Targeted by activists and the city, Venice Beach Suites can no longer operate as a short-term rental hotel By Gary Walker A city-designated historic-cultural monument that became a popular short-term vacation rental destination on the Venice Boardwalk is now leasing studio apartments to longer-term tenants, following an L.A. City Attorney’s office crackdown on property owners accused of illegally converting rental housing into Airbnb-style hotels. In a court settlement announced late last month, Venice Beach Suites owner Andy Layman agreed to cease operating and advertising the four-story building south of Westminster Avenue as a short-term rental property or hotel and...Read More
Reese Davidson Community would replace the parking lot at Venice and Pacific with retail shops, a community arts center and 136 units of affordable housing By Gary Walker With 68 apartments for the homeless, 34 apartments for low-income artists, 34 apartments for low-income earners, four apartments for on-site supervisors, a neighborhood arts center, 4,000 square feet of retail or restaurant space and on-site parking, the proposed Reese Davidson Community would transform the 2.65-acre beach parking lot where Venice Boulevard meets Pacific Avenue into Venice’s largest affordable housing complex to date. It is also expected to face heavy push- back...Read More
Protest against national chains on the Venice Boardwalk targets new Starbucks Story by Gary Walker | Photos by Ted Soqui A small but energetic crowd braved the chance of showers on Saturday afternoon to stage a protest outside the new Starbucks coffee shop on the Venice Boardwalk, jeering and at times clashing with patrons who welcomed its arrival. That the S&P 500 coffee company now inhabits the former home of the Venice Beach Freakshow — evicted in 2017 amid widespread protest before Snapchat’s retreat from Venice — is only fueling advocacy efforts to keep national chains off the Venice...Read More
Closures mark the end of an era in Venice and curtail a comeback story in Playa Vista By Joe Piasecki, Jessica Koslow and Gary Walker A Westside cultural institution for more than three decades, Hal’s Bar & Grill anchored the renaissance of Abbot Kinney Boulevard and pioneered a flagship presence in the growing community of Playa Vista. The restaurant, bar and live jazz venue didn’t just roll with the changes, it played a leading role in preserving a sense of local identity among the growing presence of national chain stores. That legacy appears to be a historical one now....Read More
The iconic Hal’s Bar & Grill has gone out of business, shuttering its locations in Playa Vista and Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice this morning. Notes on the doors of both restaurants state that the business in liquidating and instruct employees to meet in Playa Vista this afternoon to settle final paychecks. The mood inside the building was a mix of shock and sadness, as the surprise closure comes about a month after the restaurant hired a new executive chef and rebooted its dinner menu. The restaurant’s owners could not be immediately reached for comment. Hal’s original Abbot Kinney...Read More
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