Roosterfish, the beloved gay dive bar in Venice, California, will open its doors again after a group led by Venice Pride Founder and President Grant Turck formed a partnership with the new leaseholders.
The bar, which was around for nearly 40 years, closed in May.
“We love Venice. We love Abbot Kinney. Roosterfish is such an historical landmark that we wanted to make sure it won’t become another retail store; that is why we contacted the landlord and convinced him to give it to us,” [Mario] Vollera and [Patrick]Brunet, who also run the South End pizzeria and wine bar on Abbot Kinney, said via email. “Venice’s identity was forged from the melting pot of nationalities, cultures and ambitions. Reopening Roosterfish is a cultural act.”
Turck says the new leaseholders plan to keep many beloved aspects of the Roosterfish intact. “The ceiling in the men’s bathroom [which features vintage pornographic images] will remain in place at least for the next decade. Most of the interior will remain intact,” he says. “They’re [also] maintaining the exterior so it will appear as it always has up to this point.” Vollera and Brunet have also expressed interest in rehiring some of the old staff, although they haven’t been approached by any of them yet. “We want to hire people from the community, that is our objective, people who have the same passion for Venice and want to make sure the spirit of Venice does not go away,” they said via email.
A couple things will change, the group says. The bar’s pool table and jukebox are going, they say, but they plan to feature DJs, starting with an opening party on September 23 called Roosterfish Revived.
Tickets available here.