Muzio’s Grocery & Deli to close Tuesday after 15 years

Owner attributes decision to close popular deli to excessive rent at location in Wineman Hotel she moved to last May

April 1, 2011 

Muzio’s Grocery & Deli will close Tuesday after more than 15 years of business in downtown San Luis Obispo.

The popular gourmet sandwich shop moved from its longtime location at 870 Monterey St. to 839 Higuera St. in the Wineman Hotel building in May 2010.

Owner Lori Miller said she is closing because the rent is too high and landlord Ali Vahdani would not renegotiate the rate or agree to temporary adjustments.

Vahdani was unable to be reached Friday at Glendale-based VGI group, where public records indicate he is president.

Miller said her sales did not decrease after she moved to the new location.

“My accountant says everything is in line — it’s just the rent that’s out of line,” she said, declining to disclose the rate.

Miller would not comment on future plans for herself or the business, but said that she has tried to find work placements for the approximately 20 employees who will lose their jobs.

Miller moved to the ground floor of the historic Wineman Hotel with high hopes for the space, adding hot panini sandwiches to the menu and outdoor seating.

Muzio’s recently received a beautification award from the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association for tenant improvements to the space.

“I had hoped it would work. … It has not worked,” Miller said.

The restaurant was one of the newest additions to the Wineman building, which houses Chipotle Mexican Grill and will add the Habit Burger Grill later this year.

— Julia Hickey

Jude Basile named lawyer of the year

Jude Basile has been named the recipient of the Central Coast Trial Lawyers Association’s Trial Lawyer of the Year award — again.

Basile, who lives in Cambria and practices law from his San Luis Obispo office, also received the award in 2004 and 2008, a similar award in San Diego in 2003 and the Consumer Attorneys of California Champion of Justice award in 2007.

His 2010 award is based “on a case I tried against a trucking company,” he said.

Basile is also president of Trial Lawyers College, which has a campus in Wyoming and offers curriculum online at www.triallawyerscollege.com.

— Kathe Tanner

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