Community in shock over the death of local restauranteur

There’s been an outpouring of grief over the tragic death of Moonshadows Restaurant owner Andrea Bullo and his teenage son. The two were killed on Nov. 1 after police say a speeding driver in a Toyota Camry plowed into the back of Bullo’s 1965 Mustang, causing both cars to erupt in flames. The 60-year-old Bullo and his 14-year-old son Marco died at the scene. Their car was fully engulfed. The alleged drunk driver, 21-year-old Kevin Gonzalez, survived the collision. He was given a field sobriety test at the scene of the crash on Mulholland Drive at Valmar in Woodland Hills. Gonzalez has been charged with two counts of homicide and is being held on a $4 million bond.

The restaurant world and Malibu locals have been expressing sympathy. “This is a big loss for the community. He was so well loved,” longtime Malibu resident and realtor Felicia Daffara told The Malibu Times. The two were friends for more than 20 years. Daffara just had dinner with a friend at the oceanfront destination restaurant. “It’s one of our favorites. He sat with us, and at the very end, he brought us chocolate cake.” Daffara was there to say goodbye to her friend who was moving to Australia, but ironically now says, “not knowing it was really Andrea’s goodbye.”

The popular restaurant was closed midweek last week as employees held a private vigil for the man who was known as the spirit of the local gathering spot along with his beloved son. The two were described as close. Both loved soccer and other sports. Marco was known as a drummer with an outgoing personality. Bullo has been described as a “family man.”

The restaurant released a statement that read in part, “It is with a heavy, heavy heart that the Bullo family and the Moonshadows family have to announce some very sad and tragic news.

Andrea was an amazing person, a loving husband, and devoted father. He was a best friend to many people. People around the world. He loved each and every one of us… he took care and entertained all as if they were his own family. He truly was a saint and truly an honorary gentleman.

Marco was a bright young man with an even brighter future who made his mom and dad very proud, and his friends laugh. A personality as big as the moon. He was a beautiful 14-year-old boy taken from us way too soon.

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We all have such great memories of two wonderful people. Always full of love and happiness.

We would like to offer full support to the Bullo family during this period of mourning. You are in our thoughts and prayers. The Bullo family are welcoming messages of condolence on the Moonshadows Facebook page.

A future announcement with details of the service will be available soon. Rest in peace, Andrea and Marco. We love you, and you’ll be greatly missed by so many.”

Upon hearing the news last week, Chris Wizner, President and Chairman of the Malibu Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce, took time out of a women’s leadership luncheon for a moment of silence for the Bullo family. Wizner also wrote, “We recognize that when you look up at the stars, there are now two more beautiful stars in the sky, and they will remind us every day to never forget what beauty they brought to this life and community.”

Daffara mentioned Bullo was looking forward to visiting his mother and family back in Italy. She’s heartbroken that won’t happen now and for the devastating loss to his family and many friends.

Authorities may look into whether Bullo’s vintage car, which may have lacked modern safety features along with its rear-located gas tank, may have hastened the tragedy. 

Originally from Italy, Bullo bought the restaurant with another local, Franco Simplicio, in 2001. He was known to have friends from around the world. Marco was his only child. He is survived by his wife, Ira Soebroto.

Felicia Daffara and Andrea Bulli at Moonshadows. Photo courtesy of Felicia Daffara.

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