A Christmas Miracle—Henry's Tacos to Stay Open Until Jan. 10

Extension may pave the way for new ownership to carry on the tradition.

A deal may be in the works that would allow Henry's Tacos to remain open with a new owner, according to current owner Janis Hood, whose family started the business 51 years ago.

Community outcry and celebrity support have created a Christmas miracle of sorts, Hood said, that will keep the Studio City landmark open until at least Jan. 10. She had previously planned to close the business Dec. 31.

At the stand on Saturday, Hood put up a sign for her loyal customers that read: "Thank you! Your tremendous support has resulted in new talks for a lease! We will remain open thru at least 1/10/13!"

Hood said she wrote the message out of desperation, due to the large crowds that have been coming nearly every day since she announced the stand's impending closure on Dec. 8.

"I put the sign out because we were about to run out of food and I was hoping for some crowd control!" she said.

The new owner of Henry's Tacos could be Matt Pyken, a Studio City TV writer.

"We are trying to work out something with the landlord," Pyken said, "but nothing has been signed yet."

Pyken has said that if he were to become the owner of Henry's Tacos, he would keep the staff that has worked with Hood for decades.

Henry's fans have been inundating the landlord, Mehran Ebrahimpour of Beverly Hills, with phone calls and letters, urging him to make a deal with Hood.

Over the past year, Hood worked to find prospective buyers for the business, but they were rejected by Ebrahimpour. She also sought to have the city designate Henry's Tacos a historical landmark, an effort that stalled before consideration by the City Council, reportedly over concerns about her dispute with the landlord.

On Friday, Hood said, Ebrahimpour’s attorney, Arash Naghdi, talked with her attorney and she agreed to keep Henry's Tacos operating, rent free, through Jan. 10.

"I hope that the fact that the landlord wants extra time and is willing to forgo rent means a deal is near," Hood said.

Studio City Patch's repeated requests for comment from Naghdi and Ebrahimpour have gone unanswered.

Hood told Patch late Saturday night that the community support she has received has helped. 

"I think my running my mouth to you media folks and the coverage of last Sunday's event are giving [Ebrahimpour] a lot of uncomfortable exposure," she said.

Hood never had a longterm lease, and Pyken said he would like to have a longer lease than what has been offered.

"I'm still waiting for a lease from the landlord," Pyken said, "so honestly the deal isn't done, especially in this situation."

Meanwhile, on the Hidden Los Angeles page on Facebook, fans were jubilant:

  • Jinjer Hundley: Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!
  • Justin Humphreys: Their tacos and burritos are WONDERFUL.
  • Ambrose Smith: I was there 2 weeks ago thinking it would be my last visit. Glad it won't be!
  • Tammy Ryan: Best news ever!!!
  • Annabel Lee Gill: Yes! Drove by today and there was quite a line.. I hope it continues.
  • Cory Mac A'Ghobhainn: people power!

And Hobbit actor Elijah Wood retweeted a Patch headline Sunday and wrote:

#savehenrystacos Help Janice Hood experience a Christmas miracle and do everything you can to make enough noise to save Henry's Tacos!


 Related Stories:

• For Everything About Henry's Tacos CLICK HERE!

• Henry's Tacos: A History in Photos and Video

• Henry's Tacos Testimonials: Why People Like Them

• Celebs Jump in to Save Henry's Tacos

• Exclusive: Henry’s Tacos Owner on Calling It Quits

• Henry's Tacos: What's Your Reaction?

U2 December 27, 2012 at 05:31 AM
If you want this to happen, don't hesitate to report this swindler to the IRS. On the IRS website, there is a link to a form you can fill out. Or try calling. There is no harm in trying! People like this guy cannot be allowed to get away with things like this. Even if he sells the place, he will surely try his shady tactics with others as well. He needs to be run out of town at the very least. Reporting him to the IRS is a good first step.
U2 December 27, 2012 at 05:36 AM
Speak for yourself, Irma Glutz. Yes we want to keep a nice shop open, but there ARE things more important than freakin' TACOS for God's sake!!! Discrimination and misogyny are among those things. Some cultures ARE inherantly misogynistic, and if this idiot owner offers a better deal to a MAN, then yes, a lawyer needs to be hired, and this scumbag MEHRAN needs to be taken for all he's worth - and then run out of town. If he was discriminating based on race, would you say "let it go"?? If not, then why are you so lenient towards a sexist pig? We don't need vermin like Mehran around here.
Sheri Haas December 27, 2012 at 05:58 AM
Thanks U2. Don't think Irma understands the legalities of discrimination against women. That was the point of my post. Once place is sold and Janis is out of the mix she deserves to see if any laws have been violated and get anything that is due her. Seems that landlord has treated her very unfairly and maybe illegally.
Mary McGrath January 12, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Hooray for grass-roots marketing! This is great news...
StudioCity.ite January 13, 2013 at 08:19 PM
From a business perspective, the landlord who's just another rich greedy Persian was afraid of making it historic meaning he was stuck with Henrys tacos forever possibly ruining his risk of making an extra $1 on a potential new business. The guy is a sheister only after his wallet. He could care less on anyone's opinion, guy or girl. Period.


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