Broad Humor

Broad Humor Film Festival returns to Venice this weekend

This weekend The Broad Humor Film Festival is back in Venice to tickle your funny bone with a weekend long romp of women-centric feature films.

Named one of the five “coolest” women’s film festivals in the world by Moviemaker magazine this past year, the 2014 festival has been greenlit by a successfully run Kickstarter campaign.

Films run today through Sunday — men are welcome too — at The Electric Lodge, which is located at 1416 Electric Avenue

Past screenings have included female-made comedies from all over the world, and this year’s line up is as (potentially) broadly international as prior years.

The fest mission is to provide a fun-filled three days of films by women directors and writers.

Unique among film festivals, Broad Humor manages to serve up laughs from a female perspective, build community with lively discussions and events, and showcase voices we don’t usually hear.

For more information or to buy tickets visit

Mark Twain Middle School

Man dies after crashing into Venice middle school

Authorities today identified a 44-year-old man who was killed when his vehicle ran through a T-intersection and struck the wall of a Venice middle school.

Speed was believed to have been a factor in the crash, which occurred around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Emilson Saint Julien.

The vehicle struck a wall of the Mark Twain Middle School in the
2200 block of Walgrove Avenue.

Daniel Wang of Los Angeles died at the scene, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.

No one else was injured in the crash, Saint Julien said.

Venice Whaler general manager T.J. Williams invites the community to visit its renovated new downstairs bar area called the Crab Shell Bar.

Venice Whaler debuts new downstairs “Crab Shell Bar”

The Venice Whaler is creating waves of attention after renovating its downstairs cocktail bar and calling it the Crab Shell Bar, which officially debuted in August.

Interestingly enough, the Crab Shell Bar was the original name of the establishment before it was named the Venice Whaler more than half a century ago.

The renovated bar area stands as a form of homage to the property’s vibrant history.

Alongside its re-opening is not only a sleek new aesthetic, but also an innovative craft cocktail menu that customers can especially take advantage of during the happy hour special.

Venice Whaler general manager T.J. Williams invites the community to visit its renovated new downstairs bar area called the Crab Shell Bar.
Venice Whaler general manager T.J. Williams invites the community to visit its renovated new downstairs bar area called the Crab Shell Bar.

Happy hour at the Crab Shell Bar takes place Monday through Friday from 4 pm to 7 pm.

The specials include $2 off well cocktails and all draft beers; $5 off all pitchers, house cabernet and chardonnay, and pickle back shots; and $6 for the specialty cocktail of the day.

The happy hour deals also extend to some of the scrumptious small bites that the Crab Shell Bar offers as well, as customers can order $5 corn on the cob, $5 fries, $8 shrimp rolls, $9 wings, $9 chicken satay, and $9 sliders during designated hours.

The bar’s unique craft cocktail menu was concocted with a careful mind and an underlying mission.

The Venice Whaler now has a cocktail program.
The Venice Whaler now has a cocktail program.

Venice Whaler general manager T.J. Williams said the cocktail culture had changed dramatically in Los Angeles.

“The Venice Whaler had never taken part in this culture before, but now we are diving in head-first with a fun and clever cocktail program that really sets us apart from other beach bars,” Williams said.

Williams describes the cocktail menu a “built for speed and built beach-friendly.”

He said each cocktail utilized three to four ingredients at most and incorporated hints of Southern California and Venice Beach.

One example is the Venice Julep. It adds a Californian kick to a Southern favorite by mixing peach iced tea and chai syrup to the standard bourbon and mint.

The AWOL (which Westsiders know as “Always West of Lincoln”) is a West Coast version of the classic Sidecar and substitutes cognac with all-American applejack as well as a rich pineapple gum syrup.

The Whole Foods drink acts as a nod to the popular local market and could also be a representation of L.A.’s juicing culture, as both carrot juice and orange juice are incorporated with green chartreuse and beet bitters.

There are seven more colorful and creative cocktails, making for a total of 10 original drinks that range from unique versions of the familiar classics to the more esoteric concoctions.

For instance, the Moscow Whale is a spin on the Moscow Mule, which is no stranger to a standard cocktail menu, but one-of-a-kind cocktails stand their ground in the Crab Shell Bar as well.

Grandpa’s Chair involves a glass smoked with pipe tobacco, which is then filled with scotch and black walnut bitters. Inspired by Williams’ pipe-smoking grandfather, Grandpa’s Chair is “definitely a drinking-person’s drink” and is the first of its type in the realm of mixology what with its anecdotal inspiration.

