The Sidewalk Cafe celebrates 40 years in Venice, California. 1976-2016. Photo by

Venice Paparazzi rolled out the red carpet for The Sidewalk Cafe’s 40 year anniversary party on Sept. 23, 2016.  The event was  a 70’s themed costume party and community fundraiser that benefited The Venice Homeless Task Force and S.P.Y. (Safe Place for Youth).  View event coverage by Venice Paparazzi below.

Here is a message from The Sidewalk’s Cafe’s awesome General Manager Kristen Archival.

swc-24“I wanted to take time to say thank you to all the people and businesses that came out to support The Sidewalk Cafe’s 40th Anniversary party. It was a wonderful celebration of family, friends and community. All that came walked the red carpet, listened to great music  (Barry Minniefield from The Voice) did some dancing, and enjoyed the food and drinks. The party was a great success in many ways. It was Venice at its best. The support from local businesses’ for our charity raffle was fabulous! We raised quite a bit of money between ticket sales from the raffle and donating a percentage of the day’s sales. The Venice Homeless Task Force and S.P.Y. (Safe Place for Youth) are the recipients.

A special thanks to the people that donated one night stays, items and services: Venice Beach Suites and Hotel, Venice Breeze Suites, Hotel Erwin, Maui and Sons, Dog Town Skate, Sino Tequila, Sysco foods, Shock Top, Dakota Designs, Samantha’s Treats, Ring security systems, The Ave, ACS Actors Comedy Studio, Venice beach bike tours, Rachel’s Yoga, Bands and Body, Paper Scissors Rock, House of Ink, Larry’s Restaurant and most of all The Goodfader and Loucks family, The Sidewalk Café managers and staff.

Venice Paparazzi were behind the scenes taking pictures and running the photo booth all day and night. As always it was a pleasure working with them, their energy and enthusiasm is contagious. I estimate we had over 400 guests throughout the evening and every one of them had the movie star treatment. Many people had a blast with the photo both taking home souvenirs from the event. Thank you for making this evening so much fun, capturing moments, and creating memories, you’re the best!


View event photo highlights by Venice Paparazzi! 


The Sidewalk Cafe celebrates 40 years in Venice, California. 1976-2016. Photo by

The Goodfaders.  Check out The Sidewalk Cafe history insert below.


Right:  The Ave- Venice’s Nick Romero and Venice Paparazzi’s


Center: Venice Paparazzi’s and trim’s Kaycee.


View all Sidewalk Cafe pics here!

 About:  The Sidewalk Cafe is “the best place to people watch on Venice Beach” according to New Times Magazine. We have been featured in many movies and commercials as well as in such publications as Sunset Magazine, LA Weekly and many tour books. If you ever wanted to see Venice Beach, California, let us be your front row seat!

Here is a Venice 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 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.



Dine, drink and people watch at The Sidewalk Cafe.  1401 Ocean Front Walk.  Venice, California. 90291.

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