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Help Mozambique Steakhouse thrive

Mailbag

June 11, 2010

I was disheartened at the report of the City Council cutting back on operating hours of Mozambique Steakhouse, our favorite restaurant in Laguna. It seems just another blow to business owners in Laguna Beach who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat among the "sales prevention" policies of a few of our current City Council members.

My frustration was worsened after a recent conversation with owner Ivan Spiers, when he told me he was forced to decline service to more than 60 guests Memorial Day weekend due to the cut in hours. They also turned away a group of 18 coming from the Surf and Sand Hotel wanting a late dinner.

I read that Councilwoman Toni Iseman said, as she moved to curtail operating hours, "I don't think taking an hour of service hurts them…"

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She obviously has no idea what she's talking about! Losing an hour of service has a significant impact on the business.

I am sorry that a few of the neighbors have been disturbed by noise of restaurant patrons, but it begs the question: Why did you move a block away from a busy restaurant? We once lived on Cleo, a couple blocks from Mosun, and there was noise on a nightly basis, we moved! I never once thought to complain or ask Mosun to change their operating hours; we just moved.

Mozambique is a great asset to our town. It represents all the things that makes Laguna Beach a destination spot for tourist and residents. It's a beautiful venue with great food at value pricing and warm, friendly service. They offer world-class entertainment that takes the musical culture of Laguna to a level not previously seen. They support local charities and our schools. They employ more than 60 people, more than half of whom are Laguna Beach residents.

The bustling business one may see when visiting Mozambique belies the fact that they are taking on water fast. The restaurant is in a very dire financial situation and a move to cut hours during the high summer season could be just the straw that breaks the camel's back.

If Mozambique fails it will be a major loss to the city and its residents. It will be the fault of those City Council people who worked against their success. Mozambique will stand again in front of the City Council this Tuesday in an effort to win back their hours. I urge all patrons in the interest of fairness to turn out in support.

DELPHINE CHANNELS BERRYHILL

Laguna Beach

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