Landmark status recommended for Venice West Cafe
The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission voted unanimously today to recommend landmark designation for a Venice Beach site that served as a gathering spot for Beat Generation poets and artists in the 1950s and '60s.
Venice West Cafe, a coffeehouse where poets read their works and jazz musicians performed, operated from 1958 to 1966 at 7 Dudley Ave. in a commercial building that also had storefronts on Ocean Front Walk.
Among others who hung out there were local poets and members of the '60s rock group the Doors. The former Venice West Cafe location is now occupied by Piccolo Restaurant.
“The commission agreed that the Venice West Cafe was a symbol of the Bohemian countercultural lifestyle in Southern California,” said Ken Bernstein, manager of the city Planning Department’s Office of Historic Resources.
Alan Leib, chairman emeritus of the Los Angeles Conservancy’s modern committee, and historic consultant Charles Fisher submitted the application. Leib said he hopes that a portion of Dudley Avenue eventually can be converted into a Bohemian district, with brick paving and period lampposts.
James Adelstein, representing the South Dakota-based owner of the building, said he had concerns about the possibility that the structure could become a historic-cultural monument. The nomination is subject to review by the Los Angeles City Council.
Photo: The Venice West Cafe from a scene in the film "Venice: Lost and Found."