La Salsa Mexican Restaurant Closing Next Week

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La Salsa Malibu

Editor’s note: This story has been revised.

La Salsa, one of the town’s best-known burrito spots, is slated to shut down its Malibu location next week after nearly 30 years in business as Howdy’s and later La Salsa.

Employees have been told their last day of work is Wednesday, Feb. 11, Assistant Manager Juan Mendoza confirmed to The Malibu Times.

Mendoza, who has worked at La Salsa for two years, said the closure came about because of a lease disagreement. He said he was told the building landlord wanted La Salsa owners to cover costs of a septic system repair, but would not offer La Salsa longer than a five-year contract.

The property is owned by Carbon Investments, LLC, according to records from the L.A. County Assessor’s office. Online records show the LLC is registered to Jeff Stibel, CEO of Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. 

However, in an email on Thursday morning, Stibel said, “Unfortunately, that link has incorrect information. We have no relationship or ownership of La Salsa or the property. Many of our employees actually enjoy La Salsa.”

La Salsa, highly recognized for its iconic “taco guy” statue on Pacific Coast Highway, opened as Howdy’s in 1987. Years later, it became La Salsa. Mendoza said several employees have been offered transfers to the restaurant chain’s Santa Monica location. But many Malibu customers are upset at the imminent closure.

“They’re very sad,” Mendoza said of telling customers about the end of La Salsa’s era.