Venice’s celebrated Main Street and Rose Avenue hub has a new hot-spot – The Anchor – a sexy, gritty wine bar vibe that stays true to its low-key Venice roots.
Owners Kristin Ciccolella and Sandy Ames have brought their vision of a casual, creative menu of bio-dynamic wines, craft beer, and seasonal, seafood-inspired share plate dishes including oysters, charcuterie, and their signature Lobster Roll – all injected with energy and “no B.S.” attitude.
Executive Chef Dustin Taylor (formerly of Michael’s and Comme Ca) along with Pastry Chef Sarah Green, showcase a simple, yet thoughtful menu with highlights such as Waffle Crusted Jidori Chicken Wings with Maple Syrup Reduction, Lobster and Biscuits Pot Pie, and a rotating selection of inventive sweets.
From ambiance to food, The Anchor embodies the unapologetic and effortless cool of urban life, married with the freshness and approachability of Southern California.
Drawing from the industrial vibe of New York City, old navy ships, and the bright and breeziness of L.A., interior designer Sally Breer incorporated materials like reclaimed brick, natural concrete, raw steel, and heavy duty vintage nautical rope.
Graffiti artist Gregory Siff created a vibrant maritime mural overlooking the kitchen and bar area that adds soul and dimension to the intimate space.
Yo! Venice! spoke with Sandy Ames about The Anchor, which officially opened Aug. 29, 2014.
What is the story of how The Anchor came about?
We moved here from Harlem a year-and-a-half-ago to raise our two-year-old son. No plans at all to open a restaurant. Kristin owns a successful advertising company based in N.J. I came from a thriving broadcast career based in N.Y.C.
After a year in L.A., we realized we were missing a taste of home. So we created it. Literally.
What is the inspiration for the menu?
The Anchor was originally going to be a wine bar. Then one day during construction, we visited our favorite indulgence back home in N.Y.C. (Luke’s Lobster), called home, and said “stop the presses. We’re more than a wine bar! We want lobster rolls. And we want a hot guy shucking oysters!”
Sometimes that hot guy is Maria, but that makes it all the more hotter.
What is one of the most popular dishes?
The Lobster Roll. Hands down it’s the best one you’ve ever had in your life. There is no lobster roll in the world like it.
The octopus is so good, we literally had a guy fly in from Greece and say it’s better than any he’s had at home.
The S’mores Panna Cotta, when you have it with a glass of peanut butter stout beer, is better than sex.
How often will the menu change?
The staples will remain. But we print new ones weekly with a seasonal special, or a tiny add or change.
Does Chef Taylor utilize the local farmers markets?
Yes yes yes. Every day. Our place is so tiny, you’re guaranteed everything fresh off the vine and off the boat! There’s no storage space! What you see on your plate today was probably at the farmers market this morning.
Do you have a happy hour?
Happy hour starts at 3 pm and goes til 6 pm every day but Monday (it is closed Mondays). It’s one of the earlier ones in Venice, if not the earliest. We have $5 draught beers, and some food specials too – you can still get oysters and lobster rolls!
Anything else you would like to mention?
Fun is a requirement to work at The Anchor… and to be at The Anchor! Kristin once threw a customer’s utensils in the garbage and insisted they eat the S’mores with their hands or leave!
Since I’m a certified master hypnotist, I once hypnotized guests at a food writer’s table – Kat from Eater – you can ask her! Our wines were hand picked by a James Beard award winning sommelier we flew in from N.Y.C.
The Anchor is the place we dreamed of going. Flip flips and foodies. Locals, and those who’ve flown in to feel the buzz. Sophisticated and laughable. And oh-my-god, have you tried Sarah’s sticky buns?
We love our staff. We love the locals who come in day after day. We love that east coasters flock to The Anchor and don’t even know why! We love how much at home we feel in Venice. Just as our lobster roll brings the two sides of the world together, The Anchor is home, and home away from home, creating a new culture with the charm of Kristin Ciccolella on top!
People come in for the lobster roll, and come back for another helping of Kristin!
The Anchor is located at 235 Main Street, Venice. For more information, call 310.664.9696 or visit www.theanchorvenice.com.
