Category Archives: Venice Beach News


Heavy rainfall set to drench Venice Beach, L.A. County

A storm out of the Pacific Northwest bore down on the Southland today, threatening heavy rainfall, flash flooding, rivers of mud and debris in areas denuded by wildfire, high surf, perilous rip currents, and winds gusting at as much as 70 miles per hour.

Los Angeles County public works crews have been working to remove debris from catch-basins in the area in hopes of preventing flooding by giving rain runoff a clear path out of the area.

“A strong storm system will move across the area Thursday and Thursday night, bringing moderate to heavy rainfall,” said a National Weather Service statement. “Behind the front, on Friday and Friday evening an unstable air mass will generate numerous showers and possible thunderstorms.”

NWS forecasters said the storm could dump 1 to 2 inches of rain on coastal and valley locations, and 2 to 4 inches in foothills and mountains. At times, the rain may come down at a rate of between a half-inch and an inch per hour, said NWS forecasters.

“Due to the potential for intense rainfall along the cold front, and with the showers and thunderstorms behind the front, there is the possibility of dangerous flash flooding and mud and debris flows in the recent burn areas of Ventura and Los Angeles counties,” the statement said.

A flash flood watch will be in effect from late tonight through Friday evening in the San Gabriel Mountains and the San Gabriel and Antelope valleys.

A flood watch will also be in effect in Orange County, particularly in the Silverado Canyon burn area on Friday and Friday night.

Additionally, a high wind warning will be in effect starting tonight in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. In L.A. County, it will take effect at 7 p.m. in the San Gabriel Mountains and the Antelope Valley, and at 10 p.m. in the Santa Monica Mountains, expiring everywhere at 7 a.m. Friday.

Those areas will be swept by south winds blowing at sustained speeds of between 30 and 45 miles per hour, gusting to 60 mph in the Santa Monicas and 70 mph in the San Gabriels and the Antelope Valley, NWS forecasters said.

“Winds this strong may down trees and power lines and cause property damage,” warned an NWS statement. “Dangerous driving conditions are also expected.

The statement urged residents to “secure all loose outdoor furniture in advance of the onset of strong winds.”

Forecasters said the fast-moving storm, while shorter than last week’s rain event, could dump more of the wet stuff on the region. Snow levels, meanwhile, will initially be above the resort level, but dip to about 5,000 feet on Friday afternoon.

“There could be a brief mix of rain and snow at the summit of the Grapevine on Interstate 5. However, no accumulations are expected,” according to the Weather Service.

Snow accumulations in upper mountain elevations could reach up to 10 inches, forecasters said.

Also expected is pounding surf along the coast, with the second of two westerly swells reaching the outer waters this afternoon and spreading. A high surf advisory will take effect tonight and remain in force through Saturday.

NWS forecasters said the Central Coast will be especially vulnerable since it will experience “large and dangerous surf” from this afternoon through Saturday, a statement said.

Forecasters said the high surf is likely to cause significant beach erosion and flood piers and jetties, low-lying areas and beachside parking lots. They said waves of between 7 and 10 feet are expected, with local sets of up to 13 feet along some west-facing beaches.

“Avoid standing on jetties, piers and rocks near the edge of the water,” warned an NWS statement. “Remember to never turn your back to the ocean during large surf events.

Forecasters warned swimmers who may get caught up in strong rip currents to swim parallel to shore until they can free themselves.

“Always swim near a  lifeguard,” the high surf advisory statement said.


L.A. City Council votes to make Airbnb hosts pay hotel taxes to city

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously today to notify people and companies who list properties for rent on short-term lodging sites like Airbnb that they are required to pay hotel taxes to the city.

The council instructed the Office of Finance to issue letters to hosts who use such short-term rental sites, detailing the applicable laws, including the transient occupancy tax hotels must pay to the city.

City officials plan to work with the various short-term rental companies operating in the city — such as VRBO and Homeaway — to put together a list of hosts who operate in the city, council aides said.

The most prominent of the companies, Airbnb, released a report last week saying its site was used by about 4,490 Los Angeles hosts during a 12-month stretch from May 2013 to April 2014.

The action today came as some city leaders are calling for additional measures to regulate and tax short-term rental companies.


