The Merchants of Venice


Go Gondos! The Venice High Sports Medicine team. L to R: Peter, Talia, Penelope, Daniel, and Jake.

by Melanie Camp

Venice and Mar Vista neighbors enjoyed blue skies, sunshine, and free samples from local businesses at the 6th Annual Merchants of Venice showcase at Venice High School on Saturday, May 20th.

The event provided an opportunity for anyone living and working in the Venice and Mar Vista areas to share their specialties and meet, mix, and mingle.

“It’s a great collaboration between the fantastic Venice Chamber of Commerce and the wonderful Mar Vista Chamber of Commerce; which is fairly new,” Councilmember Mike Bonin told Yo! Venice.

Councilmember Mike Bonin visits with Venice Arts.

Associate Director of the local non-profit Venice Arts, Elysa Voshell, said the event was a great way to connect with the larger business community in Venice “showcase what we do and meet members of the community that we haven’t met before.”

Sample dishes from local restaurants were a highlight. The line at The Poké Shack was constant, the Venice Whaler served up a delicious lobster tartare, and Venice OG’s Hal’s Bar & Grill dished out entire meals. Voshell told Yo! Venice she had a “pasta coma” after over indulging at the Cantalini’s Express booth. “Delicious! Lots of good food,” she said.

The VCA Animal Hospital’s Woof hats were a big hit.

The VCA Animal Hospital had some cute giveaways for fur babies and parents. Their Woof hats were a big hit. Councilmember Bonin took the crown for best sunglasses, sporting a bright orange pair he picked up from the Erwin Hotel’s booth.

Last year the Merchants of Venice showcase was indoors at the Boys & Girls Club of Venice.

Janine Paine and Bobbi DeBarge from Keller WIlliams Realty.
Councilmember Bonin with Venice cancer survivor Robert Di Massa.
The Poké Shack samples were in demand.