Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Subway Owner Abandons Ojai Plan

By Nao Braverman
Dave DiTomaso, owner of the Subway sandwich store in Mira Monte confirmed that he decided not to lease the Matilija Avenue space formerly occupied by Howie's yesterday afternoon. "The bottom line is that I felt bad for the landlord," said DiTamoso. His lease with the building owner, Ernie Salomon, allowed DiTomaso to refrain from paying rent until he acquired the necessary building permits. "I could fight the battle as long as I wanted but he would lose rental income so we mutually agreed to call it off," he said. The temporary moratorium on formula retail and restaurant establishments was approved by the City Council on May 1. It prohibits the issuance of any building permits for chains such as a Subway for 45 days following the May 1 meeting and possibly longer, if the moratorium is extended. "It looks like the rules of the game have changed," he said. "I'm fine with it, I have a number of other shops. Ernie will try to get someone else and I wish him the best of luck," said DiTomaso.


Anonymous said...


Thanks for reporting on this, Lenny.

Kenley said...

Nice quotes from Mr. DiTomaso. I too wish Mr. Salomon best in finding another tenant for the location. Thank you for mutually agreeing to withdrawn the Subway from Ojai.

Len Klaif said...

What wonderful news! Subway alone would, of course, not have destroyed Ojai. But Subway coming in here would have sent a message that Ojai was open to other chain stores. Instead, the message sent was that if you store looks the same everywhere, we do not want you here in Ojai. We value our uniqueness.

Thanks to the members of the City Council for voting for the moratorium. Thanks to everyone who spoke out publicly on this issue. And special thanks to Jeff and Kenley for putting your initiative proposals out there and keeping this critical issue on the agenda.

Now we need to move forward with Kenley's initiative so that the temporary protection afforded by the moratorium becomes permanent.

Len Klaif