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
Arson investigators from the Los Angeles City Fire Department are still looking for the person responsible for the June 26 fire that closed down the Venice Pier for several days. LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey clarified that investigators believe that the fire was caused by a single homeless man attempting to access electricity under the pier and not a homeless encampment living there, as had been previously reported. Firefighters received a call at approximately 4:37 a.m. reporting flames at the pier, said LAFD spokeswoman Margaret Stewart, and found “a 15-foot section of the pier that was well involved in the...Read More
Not everyone in Los Angeles is excited about NBA superstar LeBron James joining the L.A. Lakers. A mural of James in a Lakers uniform painted Friday on the side of Baby Blues BBQ in Venice was defaced over the weekend, the vandal spray-painting “LeFraud,” “We don’t want you” and other insults over the fresh artwork. Prolific local muralist Jonas Never, who also painted the “Touch of Venice” mural on Windward Avenue, co-created the “King of L.A.” mural with street artist Menso One. Never repaired the mural on Sunday, telling TMZ Sports it was an easy fix. According to Sports...Read More
Candidates for principal must balance student equity and achievement By Gary Walker Three candidates vying to become the new principal of Venice High School made one of their final pitches on Monday before a local constituency that will play a role in determining whether they will lead the 2,000-plus student school next school year. More than 150 parents, faculty, students and alumni came to the high school’s gymnasium to hear from Gabriel Griego, Marguerette Gladden and Eileen Hiss, who are competing to replace Dr. Oryla Wiedoeft, who retired after suffering a relapse of a previous cancer diagnosis. A school...Read More
Plans for hotel rooms on Abbot Kinney undergo stringent review to inspire public confidence By Gary Walker Film producer and longtime Venice local Dan Abrams’ plans to develop a boutique hotel and restaurant/retail complex along an entire block of Abbot Kinney Boulevard have been met with both statements of public support and lingering concerns about mass, scale and traffic congestion. In an effort to tip the balance toward community support for his Venice Place project and alleviate as many concerns as possible, Abrams is doing something developers almost never do: voluntarily spending lots of his own money to conduct...Read More
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