With attention-catching names like the Cat Daddy (with moonshine, fernet branca, sassafras bitters, and root beer) and the Bubble Butt (with Svedka vodka, boysenberry shrub, lemon, and prosecco float), customers are sure to have a fun experience simply ordering these deliciously mixed drinks.

Williams also mentioned that the new management was very careful when they took over, since the Whaler is a familiar and well-known Westside property.

By applying “some tender love and care,” Williams and his staff were able to create a new and improved food and drink program.

“We claimed the phrase ‘upscale dive bar food,’” Williams said.

Customers can order the same types of food that they can expect to find at regular bars, but in this case, every menu item will possess a little extra quality.

New executive chef Nick Liberato’s culinary skills can be held responsible for the high-quality unconventionality that is “upscale dive bar food,” some of which is included on the happy hour menu.

“We embrace [the menu items customers would get at bars] and take them to the next level,” Liberato said. “We went out of the way to bring in our chef, and he’s been a world of change for the property. It’s not just frozen wings and fried food coming out of the kitchen. People are starting to come [to the bar] as a destination to eat, not just to drink and party.”

Bar Director Anthony Settecase said he planned to keep changing his cocktails that would evolve on a seasonal basis, adding regular customers could expect a fresh variety of fall drinks by October.

Guest bartenders are also set to visit the Crab Shell Bar in the near future to bring their own individual mixology skills to the Whaler.

Whether it’s for the beachy, refreshing drinks, for the quality savory bites, or for the six-day-a-week live music inspired by the legendary bands that once graced the Whaler, be sure to check out the newly renovated Crab Shell Bar and take in the breathtaking ocean view of Venice Beach that the venue boasts.

The Crab Shell Bar is located at 10 W. Washington Blvd. in Venice on the first floor of the Venice Whaler. For more information, call 310.821.8737 or visit


Captain arrested after sailboat runs ashore at Venice Beach

The captain of a sailboat was arrested after his craft ran aground and began to capsize at Venice Beach early this morning, authorities said.

The sailboat ran aground between the Venice and Santa Monica piers around midnight, said Sgt. G. Montoya of the sheriff’s Marina del Rey Station.

Los Angeles police officers arrived first and helped four people get from the boat to shore, said Lt. Marco Munoz of the LAPD’s Pacific Station.

“The captain of the boat was possibly under the influence so we notified the sheriff’s Marina del Rey Station,” Munoz said.

Montoya confirmed the captain was arrested on suspicion of driving a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The sailboat was left along the surf line until the captain could make arrangements to have it removed, she said.


Minnie T’s Boutique says goodbye to Abbot Kinney, hello to Santa Monica

By Jesse Merchant

Minnie T’s has been a retail go-to for locals and visitors since 2001 at 1355 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, but now, it has moved out of its tiny Venice shop and into Santa Monica’s Sunset Park neighborhood.

To Minnie T’s, and its owner Barbara Phillips, quality even stretches to include the community, the history of the street it sits on, and who its neighbors are.

Phillips said Ocean Park Boulevard was an emerging retail destination, with the same neighborhood quality that Abbot Kinney once had.

According to Lauren de la Fuente, the Principal at Pearl Street Marketing, the new location was  perfect for Minnie T’s next chapter, adding that Minnie T’s had “13 great years on Abbot Kinney, before it became populated with mall-based and national retailers.”

De la Fuente said Minnie T’s was “considered one of L.A.’s premier retailers for women seeking something interesting, well crafted and special.”

“Minnie T’s is for women confident in their style who don’t need labels and want beautiful statement items, in other words, investment quality fashion,” she said. “Minnie T’s has staying power and so does the merchandise.”

So, while the new location will have more independent stores around it, inside the high quality clothes will stay the same.

Minnie T’s carries high-end retail from Italy, France, and Japan including Fiorentini & Baker, Rick Owens, La Cuir Perdu, Campomaggi, Saisei, Tsumori Chrisato, and Marc LeBihan.

But, they never seem to forget the idea of locality. This comes through in their support of Los Angeles-based designers such as Enza Costa, Casmari, and Trouble at the Mill, Cydwoq, Calvin Rucker, Jaga, DUUYA, and Louise Babouryan.

The new location will also have a “never-ending supply of dog treats,” says de la Fuente. So locals, visitors, and dogs of all shapes and sizes are welcome to stop by, peruse, and shop at the new Minnie T’s location.

The new store is open from 11 am to 7 pm daily at 1624 Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica.

For more information, visit

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