Councilman Mike Bonin seeks to regulate short-term rentals in Venice

Two city councilmen called this week for city regulation of smartphone apps such as Airbnb, VRBO and Homeaway that facilitate short-term rentals in Los Angeles.

A motion introduced Tuesday by Councilmen Mike Bonin and Herb Wesson would instruct city staff to study regulations enacted in San Francisco, Portland and other cities, and develop rules for Los Angeles.

Bonin said the city needs “a regulatory model that will put
neighborhoods first while paving the way for short-term rentals to thrive in an appropriate fashion in Los Angeles.”

“The current system, which turns a blind eye to an important industry and its impact on our neighborhoods, our rental stock and the city treasury, works for no one,” he said.

Bonin said such short-term rentals, which are popular in Venice, can help property owners “to augment their incomes, or to give tourists the ability to live like locals.” But abuses can occur in cases in which large numbers of units are purchased by commercial entities and rented out like “de facto hotels.”

Bonin also said the city should be allowed to collect transient
occupancy taxes from the short-term rentals, just as it does with hotels.


Brick Smokehouse in Venice serves up BBQ delights

Brick Smokehouse chef Glen Rogers.
Brick Smokehouse chef Glen Rogers.

By K. Pearson Brown

The just-opened Brick Smokehouse in Venice follows the trend of pop-up retailers with a new concept of a pop-in restaurant, where a sleepy café by day is transformed into a bustling neighborhood smokehouse by night.

Chef Glen Rogers traveled the country, from the Carolinas to Texas, sampling barbeque recipes and inspiring himself with the best-of-the-best before inventing his own BBQ sauce for his delectable menu of slow-cooked ribs, brisket, tri-tip and other all natural pasture-raised meats.

He serves them up along with soul food sides, made from fresh ingredients from local farmers markets.

Complementing a rotating menu of smoked meats, the restaurant serves a selection of hand-selected craft beers and wine.

For dessert there are fresh baked pies.

The atmosphere is down-home friendly and informal, with Rogers’ four-year-old son running around along with plenty of other kids and their families hanging out during the earlier evening hours.

Service is professional and efficient, including head server Danielle, an 11-year veteran of the business who glows when talking about the menu she herself can’t get enough of.

The spot is known to locals as the Brickhouse Kitchen, which serves breakfast and brunch, until Rogers and his smokehouse crew take over at 4 pm for the nightshift.

It’s open until 10 pm, but get there early while there’s still turkey legs and pie, which are known to sell out early on busy nights.

The Brick Smokehouse is located at 826 Hampton Avenue, at the intersection of Electric Avenue, just a block off of the bohemian chic Abbot Kinney food scene.

For more information, call 310.581.1639 or visit visit

Main photo courtesy: Photo by Glennie Rabin/Lincoln & Rose

Venice tree

Delancey St. Foundation returns Monday to Venice to sell Christmas trees

Leftover Luxuries, a Venice-based home consignment pop-up shop, has partnered with the Delancey Street Foundation to sell Christmas trees starting this Monday, Dec .1.

The shop, which opened at 712 Lincoln Boulevard last month, was planning to sell outdoor furniture on their patio, but the furniture never arrived.

That’s when the shop called Delancey Street Foundation – who used to sell trees in Venice seven years ago, but lost their lot — to see if they wanted to sell trees from their patio, and as they say, “the rest was history,” and a sub-lease between the foundation and Leftover Luxuries was signed quickly.

The ever-efficient men of Delancey Street Foundation have already converted the patio into a winter wonderland, complete with lights and an outdoor “showroom,” ready for the season to start.

Delancey Street is considered the country’s leading residential self-help organization for substance abusers, ex-convicts, and homeless people who are ready for a second chance.

They are completely self sufficient, relying solely on funds generated themselves through their many business entities, which include moving services, Christmas tree sales, and hospitality services
in six cities across the U.S.

Their Los Angeles facility is the former Hilton Hotel, which was built for the Olympics in 1984.

Leftover Luxuries is a high-end furniture and home décor consignment shop that offers everything from Mid-Century Heywood Wakefield furniture and vintage collectibles, to newly reupholstered furniture from interior designers, and artwork from local artists.

The store and tree lot are located at 712 South Lincoln Blvd, between Indiana Ave., and Vernon Ave., just south of Rose Avenue. For more information, call Leftover Luxuries at 310.650.2693 or email