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Laguna Beach restaurant to close

Laguna Beach restaurant to close

Woody's on the Beach, a gay-oriented restaurant in Laguna Beach, Calif., has been sold to Avila's El Ranchito Mexican restaurant chain and will close February 3, reports Avila's Web site.

Avila's owns 10 family-run restaurants in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

Joel Herzer, Woody's owner, announced on his restaurant's Web site last week that he decided to sell Woody's to spend more time with his family and to focus on the two other restaurants he runs. Herzer said he did not wait for a gay buyer or operator to purchase the restaurant because he didn't want Woody's to be on the market that long.

Woody's is located in Laguna Beach's gay enclave and occupies a building that has housed gay-friendly establishments for nearly 50 years. Nearby is the legendary Boom Boom Room bar, which is in its last year of operation.

Fred Karger, a gay activist who helped get the Boom Boom Room a one-year reprieve from redevelopment, was told by Woody's new owner that Avila's will cater to gay customers. (The Advocate)

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