. Thank you to all of the wonderful, loyal Savory patrons, who were willing to be adventerous, and were understanding of the fact that running a restaurant is a tough, tough, expensive thing to do. Thank you to everyone who let Paul offer his vision, and didnt try to mold Savory into what they wanted. As I read all of the wonderful comments from people who are sad to see Savory go (some of you were Terra customers too), lets all please remember the 30 staff members, who put there heart and soul into their work, and are now jobless in this terrible economy. May they all find work quickly.
Inge Halliday November 08, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Gees what's the prob? So many business' have had to leave. Savory is an amazing restaurant.
Just Wondering... November 08, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I can hardly wait for the press release from the landlord, explaining how he was forced to push Savory out for the good of the people of Malibu because its food was not healthy enough, in his opinion. Of course there will also be a footnote in fine print at the bottom of the press release, mentioning in passing that the landlord has leased the space to Burger King, in order to complete the holy health trinity alongside Subway and Amores.
Kelly Higgins November 08, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Sorry Sue, but we really don't care about your gift certificate are you related to the land lord?....I understand but keep it to your self.
Concerned Mom November 08, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Wow, Kelly...someone forgot to take her happy pill this morning. Probably time for you to go take your nap.
J. Flo November 08, 2012 at 08:22 PM
They're not all gone Jackie - not by a long shot. In Central we have Malibu Lifestyles, Room at the Beach, Encore, Malibu Shaman, Diesel, Malibu Hardware, Levon Shoe Repair, Clarisse, Vitamin Barn, Super Care Drugs, Malibu Colony, Toy Crazy, Planet Blue, The Godmother, Howdy's, Malibu Mutt, Tylie Malibu, The Chocolate Box, 98% Angel, Canyon Beachware, Salon at the Yard, Malibu Soft, Malibu Art Barn, Malibu Newsstand, Mary's Malibu Kitchen, Anouk, Bu Sushi, Coogies, Traverna Tony's, John's Garden, Tra Di Noi, Dance Star, and more! Sorry to those I've left out!! The point is to balance it NOW before we do lose them all. No one is talking about telling landlords what rent to charge, there are legal, fair methods to add protections as many cities across America are doing. Our City must, must, must act now. I agree the clock is ticking down. A beautiful goal would be instead of giving up - as a city start encouraging more independent and unique businesses. Give a hand to new local entrepreneurs - that's what makes a city special and uniquely home. That is what our Lumber Yard was - supposed - to do. Our city needs to get in gear! I agree with you about the greed. It's a very interesting day in Malibu when the Walmart heirs show more compassion and fairness for local businesses then our local landlords.
Nina November 08, 2012 at 08:42 PM
What a parasite. Zan obviously feeds off of the good, hardworking people of Malibu, squeezes every drop of blood he can out of them - and then kicks them to the curb for the next mark. Wouldn't it be nice if we actually had a City Council who would stand up to this??? Who would actually do something to stop the gouging and gutting of of these small businesses? A Council who would demand that anyone coming to do business in this town HAD to take the needs and the wants of the community into consideration instead of creating nothing more than a profit scheme through ruthless indifference and predatory bottom-lining? So sorry that yet another wonderful local business is falling prey to a blood-sucking landlord. WHEN WILL THE COUNCIL STAND UP AND TAKE OUR TOWN BACK?!?!?!
sonia ottusch November 08, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Savory made a good meal, period. The lunch staff were outstanding, attentive, and friendly. I will miss Savory, and I hope that it will re-open elsewhere on this end of Malibu. They have a fan in me. Good luck to the staff in finding new jobs quickly.
Diana Mullen November 08, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Wow. Between Point Pizza and Savory - that's HOW many jobs lost to Mr. Marquis' greed right before the holidays?
Bob Perkins DDS November 08, 2012 at 09:04 PM
If not Savory, then who? Savory was popular and well frequented. Who could possibly fill that space any better? Is it simply a rent thing?, and if do, won't it now sit vacant for an indefinite period?
Jackie Robbins November 08, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Fair enough J.Flo. I understand your passion too. If commercial Real Estate owners could "embrace" what the community dictates, perhaps they'll consider maintaining a district for small business within their various boundaries...but the bottom line is that will mean less $ for them. Be ready to realize that is not a part of their business plan. And just curious, how can the city encourage small business in Malibu when there is no location to put them in? Also curious about how a city judges who should get the helping hand? In all my business experience I've only seen businesses succeed who can entice the public to buy enough of their product to turn a profit. How can a city help with that? Maybe the city could give it's "choosen" small businesses free advertising, that would be a start. Thanks for listening
Jackie Robbins November 08, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Heartbreaking to read Paul Shoemaker's goodbye e-mail that is circulating today....this is what happens when small business makes "unsavory" (ironic) deals with commercial landlords, they get screwed (sorry Jessica, bad word describes bad business) I feel for this man's hard work, makes me think of so many caring locals that have given 10-15-20-25 years of service to this community and have been shoved out. So wrong. Buy at and support your local businesses Malibu, in the biggest way you can, help them to survive or let them go, keep local economy alive. Your dollars are their power.
Bob Perkins DDS November 08, 2012 at 09:51 PM
One thing that is confusing is the (apparent) lack of leverage of the renter (Savory) in this case. I don't know the specifics of the deal but was it a month to month? How could they have only had a 2 year (or whatever) lease on a restaurant? That seems really exposed...dangerously exposed. If I had to start a business of this kind I would want a 5 year minimum with options up to 10 or 15. Again, I don't know exactly what happened nor do any of us. I do know that a landlord can't boot someone before their lease is up unless there are some very extraordinary circumstances.
