MALIBU, Calif. (FOX 11) - An iconic eatery in Malibu is scheduled to close its doors at the end of June after being severely impacted by the Woolsey Fire and recent storms.
With the trees lightly swaying from the cooling breeze of the Pacific Ocean as "Take Me Home, Country Roads" plays in the background of a homey, colorfully-decorated dining patio and the smell of comfort food feeling the afternoon air, the scene paints a lively picture of why many Malibu residents call the Coral Beach Cantina a home away from home.
Tucked away along Pacific Coast Highway, a hidden gem, Coral Beach Cantina has been serving delicious Mexican food to residents and celebrities alike since 1982.
Its quaint setting has served as a refuge to the many patrons that have graced the dining rooms of the Cantina and its sister restaurant Zooma Sushi right next door, also slated for closure.
Now, this hidden oasis has been forced to shut its doors for good following the recent natural disasters that ransacked the area. Owner of Coral Beach Cantina, Peter Soli, says that after the Woolsey Fire he lost half of his clientele which would have taken years to rebuild to ensure the business continued thriving at that location.
Soli and his restaurant withstood fires, mudslides, floods, power outages, and more to provide the community with the much-needed comfort and reassurance that only a mom-and-pop shop business can do.
"We have served the community faithfully, but also have understood the importance of giving back to all first responders, fire, sheriff, lifeguards, and California Highway Patrol, for the entire 37-year period with deep discounts on all meals," read an open letter from Soli. "The countless experiences with people from all walks of life from the most gifted celebrities to the homeless have made our time in Malibu so intensely rewarding. No matter what the future holds for us we are deeply grateful and appreciative to all of Malibu."
The restaurant's 35 employees will be left without a job. Soli says a friend restaurateur will take-in his displaced employees after the Cantina closes its doors on June 30.
Soli hopes to open his beloved Cantina elsewhere but until now, he has not been able to find a spot to relocate to. Anyone who may be willing to offer help may contact Soli at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new location would incorporate components from Zooma Sushi for those craving an appetite for a roll or two.
The future of the Cantina is uncertain, but for now, the sun has not yet set on this staple of Malibu.