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As Junior’s Deli Closes, Malibu Co-Owner Looks For New Location

David Saul, a Malibu Public Safety Commissioner and longtime resident, says his family is looking for an affordable space to reopen, including in Malibu.

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.

David Saul December 29, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Thanks mike
David Saul December 29, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Thanks jimmy d
A Long-time Malibu Resident December 30, 2012 at 03:33 AM
I will deeply mourn the loss of Juniors. I went there when I was single, and I went with my husband, and then with our kids. Juniors employees became friends. I can't see Juniors succeeding in Malibu, however, and given the problems with the landlord at Point Dume, that location would certainly not succeed. Given the recent problems with that landlord, who just might be greedier than the one presenting problems now, I think the Palisades might be the best bet, since most all of Malibu is willing to travel to find the best choices that are unfortunately, no longer available here in Malibu. Thank goodness there are still individually owned small businesses in the Palisades, and we need to band together to support them so that they can survive! Dave, we loved your father, and we wish you the best of luck in relocating the restaurant. We will happily increase our support to keep you afloat, if you move to the Palisades! Unfortunately, I can't say the same if you locate in Malibu, because we, like so many others, have given up on finding what we want here, and have gone to the Palisades, or to Agoura and Westlake to dine and shop, and loving it, despite the drive!
Westside Mom December 30, 2012 at 08:26 AM
Todsy I said goodbye to our favorite waitress, the lady up front and the parking guys while fighting back tears. It has been like a sudden death for us. We cannot imagine not sitting in that dining room in those booths on a weekend morning. Our daughters have basically grown up there. I am glad we got to meet Marvin Saul shortly before his passing. That was sad enough! Today the restaurant was mobbed. I just wish these same people had not taken Juniors for granted. I don't know how I am going to tell my dad from Chicago it won't be there when he comes back to visit. He walked half a mile by himself for the lox. Please do not reopen in the Palisades, but keep the location close to the original. It won't be the same type of crowd that makes/ made Juniors so great. No offense, but you know it's true. And I agree about the comment about modernization. Not necessary. It would take away from the warmth the place has. I really liked the Julie's story above. That is what it is all about. I had a weird feeling something was wrong the other night when I noticed that some of the letters in the signage were not lit up. It was a sign.
Junior's got Scrooged December 31, 2012 at 05:15 AM
David what ever you do, to re-open in another location, make sure your landlord is not Persian. And if he is run like hell.

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