Venice Businesses Closing Soon or Closed: The G2 Gallery, Brennan’s, Abbot’s Habit, NextSpace Venice, Venice Office Park & MANY More. When will it END?
Venice businesses have been falling like flies – or shall it be said snapped up? It’s no secret that successful Venice startup recently gone public, Snapchat (Snap Inc.) is gobbling up Venice properties at an alarming rate in the past three years, in addition to taking over leases that have left businesses scrambling for new locations. Part of the fallout is artists and other residents losing their studios and homes and the destruction of the culture and fabric of the community.
While it’s not new at this point and Snap can’t be blamed for it all; the tech wave that gave way to Venice being dubbed, “Silicon Beach” started late 2011, early 2012 when Google setup shop. Other tech companies followed. While Snap started in Venice in a beach bungalow known by locals as the “Jim Morrison” or “Charlie Chaplin” house in 2013, they have purchased numerous buildings, in addition to leased property in Venice since that time. What’s the fallout? Residents, artists and small business owners losing leases and getting kicked out of Venice.
For example, the former Venice office park bungalows (as they were commonly known), located at Venice Bl. just east of Abbot Kinney Bl housed numerous small businesses such as Turning Point Pilates (relocated in Venice), Tilapazola Restaurant (closed), Stephanie Johnson and others got their walking papers as a result of Snapchat’s purchase of the complex. NextSpace Venice coworking was suddenly closed in December of 2016, as a result of Snapchat taking over the lease (after it was quadrupled); where our office was located. Numerous startups and entrepreneurial businesses were forced to find a new locations asap.
While locating in Venice is one thing, being a catalyst of a mass exodus in the community that has created a huge divide in Venice takes it to another level! It’s well past due for Snapchat to be a responsible part of the community, which extends well beyond efforts made to date; namely contributing to a restoration fund for the Venice Veteran’s Wall, (see the AKFF post on Veteran’s Wall restoration). That’s all good, however, it’s time to follow the lead of other tech companies that have moved to Playa Vista after gaining scale; it’s a move that would be welcomed by many in the Venice community and would be considered as a big contribution to the Venice community.
It’s time to start paying it forward – by giving what was formerly spaces for artists and creatives back to them in some form, for example, starting a program where artists and creatives that lost their spaces can utilize spaces for free. If you love the community, set it FREE!
Founder & Editor
Abbot Kinney First Fridays
The annual Venice Art Walk is a festive fundraiser for Venice Family Clinic that’s also a celebration of Venice Artists with the famous Silent Auction at Google, the central area for all ages, free activities, in addition to Artist Open Studios.
This amazing annual event started by a Venice Artist Laddie John Dill, (in addition to to others) still opens his studio most years for the Venice Art Walk. The studio tour is a favorite of this Editor and worth the $50 ticket price, which allows the opportunity to meet local artists while touring their studio, view their art and ask questions. Get Venice Art Walk Tickets >
A small sampling of the artists on the studio tour with 50+ studios which takes place from 12 noon – 4pm: Flavio Bisciotti, Sandy Bleifer, Jean Edelstein, Mollie Favour, Helen K Garber and Alejandro Gehry.
Start at Google for the Silent auction, featuring art donated by local artists, including well known artists such as Charles Arnoldi and Andy Moses) that you can bid on for very reasonable pricing. It’s also a great way to get an art collection started. There’s a community celebration in the outdoor courtyard with live music and other festivities and outside on Hampton Av (in back of Google building) booths, food trucks and Venice Art Walk t-shirts and collectibles for sale. If you purchased Open Studio tour tickets, go to the Will Call table on Hampton, between Rose and Sunset for your wristband.
Venice Art Walk
Sunday, May 22, 2016
Noon–4PM: Artist Studio Tours
Noon–6PM: Silent Art Auction / Community Celebration / Imagination Station for Kids
340 Main St. Venice, CA 90291
Enter on Hampton, between Sunset and Rose – shut down to traffic
Art in the Afternoon, takes place on Saturday, May 7 from 12-4pm, A Window Between World’s popular annual art festival, will be held at the Venice Skills Center, 611 5th Avenue.
Featuring: Free food from In-N-Out Burger (for real), Chalk Art, Music, with hosts, Beth Littleford, from the “The Daily Show” and G Hannelius, from “Dog with a Blog”!
This is the second year in a row that this fun filled, all ages festival is happening – there were over 600 people at last years;s event! It benefits A Window Between Worlds, a Venice nonprofit organization celebrating its 25th Anniversary! AWBW’s healing art programs are for women, men and children impacted by violence-related trauma.
Festival Highlights: Admission includes free food from In-N-Out® Burger (12-2pm), Panda Express and Sprinkles Cupcakes. Aquarium of the Pacific on Wheels is also free, along with art-making, face painting, chalk art, Hoop it Up Hula Hooping and a Best Bubbles Party. Color Me Mine, SuperCool Creamery, Make Me Nails and Creative Chakra Spa will also be there, along with multiple carnival games (with prizes), a bouncy slide for the kids and live and silent auctions for the adults.
Get Your Tickets Today at aia2016.eventbrite.com and at the door. Kids: $10 (12 and under), Teens: $25 (13-17), Adults: $60.
Art in the Afternoon
Saturday, May 7 from 12-4pm
Venice Skills Center
611 5th Avenue, Venice CA 90291
(between Vernon + Sunset)
Taste of Venice is an annual event (formerly Taste of Abbot Kinney) benefiting a worthy community arts organization, P.S. Arts, celebrating 25 years in Venice!
The annual event provided a taste of local Venice restaurants, cafes and food delivery services, along with wine, beer and spirits.
This year’s food tasting extravaganza was on August 30, 2015 and the AKFF Team loved being part of it, from tasting a variety of food and drink, chatting with the restaurant owners and guests at the event, in addition to contributing promotion for this worthy event. The AKFF Blog has promoted the event since 2010!
On to the food front, we enjoyed fresh raw ahi tuna salad from Poke Poke, an Asian inspired salad and meatball from Mind Body Fork, a new food delivery service with food made by Chef Debbie Lee, yummy pasta and sliders from Bank of Venice (almost a meal in itself) with tacos from an old Venice standby, La Cabana, delectable ahi tuna from Larry’s, pasta making with Chef Gino from Piccolo was a real crowd pleaser and a healthy salad of julienne veggies from Komodo to name a few.
Plus there were plenty of beverages to quench your thirst with coffee from Groundwork, a longtime Venice favorite coffee spot (it made our Top 5 Coffee Spots in Venice), Matty Chai, an ice cold chai from Flake, a super sangria that was just right for the blazing heat on that day from Vina Sympatica, a new wine brand by a local woman entrepreneur, Sherrijon Gaspard, a good cabernet from Dark Horse Winery plus Angel City Brewery, Firestone for those who preferred beer and a number of spirit companies were pouring as well.
There was also entertainment with a band, The Ugly Sweaters and DJ Ben Goldsmith, along with the fun Bosco photo booth presented by Cheeky, the fun paper plate and plasticware company that gave a free meal for us taking a goofy photo added to the fun, along with some great gift baskets, messenger bags and more in the silent auction – all held at Lincoln Place. It made it easy to have everything in one location this year, instead of going from restaurant to restaurant, however, the element of shade was really missing. For next year an indoor/outdoor space would be ideal! All in all it was a fun day and great event – and yes, we ate too much!