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Rent Hike Forces Out Decade Old 3 Square Cafe on Abbot Kinney

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Another Venice mainstay calls it quits, as the Rockenwagner team moves on

Outside 3 Square Cafe in Venice
Thomas Henriksen
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.

Look out, Abbot Kinney, because here comes another rent hike. After lots of back and forth negotiation, it seems that Patti and Hans Rockenwagner have allegedly been unable to come to terms with their landlord on the 3 Square Cafe restaurant space, and will be vacating by the end of the month.

According to sources, the Rockenwagner team has been trying to work out a deal with the landlord for quite some time, but this being pricey real estate these days (and a far cry from where the area was at a decade ago, when the cafe opened), the opposing sides weren’t able to make the math work.

Hans sends along the following note for customers:

After ten great years on the street that launched my career in Los Angeles, 3 Square’s lease is expiring. We tried for months to come to terms with our landlord, but alas, the rent is set to triple. We love you Abbot Kinney but we can’t afford you.

We hope you’ll come by before our last service on January 29th – and thereafter, visit us at Röckenwagner Bakery, our location at 12835 Washington Blvd. in Culver City. We will bring as much staff as we can and we plan to expand there under seasoned chef Danny Freeman, whose experience includes the kitchens of Melisse in Santa Monica, and Barbuto and Il Buco Alimentari in New York, among others. And of course, you’ll continue to find our products at local farmer’s markets, Gelson’s, Peet’s Coffee, Mendocino Farms, Lemonade, Wurstkuche and the many outstanding restaurants, hotels and stores we serve through our wholesale bakery business.

Thank you for another memorable chapter in my 30 years of baking and cooking in this town. Auf wiedersehen!

The shop’s final day of service will be January 29, though they will continue to live on through their other Rockenwagner locations and wholesale business. As for Abbot Kinney, it seems that prices keep climbing and climbing, making the now ultra-hip stretch among the most spendy places to try to keep a business afloat.

3 Square Café + Bakery

1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291 (310) 399-6504 Visit Website