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Owner Says He Agonized Over Point Pizza Decision

Hye Song Oh, the owner for Point Pizza Malibu, wants to stay at the Point Dume Village, where she has served pizza and sandwiches for 24 years.

UPDATE at 12:12 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10: In an email received by Malibu Patch after midnight Wednesday, Point Dume Village owner Zan Marquis wrote that he received feedback from the community that "Point Pizza is OK, but not great pizza."

"D'Amore's is going all organic in our location. [I] have tried to get Point Pizza to improve their quality over the years, but they have been slow to change. It is [a] shopping center operator's job to offer the community the best possible selection of goods and services. For what it's worth, we agonized over this for months, because of how long Point Pizza has been here," Marquis wrote.

He added that he is working on a parking structure to alleviate the parking problems at the center and in the neighborhood.

ORIGINAL POST from Tuesday, Oct. 9: When the lease for Point Pizza Malibu expired, the owner of Point Dume Village opted to go with D’Amores Famous Pizza as part of an effort to move toward healthier options at the shopping center, according to its property manager.

The owner, Zan Marquis, has been out of the country for the past three weeks in Israel for the Jewish holidays, but the property manger for the Point Dume Village, Kathryn Natalia confirmed Point Pizza Malibu’s lease expires on Dec. 31, 2012.

“It looks like a big bad landlord is kicking her out. She could go some place else,” Natalia said. “We’ve chosen another local independent operator. It’s not like we’re going with another option.”

Natalia said she recognizes that people are upset in the community over the change, but the move has been in the works for some time.

Hye Song Oh, who owns Point Pizza Malibu, has been open for 24 years at the location on Heathercliff Road and Pacific Coast Highway.

On the business’ Facebook page, Hye Song's son-in-law Charles Lee wrote: “It is true that our landlord has decided not to renew our lease and we will be closing at the end of the year. Due to the confidentiality of our lease negotiations, we cannot disclose any specific information regarding any lease proposals. We do not know the exact reason why another operator was chosen over us since were open to making changes.”

Natalia said when Hye Song’s lease was up five years ago she asked for an extension, but not any further options at the time.

“It’s not that she’s not being renewed. When a lease is written, you are given additional options to continue to renew,” Natalia said. She added that Hye Song was given the opportunity to improve the quality of her ingredients over the past several years, but that “it wasn’t enough change.”

“We were very upfront. We did not hide that from her. We suggested that she speak to other places in Malibu as well,” Natalia said.

Eric Ramirez, a manager at Point Pizza, said the business is trying to stay at the location.

"We’re trying to stay here," Ramirez said. "He doubled the rent, and we agreed to pay, but it still didn’t work."

RELATED: Point Pizza Malibu Closing Its Doors

D’Amores, which has another location in Malibu that will remain open, has already signed a lease with the Point Dume Village, according to Natalia.

“We did independent taste tests and quality checks and their pizza had a better quality,” Natalia said. “He’s also agreed to go all organic and all natural for his ingredients.”

She said the move is part of a larger effort to keep local operators in the center while improving quality.

“We’ve made strides here at that center with Sunlife Organics and having Savory,” she said. “We are trying to offer the Malibu people healthier options.”

Opposition to the announcement about the change at Point Dume Village erupted over social media overnight. A Facebook group called "Save Point Pizza" popped up, and had 473 fans as of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. That number had grown to nearly 900 by midnight.

A rally is planned for 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 at the Point Dume Village.

Susan Tellem October 11, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Good idea, Hans. Bring cigars, pipes and ask the medical marijuana joint to bring samples. In case no one noticed, the Dume Room closing had no effect on the regulars - they all show up at 3 pm to start drinking at Spruzzo's every day.
Charlie Flora October 11, 2012 at 11:28 PM
When the controversty dies down, I know D'Amore's will do a good job. Joe D'Amore is a good guy and a Malibu local. D'Amore's is a much better quality pizza, with a loyal clientele and several successful SoCal locations to support it long term in Malibu. I also know that Joe had nothing to do with Point Pizza leaving, so there is no point in badmouthing his business. From what I know, the Point Dume landlord actually called him to give him a shot at the upcoming lease along with two other pizzerias. The landlord chose D'Amore's based on the quality of the food and the business. It is a free market. I've had slices at Point before and while the owners seemed nice and they did seem to support a lot of community groups, the pizza was anything special. It was just OK.
KEEGAN GIBBS October 12, 2012 at 03:26 AM
Charlie, No one really cares about your opinion about the taste of Pt Pizza. Do you know why? Because it is your OPINION... everyone has different tastes, just as some people do not like d'amores. This fight is NOT about a taste test. It is about morals and ethics. Unfortunately in Malibu, Ethics and Moral no longer apply to business in the majority. An entire community (the north west side of Malibu ) stands beside Hye Song and her business, regardless of its taste. Because we all respect her hard work, her support for the community, and this represents a MUCH LARGER problem in malibu than just "which pizza is better". Wake up and smell the argument, not the pizza. Malibu business is disregarding the very community they should serve. If D'amores had any smart sense, they would stick to their one location on that side of malibu, and continue to compete with point pizza, instead of unfairly reaping the benefits of Hye Songs 25 years of hard work establishing a location, a reputation and establishing a place for our community to eat, connect with each other, and for DOZENS of my friends, a first paying job. Word is on the street that D'amores has been working on trying to get this location for years. Signing a lease behind pt. pizzas back may be a business choice, which is hard to argue economically, but ethically, it is wrong, and the Western Malibu community will respond by boycotting this D'amores location, out of response to their neglect and Zan's greed.
Martha Fling October 12, 2012 at 04:03 PM
The "independent organic coffee roaster" is actually a chain.
Martha Fling October 12, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Frankly, I think the City needs to look at this shopping center's impact on the neighborhood. It has become a giant food court, and the lack of parking facilities does not support this use. Isn't there supposed to be an ordinance about the amount of parking spaces allotted for food establishments v. non-food? Pt. Dume Plaza is a nightmare to enter and exit, often without finding a parking spot. As much as I support private property rights, you cannot create the traffic mess he has and say that it is his business.

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