Category Archives: Venice Beach

Could a New Restaurant on Rose Ave Solve Parking Issues?

9:55am

Last night Bruce Horwitz held a gathering, to discuss his latest project, a new restaurant at 425 Rose Ave., Venice. The meeting was held at another of Horwitz’s restaurants, Venice favorite, Wabi-Sabi at 1637 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice.

Horwitz’s latest project has been a hot topic in Venice. The development includes displacing the much-loved, long-time, family-run Fiesta Brava (read more here).

Horwitz Community Meeting 1
Venice Restauranteur, Bruce Horwitz, addresses concerned community members

Speaking at the meeting Horwitz said, “I wanted everyone to come together here because now that we’ve had a lot of time to listen to the community and to listen to the various view points of planners, and neighbors, and diners, and patrons, we feel that perhaps we’ve come up with something that we hope to be kind of a middle ground”

Horwitz who has has made significant changes to the original plan also said, “We have great hopes for the restaurant and we want it to serve the neighborhood and we’ve come up with something that we hope will serve the neighborhood better than perhaps it’s original application”

The changes to the plan included less seating, earlier closing hours, a  beer and wine only liquor license, and an innovative parking solution that if it goes ahead could solve many of the parking issues on Rose Ave.

Horwitz explained he was currently negotiating not only with the LAUSD to be able to use the parking after-hours at the Venice Skills Center on 5th Ave., but also with the Venice Family Clinic to use their parking. The idea being both lots, which are empty during prime restaurant opening hours, could be used for valet parking.

Between both lots there would be enough parking not only for the new restaurant at 425 Rose Ave., but also for other restaurants along the street.

Kimmy Miller of Leaders of Venice Everlasting, a group formed  by locals who aim to preserve the character of Venice under the current wave of gentrification, has been working closely with Horwitz “One of the biggest things that came out of this whole thing is that you can bring the developer and the neighborhood together… he (Horwitz) conceded to so many things that I think it’s really interesting as an experience to learn that if the neighborhood can work with the developer, then we’re more apt to catch more flies with honey than anything else.”

Long time Venice resident Esther Terrestrial had come to the meeting with concerns that the new restaurant would mean the loss of affordable dining in Venice, saying,  “If you’re getting to my age and you’re living on Social Security you’re very happy to eat at Fiesta Brava, but I’m not happy to eat in these real expensive restaurants, so for me, the change in the neighborhood is a terrible loss. You know how they say “Oh change is good, progress” I don’t know how good it is.”

However,  Horwitz who has been adamant all along, reiterated that the new restaurant will be low-key, family friendly, and nowhere near as fancy as his Tasting Kitchen, or even Wabi-Sabi restaurants.

 

Horwitz Community Meeting 2
Venetians gather at Wabi-Sabi on Abbot Kinney to discuss plans for a new restaurant at 425 Rose Ave., Venice

Joining the more-than -40 concerned Venetians in attendance was  425 Rose Ave., property owner Miriam Zlotolow. Zlotolow said she was too exhausted to talk about the project, instead handing out a typed letter that explained her situation. “After many years of service to the community as the operator of the Venice Ranch Market, it was finally time to close our market and move on to other things. A combination of factors including my age (Zlotolow turns 70 this year) plumbing problems, legal problems, and problems with profitability influenced my division to work with Bruce Horwitz”

Zlotolow, wearing a t-shirt printed with the American flag did not appear to be the rich, flashy, or greedy landlord anyone expected. Instead she looked every bit a woman who had worked hard as the owner and operator of her corner store business.  If the current property boom in Venice has made Zlotolow’s Rose Ave., property her winning lottery ticket, may be it could be said that for Zlotolow, her luck has followed years of hard work.

Roberta Haze who has lived in Venice for over 25 years found the meeting to be very informative “I think that he  (Horwitz) is trying to go beyond what he has to do to make it fit for the community”

Venice Basketball League – Games on Today

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Tip off has begun for the first of today’s games in the Venice Basketball League.

 

Founded in 2006 by some of Los Angeles’ hoop trendsetters, over the past 8 years the VBL has grown to become one of the most recognizable summer leagues in the world.