Venice veteran real estate agents Assaf Raz and Jeff F. Konecke are representing the sale of eight lots on the 300 block of Rose Avenue in Venice.
Three are contiguous lots, with a gap of two lots that are not owned by the seller, and then five additional contiguous lots.
Raz and Konecke said they have shared a vision for many years to bring unique investment and ownership opportunities to people passionate about the Venice area.
In January 2014 they launched their independent brokerage, Dogtown Realty, Inc., in the old Zephyr building on Main Street, Santa Monica, where the Dogtown surf and skate history began.
Raz had secured the Dogtown Realty name back in 2001 after seeing the Dogtown and Z-Boys documentary, which influenced him greatly, particularly the strong commitment to local community.
“This move was the first step toward taking our vision and philosophy of ‘localism’ and making it into the standard culture of the company, while providing a new way for our clients to interact and achieve their real estate goals,” Raz said.
The Venice block of properties is anchored in the vibrant retail district of Rose Avenue, which spans 0.7 miles from Main Street to Lincoln Boulevard. Seven of the properties are currently duplexes, and one is being used as a commercial office.
The seven duplexes were built in 1953, and each sits on approximately 3,028 square foot lots with approximately 7,364 square feet of properties.
The corner property, 371 Rose was built in 2008 and it sits on a double lot (6,057sf). It is used for a commercial tenant and estimated at 4,000 sf. Rose retail district is a much sought-after mixed-use block of residential, office, retail and restaurants, only two blocks from Main Street and three blocks to Ocean Front Walk.
“This development really offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest, live and grow in the heart of the exciting and thriving Venicebeach community,” Konecke said.
Zoetic – formerly known as Chartreuse – a wildly popular vegan pop-up dinner series in Detroit heads back to Los Angeles by way of Chef Corinne Rice.
This Saturday, Sept. 27 at Big Red Sun in Venice guests will be offered a four-course meal including locally sourced ingredients specific to the region along with live entertainment and BYOW (Bring your own wine).
Big Red Sun is located at 560 Rose Ave., Venice, CA 90291. The event starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $79 per person. Only 20 spots available so don’t hesitate. Get your seat by clicking here.
first | seaweed salad, cucumber, mouse melon, fermented watermelon rind
second|radish tartine, orange, thy
third|coconut sashimi, lemon, chives, spices
fourth |mint pesto noodles, sous vide mushrooms, peas, pea tendrils, basil
Full Circle Venice is a non-denominational non-profit community-based center located in the heart of Venice, known for its diversity, open-mindedness, and creativity.
It is an experiential environment where people can creatively expand their social relations and connect with other members of their community.
This is achieved through live performances, art exhibits, film screenings, yoga and dance classes, workshops, forums and other special events.
Full Circle promotes the general welfare through collective efforts that enhance the health, safety, peace, morals and comfort of the community.
Andrew Keegan, FCV Co-Founder, said it was a leader-full community dedicated to practicing the soul values of generosity, freedom and equality.
“We recognize the collective desire to live in a more harmonious experience,” Keegan said. “For some people, it’s hard to connect to these ideals, but I believe it. We are all one, and we are in this together. With this understanding, our focus is leading a positive spiritual approach in all our gatherings.”
“Full Circle honors all peaceful cultures and teachers for the unique and inspired contributions they have made to the world, at the same time recognizing that an infinite field of possibility remains in which we can responsibly, imaginatively, and freely co-create our future together.
Full Circle’s weekly meditation ceremony, Resonate, is a place for the community to come together, develop friendships, hear from guest speakers and enjoy live music.
Resonate is unique, as it is spiritual in nature, but not affiliated with any particular path or religion. Like many Full Circle events, the event is free and open to the public.
Ben Decker, FCV Spiritual Director says, “In a time of intentionally misleading media, unprecedented violence; we live in a world where there is more confusion than there is understanding. We are here to create an environment where people can be themselves and express their creativity in a community that celebrates individuality.”
Full Circle Venice is located at 305 Rose Ave, Venice, CA. 90291.