A popular Mexican restaurant may be closing because the management of its building is refusing to fix rainwater leaks, mold issues and a rodent infestation, according to the restaurant’s owners.
Tacos Punta Cabras opened in its current location on Broadway and 10th Street last May after several years in Mid-City. However, the restaurant shuttered its doors in mid-March after a particularly rainy winter created persistent leaks in its ceiling.
Chef Daniel Snukal said the problems predate Punta Cabras’ arrival and Fortuna Asset Management, which manages Broadway Plaza, have refused to address them. The restaurant is planning to sue Fortuna and will likely leave the building.
“There’s a very slim likelihood that we’ll be back,” Snukal said.
Snukal said he and co-owner Mark Mittleman have tried to resolve the issues but received no help from Fortuna or the City of Santa Monica, which found no code violations in the building.
Other businesses and apartments in Broadway Plaza have also experienced leaks that have resulted in mold, as well as rodent infestations, said J. Cho, who owns Funnel Mill Rare Coffee & Tea. Neither Punta Cabras nor Funnel Mill were affected by the infestations, Cho said.
Cho said he has lost $10,000 in the 14 years he has occupied the building because of the rain. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health identified two leaks in Funnel Mill that property manager Heather Dacus has not addressed, he said.
“All nine businesses in Broadway Plaza leak when it rains,” Cho said. “They never fix it, they just patch the problem.”
Dacus told the Daily Press she was unaware of any problems in the building.
Snukal said he has not yet decided what may be next for Punta Cabras. Snukal and Mittleman spent months renovating 930 Broadway after the restaurant’s previous iteration closed in April 2017, ending a four-year run at 2311 Santa Monica Blvd. The location featured a large dining room and a taqueria and received steady praise from food critics for its innovative takes on Baja-inspired cuisine.
“In an ideal world, I would always have a restaurant in Santa Monica,” Snukal said.