April 17, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

A Venice Eyesore: When Will Thoma’s #16 Be Finally Torn Down?

Abandoned for nearly a decade, when will someone do something?

By Nick Antonicello

It was never a  “Tomy’s” or even a “Tommy’s,” but Thoma’s #16 formerly located at 249 Lincoln Boulevard directly in front of Whole Foods and the 99 Cents store (which was formerly a discount Foot Locker), was an infamous “greasy spoon” that served burgers, hot dogs, fish and chips and French fries that catered to the eclectic funkiness that was once Lincoln and Rose!

Gentrification and redevelopment has dramatically changed that portion of Venice, especially when Whole Foods became the retail anchor for a place that once dominated by gang activity, drug deals, crime and prostitution.

But for nearly a decade this structure remains standing despite being closed since at least 2014, as it falls further into disrepair as from time to time it serves as a hangout for the homeless and mostly illegal activity that has now been fenced but the question remains, why hasn’t it been torn down?

One would think the value of that property is such that some developer would scoop it up as Lincoln Boulevard continues to change as it battles the after effects of COVID-19 and a weak economy.

In fact, The last YELP review was in 2014 and the place was already shuddered and out-of-business.

As this endless campaign for city council to replace the retiring Mike Bonin drags on, maybe the two runoff candidates Traci Park and Erin Darling might have an opinion on a building that is clearly in disarray and needs to be razed as a safety concern for pedestrians as well as those may park close to this dilapidated retail structure.

In the day it opened at 7:00 am and closed at 10:00 pm (open seven days) and was similar in menu and mission to George’s Hamburgers, just north on Lincoln in Santa Monica.

But the question remains, why do LA city officials elected or otherwise do not hold the owner accountable and have the structure renovated or simply torn down?

It is one of the more disturbing land use questions that goes unaddressed despite healthy land values surrounding the parcel.

Hopefully at some point city officials will move on this property and finally eliminate this obvious eye sore by any reasonable standard.

Nick Antonicello is a longtime Venetian who covers all things Venice. A member of the Oceanfront Walk Committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council, he can be contacted via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com

in Opinion
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