 The Venice Basketball League consists of 10 selective teams. Played to entertain, with no free throws, the games are high on physical action.
Today’s schedule:
12pm – Overthrown VS The Corporation 
1.30pm – Sunblock VS I’m Just Different
3 pm – Future Legends VS The Mean Ones 
4.30 pm – United Nationz VS Swagg Media 

LA City Council to Vote on Homeless Encampments

8:48am

Today the Los Angeles City Council plans to take a final vote  on rules that could see homeless encampments dismantled and  personal property left on sidewalks and in city parks removed.

Currently the city gives 72 hours notice before removing personal items. The new ordinances, tentatively backed by the council last week,  would reduce this notice period to 24 hours and the city would be required to store the belongings for 90 days. As with the current process, the city will retain the right to discard any unclaimed items after this.OFW Homeless 4
OFW Homeless 5

Homeless advocates are planning to gather outside City Hall today in protest. They say the new rules would make it close to impossible for a homeless person to possess any items, of any size, in a public space.

In the meantime homelessness appears to be on the rise with officials saying the latest homeless count in Los Angeles
County found a 12 percent increase in homelessness and an 85 percent jump in the number of tents, encampments and vehicles occupied by homeless people.

Councilman Mike Bonin says that because of Los Angeles’ inability to deal with homelessness in the past 10 years “We are now a city of encampments”

Play Ball! Venice Should Discuss A 3-4,000 Seat Baseball Stadium

By Mike Newhouse

There’s a lot of controversy around development in Venice these days. Is a project too tall or too boxy? Is there enough parking? Will existing affordable units be replaced, or displaced? These are tough questions, and everyone has an opinion, often the opposite of their neighbors’.

But lately, I’ve been thinking, what if there were a project that “almost everyone” could get behind? Well folks, my good friend Nick Antonicello has come up with that idea; return professional baseball to Venice!

Now before you think that Nick and I are crazy, remember, baseball is no stranger to Venice. The Venice Tigers, of the Pacific Coast League played here in 1913 and 1914, in a stadium located at the southwest corner of Venice and Abbot Kinney Blvd. I’m sure the owners of that location don’t want to vacate anytime soon, but what if Venice had a world class location for a new minor league baseball team and 3-4,000 seat stadium?

How about right on the beach? The current LA County Beaches and Harbors Lifeguard yard would be an ideal seaside spot. It would be easy to relocate the Lifeguard yard, and it could likely even be connected to the new stadium. Moreover, that location is virtually attached to a huge parking lot that is extremely under utilized during the late afternoon on weekdays, and in the evenings every day of the week; exactly when most games would be played.
Of course, beyond baseball the stadium could be used for other youth or semi-professional sports, concerts, community events, and even movie filming.

With respect to financing, it’s not hard to imagine that many Major League Baseball teams would be interested in such a location for one of their Minor League clubs, and that several of our new Silicon Beach additions to Venice would be extremely interested in being involved.

The stadium, and possibly surrounding park space, would also be a wonderful compliment to the burgeoning Business Improvement District momentum currently building among Ocean Front Walk business owners.

A stadium would be a perfect addition to encourage locals and visitors alike to come to the Venice Boardwalk at times they normally would not; especially in the late afternoon and early evening.

Finally, as part of the project, which would obviously have to be a public/private partnership with the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles, Venetians should insist that a percentage of revenue generated from stadium events stay in a Venice Specific Fund. Such a fund would go a long way towards adding bathrooms and more trash and recycling bins throughout Venice and to helping fund the important work being done to help homeless populations in our community.

Obviously, these are broad sketches, and the Devil is always in the details. Such a project would have to go through a full Environment Impact Report, and would require extensive community vetting to make sure that it was tasteful, proper in size and scope, adequately planned for potential parking and traffic increases, and to make sure that excessive noise and light from the development were properly mitigated so as to not cause a nuisance to neighbors or nature.

In short, this won’t happen tomorrow, and maybe it never will. But, I think it would be a fun discussion to start.

Mike Newhouse is a local attorney and President of the Venice Neighborhood Council.  He can be reached at president@veniceNC.org.

International Go Skate Day This Sunday

International Go Skate Day10:00am

This Sunday it’s a double whammy, Father’s Day and  International Go Skate Day!

So grab your Dad, or a Dad, and your skateboard and get down to the Skatepark  to celebrate.

The Venice Skatepark will run skate comps all day from 10am-5pm. Plus,  there will be over 20 vendors, family activities, and lots of great skating throughout the day.