The Fuji Grill at Big Corona Beach closed earlier this month — the victim of the bad economy and the city's increase in parking fees at the beach.
"The parking really hit me," said owner John Lee. "The parking system should transition to usage-based billing system by using parking meter or some type of paid-by-hour system. This issue's been requested (by the) city ever since we opened to the public. The road block was the parking fee. It's a shame. I learned a good lesson. I am sure I can't win all."
Lee, who owns several other Fuji Grill restaurants, was awarded the beach concessions contract in February 2008. He said he had a 10-year contract and was to pay 15% gross sales.
During the summer seasons, he said, business was fine. But in the winter, or on rainy days, business was "really bad."
Parking and the parking fee increase was a major problem, he said.