Congratulations to The Sidewalk Cafe on 42 years on the Venice Boardwalk.

Did you know that The Sidewalk Cafe has been serving the locals and tourists since ’76? 

The Sidewalk Cafe kicks ass!  You don’t last 42 years on the Venice Boardwalk by being lame!    If you ever wanted to see Venice Beach, California, let The Sidewalk cafe be your front row seat!

The Sidewalk Cafe offers fresh, high-quality, well-prepared food with generous portions. And all of their soups and sauces are homemade. The outdoor covered patio provides a beautiful view of the beach and ocean while street performers and an eclectic crowd continuously entertain.

A  full bar, ten taps,  big screens TV”s for the games  and the best people watching around for the in betweens!

    • Amazing Staff
    • Beach side setting with view of boardwalk entertainment
    • Serene mornings & beautiful ocean sunsets in the evenings
    • Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.   
    • Happy Hour 3 -7pm, Monday thru Friday.
    • Every Tuesday – All you can eat Tacos $5 8-10pm. Bar Only
    • Saturday & Sunday champagne brunch
    • Satellite sports packages shown here.  10 screens for all your sports actions.  Showing all NHL,NFL,NCAAF,PGA,MLB games!
    • A beautiful Venice sunset nightly.
    • Validated weekday parking is available one block south at Market Street
    • Live acoustic music, Open Mic sessions.  Click here for SWC  music and  events.
    • View menu

Learn SWC’s history and view photos by Venice Paparazzi!

Also under the red and white awning you can find Small World Books, a wonderful, independent bookstore. It is a great place to find out more about Venice. Small World Books offers a wide collection of literary fiction and poetry, and is frequently used as a resource for entertainment industry researchers.

Whether you come for breakfast on the beach, lunch in the sun, or dinner at sunset, you are sure to enjoy at The Sidewalk Cafe.

Here is a Venice/Sidewalk Cafe History lesson! 

In 1905, after winning the Venice land on a coin flip with his partners, Abbot Kinney built Venice-of-America to be a personal monument to Venice, Italy. He built a fantasy city with real canals, a wood boardwalk and piers with rides and water slides. It was a huge hit! Celebrities like William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies strolled the Venice Boardwalk. Sarah Bernhardt performed in the Venice Auditorium; Charlie Chaplin clowned in Abbot Kinney’s auto races, and Mary Pickford was rowed in her own gondola. Venice was the place to be!The building that now houses the Sidewalk Café was one of the last of Abbot Kinney’s Venice buildings and was originally designed to be four stories tall, but only the first floor was constructed was built./

The Sidewalk Cafe in 1979. Photo by Gotta Have it 

The building sold to the Harrah family (of gambling fame) and was turned into a bingo parlor (later called bridgo because bingo was illegal). During prohibition, Abbot Kinney’s underground utility tunnels were modified to accommodate bootleggers who delivered liquor at night under the pier. In the 1950s and early ‘60s the building housed artists’ studios and served as the crash pad for beatnik writers and poets such as Jack Kerouac. The building stood vacant for many years until 1976 when Mary Goodfader’s bookstore, Small World Books, lost its lease in Marina Del Rey. Bob Goodfader, while bicycling on the bike path, saw the building and called the phone number graffitied on its front. The Goodfaders and their friends, Walter (Skip) and Penny Dixon bought the building as a new location for the bookstore.

Bob and Skip decided to open a small takeout place on the side, not in use by the bookstore. The eatery was such a hit that they expanded it into a patio restaurant. Venice experienced a rebirth with roller skating and skateboarding in the 70s.

The Boardwalk’s unique entertainers, skateboarding’s Z-boys, Muscle Beach’s bodybuilders and Venice’s basketball players attracted worldwide attention. The Sidewalk Café offered great food and a front row seat to the circus. Small World Books is one of the last surviving independent bookstores in Los Angeles and is still run by Mary. See what treasures that their staff can help you discover.

Bob passed away in 2002, but the Sidewalk Café is still being run by the people he trained including his son Jay, his protégé Steve, his general manager Kristen and his head cook Luciano.


Check out Sidewalk Cafe’s 40th Anniversary and Holiday party pics  by Venice Paparazzi! Photos taken from 2009-Present

Having an event and need photographers or a photo booth?  Hire Venice Paparazzi!

All photos by Venice Paparazzi. Having an event and need photographers or a photo booth?  Hire Venice Paparazzi!

When in Venice… dine, drink, people watch and be merry at The Sidewalk Cafe.

1401 Ocean Front Walk.  Venice, California. 90291.

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