April 15, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

String of Venice Restaurants Going out of Business

Hal’s, Casalinda and more shut doors in recent months.

By Cailley Chella

Longtime Venice restaurants may be in trouble. Bank of Venice Bar and Grill is just the latest victim in a string of Venice restaurant and business closures.

According to Yelp, the gastropub inside Bank of Venice, which is on the corner of Windward Avenue and Pacific Avenue, has temporarily closed down and is scheduled to reopen on May 1, 2019. Yo! Venice! was unable to confirm that information. The building itself is iconic and had become a favorite gathering spot for many locals. Once a bank, built in 1905 and designed by Abbot Kinney himself, Bank of Venice is likely to have another business take the place of the gastropub that was inside.

There are many factors in why the business may have closed, but it’s undeniable that rising rents make it hard for smaller, more independent restaurants to stay afloat. To get some insight, Yo! Venice spoke to Thomas Schiffer, the former owner of Abbot’s Pizza Co. The pizzeria has been around for 25 years. His brother took over the business in 2010, but when it comes to the companies longevity, Schiffer said he was very lucky to have chosen the physical building he chose more than two decades ago. “The landlord there has been very fair and reasonable as they are very supportive of small local grown businesses, like Abbots,” he said.

In closing, Bank of Venice Bar and Grill joins other a number of other Venice favorites that have also shut their doors permanently in recent months. On Abbot Kinney, longtime staples Hal’s Bar & Grill and Casalinda, two neighborhood restaurants, have both recently gone out of business.

Yo! Venice reached out to the Venice Chamber of Commerce but they declined to comment.

Hal’s Bar and Grill.

Residents are rightly worried that Venice will lose its unique charm if large chains will be the only businesses that can afford to have a brick and mortar, but the city is responding. Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin introduced legislation in November of last year that would possibly ban or put a limit on retail chains on Ocean Front Walk and the Venice Boardwalk. Bonin’s Deputy Chief of Staff, David Graham-Caso, said Bonin’s motion was “referred to the Planning and Land Use Committee and is awaiting a hearing from that panel.”

“In recent years, increased economic pressure on commercial properties on Ocean Front Walk has displaced locally-owned independent businesses, and Venice neighbors are wary that displacement will impact the unique character of the Venice community,” Bonin wrote in a newsletter. “Locally-owned independent business are important contributors to the neighborhood identity on the Westside and help to sustain the social fabric of the community by providing local services to residents in a walkable environment.”

The motion submitted by Bonin to City Council  instructs the Los Angeles Department of City Planning and the Los Angeles City Attorney to create a feasibility study describing zoning and other land use planning tools to promote independent retail development on Ocean Front Walk.

“This is a critical first step that will allow local government to shape the mix of business that makes sense for the neighborhood and preserve Venice’s unique character,” Bonin said.

In the legislation, Bonin cited other cities such as San Francisco and Jersey City, New Jersey that have established land use planning and zoning rules to preserve a unique neighborhood character in communities by supporting small businesses and independent retailers. Some ban all chain stores from certain neighborhoods, others cap the number of retail chain stores allowed within an area while others require a case-by-case approval of proposed retail use projects.

And Venice isn’t alone, Santa Monica has actually already taken action. Santa Monica City Council recently approved a ban on restaurants with over 100 national locations from opening on the Third Street Promenade.

Related Posts

Westside Cafe Helping Save Monarch Butterflies

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

This Westside cafe is doing its part to keep its namesake insect, the monarch butterfly, safe. Learn more in this...

Virtual Venice Art Crawl This Week

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

Singers, poets, painters, photographers, performance artists and gallery owners are all scheduled to participate in the virtual Venice Art Crawl...

Junior Lifeguards Returning to Venice Beach This Summer

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

County-run program returns to LA County beaches July and August  By Sam Catanzaro A few weeks are left for prospective...

Beached Dolphin Near Venice: YO! Venice Show – April, 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Beached Dolphin Near Venice Beach * Fareless rides coming to LA...

SWAT Tear Gas Trailer in Seven-Hour Venice Standoff

April 12, 2021

April 12, 2021

Standoff between police and barricaded suspect over the weekend at First Baptist Church By Sam Catanzaro  An over seven-hour standoff...

Dual Building Development Rises Near Venice High School

April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021

Two-building development underway on Venice Boulevard By Chad Winthrop Work is well underway on a two-building, mixed use development near...

Edify TV: A Look at a Proposed Westside Homeless Shelter Locations

April 11, 2021

April 11, 2021

Take a look at a collection of Westside properties that a LA lawmaker is proposing bringing homeless shelters to in this...

Westside Business Spotlight: The Bike Shop California

April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

Today on the Westside Business Spotlight we visit The Bike Shop California, your neighborhood spot for all things bike-related.

‘Next-Generation’ Pudding Comes to Venice

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

Pudu Pudu opens on Abbot Kinney By Kerry Slater A dessert shop specializing “next-generation” pudding has come to Venice  Pudu...

Venice Beach Handball Courts Set to be Cleared Out

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

Due to an encampment at the courts LA City has posted its intent to clear out the area on April...

Food Review: An Almost-Essential Westside Sandwich

April 8, 2021

April 8, 2021

Johnnie’s french dip pastrami sandwich in Culver City  By Kerry Slater  While there are far better sandwiches in Los Angeles,...

Foster Youth Staffed Cafe Set to Open on First California Shop

April 6, 2021

April 6, 2021

La La Land Kind Cafe to open in former Starbucks space  By Toi Creel  A Texas-based cafe that makes an...

Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee’s Annual Commemoration

April 6, 2021

April 6, 2021

Annual event to be held virtually Thursday April 15 Submitted by the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee Standing at...

Davy Jones Liquor Locker Closes Down: YO! Venice Show – April, 5, 2021

April 5, 2021

April 5, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Suspect Arrested with Concealed Pistol Near Boardwalk * Davy Jones Liquor...