J. Flo November 08, 2012 at 10:01 PM
The city owned Lumber Yard was supposed to be that district. It's not, obviously. Truly a terrible shame, it started this downward slide. Don't want to go into ordinances, been discussed all over the Patch and elsewhere. The city meeting this coming Tues. will discuss them again. For a basic start, the city can implement one, cities across the country have found that they work to promote independent, unique businesses. A city can't help a business turn a profit, clearly. But what we're all seeing time and time again are favorite businesses who locals do support, that are turning a profit, willing to pay rent increases, even then being evicted because they don't fit the landlord image of the new Malibu - Beverly Hills at the Beach. There is a systematic plan in force to alter the direction of this city. Too much to get into here and this Savory's moment! And you're right our spending $$$ is this community's power!
Jackie Robbins November 08, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Hi J.Flo, I hope others don't get annoyed with the conversation we're having.... Being evicted because you don't fit the image is a big problem, you've pin-pointed something there. I think big money wants deep pockets. Isn't the new-old Malibu the same thing? No conspiracy, in my opinion, just folks not realizing the power of their dollars. Here's a question we can ask ourselves...... how far we will go to support our small businesses? I know members of this community that go out of their way to support a small business they love. And can we spend our dollars in Malibu to keep our local economy alive? Thanks everyone...
J. Flo November 08, 2012 at 10:48 PM
What I wish would happen, and we tried by bringing in the AMIBA - The American Independent Business Alliance, is for the small Malibu businesses to unite themselves. To form a group and speak out with one strong voice. It would go far to unite this town behind and to promote all the independent businesses. The membership has been already bought and paid for. Now it's up to the local businesses to get it up and running! Also, the small businesses should be supporting each other. Showing up for these rallies and speaking out to the city. It takes a village - and we have a beautiful one. :)
Stephanie Pick November 08, 2012 at 11:11 PM
I totally agree with Taylor. I went to Savory for lunch around 3 one afternoon with my son and was told the lunch menu wasn't available. We had 5 options and settled for a salad. Nothing special and after we left I said I would never go back. This clearly was a Wine Bar and people were sitting at the bar drinking. Does Malibu really need another place that focuses on Wine? I don't think so. After all Malibu is known as the REHAB capital of Souther Cal.
Lester Tobias November 08, 2012 at 11:12 PM
You know, there's a rumor out there that the City of Malibu owns commercial real estate, which sorta means the citizens of Malibu own commercial real estate. Hmmm...let's see. We want a space for local businesses....We own space..... 2 + 2 = ?
Stephanie Pick November 08, 2012 at 11:17 PM
We could bring back an authentic Chinese Food Restaurant. I totally miss having Chinese food in Malibu and I don't mean Mr. Chows. which is just another Beverly Hills "hot spot" and has nothing to do with good food.
Bob Perkins DDS November 09, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Or maybe a 2 year lease with 5 year option....anything less would seem very vulnerable My 2 cents
msmarlowe November 09, 2012 at 06:22 AM
Mr. Chow in London is my favorite restaurant on the planet. Malibu is not the center of the universe...maybe we will have something special with his new little spot.
Brian Dougherty November 11, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Time for a little reality check here. Marquis who lives, works and is raising his family here in Malibu invested over $600,000 in Savory. Not to mention free rent for most of the past two years. Chef Paul's contribution were mostly his cooking skills and winning smile. He has paid only a few months rent before deciding to abandon Malibu, his employees and his partners and open up his own burger joint in Los Angeles. Due to open in a month or so. One the way taking with him everything that wasn't nailed down and many things that were. The idea that Marquis evicted him is totally false.
Malibu Barbie November 12, 2012 at 04:53 AM
My heart goes out to Chef Paul Shoemaker, Chef Chris Gore and all the hard-working employees that put their blood, sweat and tears into running a beautiful local family restaurant. It is a sad day for us locals, loosing THE BEST FOOD Malibu had to offer. Savory had a warm neighborhood feel. I could go in for a beautiful glass of wine, a spectacular artisan style pizza and it was guaranteed a good time. A big THANK YOU to the Malibu Community for allowing Chef Paul Shoemaker to thrive for 2.5 years and fulfill his dream of operating his own restaurant. Thank you to all of our devoted Savory fans for believing in Paul and Savory. We love you Paul and Savory is a truly a gem that will be missed in the community. One Love.
Mike Schmit November 13, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Bob Perkins DDS November 13, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Mike In the interest of fairness and Truth I Respectfully urge you to look further into this (peel back the onion) so that you can substantiate the accusations you are setting forth. It is strange, actually, that this relationship between landlord and tenant is being aired in the public. It's not fair to either party. From what I have heard from very reliable sources, Zan was quite generous in the way he structured this landlord/tenant relationship. It will likely surprise you. Again, this whole thing is personal between Zan and the owner of Savory's. Let's not burn anyone at the stake without all the information. Who among us would want to live in a workd like that. As someone on the Patch said recently "a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on." People's lives rest in the balance. I enjoyed Savory and I wish the owner the best in his next endeavor.
Joshua November 15, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Brian, This statement is completely false, as Savory has already stated they would show their accounting records to prove that they were and always have been up to date on their rent in the time they have been there!
GOVWATCHAMERICA January 23, 2013 at 05:19 AM


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