January 21, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

The 3 Saddest Venice Restaurant Closures of 2019

By Kerry Slater

While every year sees restaurants close up shop, 2019 was a particularly rough year in Venice with a string of longtime favorites ending their runs in Venice. As the year comes to a close, here is a look back on some of these restaurants that satisfied many a Venetian’s palate over the decades.

1) Jody Maroni’s Sausage Kingdom

Photo: Courtesy Jony Maroni Sausage Kingdom (JodyMaroni.com).

A Boardwalk staple for 40 years, Jony Maroni Sausage Kingdom served their last sausage on December 16.

Jordan Monkarsh opened Jody Maroni’s Sausage Kingdom on the Venice Beach Boardwalk in 1979. The restaurant was a hit and soon Monkarsh expanded, opening storefronts across the country and operating locations in some of Los Angeles’ most famous landmarks including Dodger Stadium, Staples Center and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition, Monkarsh launched a wholesale sausage business, which the family will continue to operate.

The family, who lived above the Venice restaurant for years, says that they are nothing but grateful for the Venice community.

“We have spent the last few years navigating the transforming terrain of Venice – knowing that this chapter in our family’s story would soon conclude. We end this chapter with nothing but gratitude for our family, our greater Venice community, and whatever the future has in store. We are lucky to have been able to have our story woven into the fabric of this metropolis – here at the edge where dreamers thrive,” they said in a letter prior the restaurant’s closure.

Read more here: Jody Maroni’s Closing After 40 Years on Venice Boardwalk

2) Shima

Mackerel and uni with caviar sushi at Shima. Photo: Holly Russo Grannan (Facebook).

A quiet oasis“, “Best sushi in Venice“, “My old favorite“: these are just some of the things fans of Shima sushi said when the longtime Venice restaurant closed earlier this month. For 16 years Shima, located on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, was beloved for its top-notch sushi served in a warm, cozy and welcoming space.

“It is so painful for us to say goodbye for all the customers at this location in Venice. We really don’t know where shima can bet yet, but someday, somewhere, we really wanted to see and wait on all of you,” reads a note posted on Shima’s door on December 1.

3) Kifune

Another sushi standout, Kifune’s closure in November broke the heart of many a local diner. While technically not in Venice, the Marina del Rey restaurant just blocks from the beach was a favorite for many Venice residents.

“I have been to this Venice institution hundreds of times and I’ll miss this place lost in time with owner Jay for being such a great host and gentleman all these years. My spot was always the sushi bar and I’ve met so many local Venetians because of my patronage of this incredible venue. What a wonderful dining experience!” wrote Venetian Nick Antonicello in a Facebook post upon news of the restaurant’s closure.

Kifune was located on Washington Boulevard for 34 years and ultimately it was a sharp rent increase that forced the restaurant to shut its doors.

“Getting to know you and seeing your smiles really makes these moments that much more memorable. We could not have done this without you,” reads a note posted on Kifune’s door announcing their closure.

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