Venice’s beloved Roosterfish, long an LGBTQ bar icon for the Westside, is set to return. The Abbot Kinney address has been dormant since closing last year, but new tenants have agreed to keep the Roosterfish name intact, as well as some of the charm of the lovable dive.
The colorful Roosterfish served in Venice for nearly 40 years before succumbing to a rent hike — nothing new in those parts, sadly. They closed back in May 2016 while landlords searched for more money for the place, only to land on two familiar faces: Mario Vollera and Patrick Brunet. The duo operates South End, the quiet wine bar and pizzeria further down on Abbot Kinney.
Together with the organizing body behind Venice’s now-annual Pride festival, they hatched a plan to bring Roosterfish back from the dead. LA Weekly has all the twists and turns of the tale, including some information on what’s staying — the old-school men’s bathroom ceiling with some none-too-subtle pornographic images, for one — and what needs to be updated, like more standing and drinking room (goodbye pool table) and more natural light. Vollera also tells the Weekly that the bar will try to hire former staff and locals, but not to expect the same cheap drinks as before. This is Venice after all.
Step one for getting Roosterfish back up and running is a party this weekend, where $5 tickets go directly to support Venice Pride. After that the bar will get down to the nitty-gritty work, laying out its new plans in front of the city and doing construction for an opening that’s likely to happen early next year.
1302 Abbot Kinney
Los Angeles, CA