Henry's Tacos didn't get local landmark status but the Studio City stand did get a reprieve from a New Year's Eve closing date and maybe new owners.

Longtime pals and Henry's patrons Matt Pyken and Steve Rose have agreed to buy the business from Janis Hood and are waiting to see if their lease offer is accepted by landowner Mehran Ebrahimpour of Beverly Hills.

"We feel like we've gotten really close. We're the only ones that have gotten in between the current owner and the landlord and hopefully it will be enough to pull out a Christmas miracle," said Pyken, a Studio City resident and writer in the entertainment industry.

Hood hinted that something may be in the wind when she posted on Facebook Saturday that Henry's - which is more than a half century old - would stay open until Jan.

People stand in line at Henry’s Tacos in North Hollywood on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012.
People stand in line at Henry's Tacos in North Hollywood on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff Photographer)
15 and not close on Dec. 31 as planned.

The purchase offer is not being disclosed, she said.

"ATTENTION HENRY'S FANS AND SUPPORTERS! Because of your tremendous support and outcry (and probably me with my big mouth in the media!), the property owner has asked me to stay open until January 15 so that (hopefully!) a lease can be worked out with my buyers! I have agreed, so Henry's will live to see the New Year! Please spread the word and THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOYALTY AND PATIENCE! We're doing our best to serve you!!!," she wrote Saturday.

Hood, who wants to sell the business and retire, applied last year to the city's Cultural Heritage Commission for the stand to be considered an architectural landmark.

Ebrahimpour objected to that plan. He did not return calls Monday.

Last February the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee let the nomination lapse.

Hood's lease expired at the end of last year and Ebrahimpour didn't renew it. He then increased the month-to-month rent by 150 percent.

And he has rejected three other buyers, Hood said.

"I've been trying to find someone who loves and has a history with Henry's and would keep it the same," she said.

Pyken and Rose sound like perfect owners to Hood. They attended Walter Reed Middle School together in North Hollywood and were regulars at the stand.

Pyken and Rose, a financial consultant, learned last summer that Hood had lost her lease and began forming their plan.

They will be benevolent owners, too.

"We don't want to change a thing. The whole point of getting this place is to leave it exactly as it is. The place stays the same," Pyken said.

After word of the possible closure surfaced last month, Hood has been overwhelmed with support. Two weekends ago long lines formed at the stand and celebrities such as such as George Lopez, Adam Carolla and Elijah Wood voiced their backing, according to the website LAObserved.

Local television stations also picked up the story.

Hood said Henry's is a thriving business but she is 57 now and is just worn out by a life making tacos.

If a sale doesn't pan out it will be a sad day for her and her four employees.

"It's kind of a bit much for one woman. My life will go on but I feel bad for them. One employee has been here half his life. He's 42 and started here when he was 21," she said. "He's like family."

greg.wilcox@dailynews.com

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