Like many areas in Los Angeles, Venice has experienced quite the resurgence in the past 15 to 20 years. Long considered to be one of the rougher parts of the city, it developed an identity closely tied to sports like surfing and skateboarding in the 1970s before slowly becoming a destination for Angelenos thanks to its proximity to the beach.
Built In LA spoke with Jeff Pion, Michelle Esquivel and Shay Bolton of commercial real estate services company CBRE to understand a little bit about how Venice developed its unique identity.
Originally developed as a beach resort by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney, it became so mismanaged it was eventually annexed by the City of Los Angeles in 1926. Oil was struck, and the area boomed thanks to an influx of locals on the hunt for black gold. The next few years weren’t easy for the area, as falling home prices and increasing unemployment set in, giving the area a bit of a reputation for being rough around the edges.
Inevitably, the proximity to the beach and the relatively cheap rents brought in a wave of new creative individuals.
Companies to know: Snap, Gem, Markett, Google, Cargomatic, WEVR, Creators Media, Seriously, Signal Sciences, Enervee, Pledgeling, The Bouqs Company, Google, Stack Commerce, Victorious, ZEFR, Unmute, Sensay, WONDER and many more.
Geography: Venice's relatively remote location is part of the reason why its community is so fiercely proud of their little part of Los Angeles. Bordered by Santa Monica to its north and Marina Del Rey to its south, certain parts of Venice — like other parts of LA — are technically part of other neighborhoods. If you're looking to get to Venice, it's only 3.5 miles off the Venice Boulevard exit on the 405.
Pro tip: When traversing the streets of Venice, especially during rush hour, avoid Lincoln at all costs.
The Venice Whaler
Best coffee spots: Menotti's Coffee Shop, Flake, Bellissimo Venice, Blue Bottle Coffee, Groundwork Coffee Co., Intelligentsia Coffee.
Best lunch spots: The Venice Whaler, El Huarique, Zelda's Corner, Tocaya Organica Venice, The Wee Chippy, L.A. Gastronomy, Komodo.
Best happy hours: Hinano Cafe, South End, The Lincoln, The Del Monte Speakeasy, The Brig, Nighthawk Breakfast Bar, Bacari PDR, Wurstküche Venice
Additional research courtesy of Jeff Pion, Michelle Esquivel-Hall and Shay Bolton of CBRE.
Images via Gem, Shutterstock and social media.