Venice Grind owner blames Vision Zero and Councilman Bonin for the loss of his business

By Gary Walker

After 15 years as one of the most high-profile establishments on Venice Boulevard, Venice Grind Coffee Co. is closing its doors tomorrow, Oct. 18.

Venice Grind owner Demetrios Mavromichalis attributes his decision to close the Mar Vista coffee shop to a precipitous drop in sales due to controversial lane closures on Venice Boulevard that occurred more than a year ago.

“It’s a direct result of Great Streets Vision Zero,” Mavromichalis said of the transportation initiative designed to reduce traffic–related deaths on major streets and roads. A local business leader in Mar Vista for more than a decade, Mavromichalis was an ally of Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, an outspoken proponent of Vision Zero. But he isn’t anymore. Mavromichalis holds Bonin responsible for the closure of his and other businesses that have shuttered since the so-called “road diet.”

“This business was my first one. It was near and dear to my heart. I feel more strongly than ever that I want his career to be over,” Mavromichalis said of the councilman, pledging to confront Bonin at public events in the future.

“The gloves are off,” Mavromichalis said.

In an effort to slow down traffic, Bonin advocated last year for the closure of one lane going east and one going west on Venice, additional bicycle lanes and the creation of small parks in an effort to make the street more pedestrian friendly.

Mavromichalis is inviting the public to have one more cup of coffee at Venice Grind on Thursday, so he can thank people for their patronage and support over the years.
Venice Grind Coffee Co. is located at 12224 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista.