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Joe's Restaurant in Venice Bets Big on a Future Without Beau Laughlin

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The once-rumored partnership is no more.

Joe's Restaurant, Venice
Joe's Restaurant, Venice
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Last year, word was out that Beau Laughlin would be joining the Joe’s Restaurant team in Venice as a partner, with plans to take the 24 year-old space in a new direction. Well, it looks like that’s off the table now, as Joe’s is still up and running — and with Laughlin nowhere in sight.

A call to chef/owner Joe Miller confirms the Laughlin departure news (apparently the two sides never could quite work out a mutually agreeable deal), with Miller saying that not only will the restaurant stay open for the foreseeable future, but it’s actually hoping to stick around for much, much longer.

With little upscale competition in the area anymore (remember, Piccolo is no more, and all the other old stalwarts have either moved away or folded up), Miller himself is now back in the kitchen with a fire in his belly. The restaurant just turned to a new set fall menu, and has plans to keep up wit the seasons and the changing demographics along Abbot Kinney.

And in the long term, Joe’s hopes to become part of the long-awaited AK Hotel project, which plans to develop the larger site around Joe’s into a boutique sleepaway experience befitting the now-upscale neighborhood. The folks who own the Joe’s building are behind the hotel move, so it seems to be in everyone’s best interest at this point to keep the whole team together.

Not that Laughlin has disappeared. The former Cardiff Giant restaurant group head still has projects going around town, including the long-stalled Naya space in Silver Lake. Hopefully he'll be making his comeback somewhere else.