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Bank of Venice Opens Friday

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On Friday, the owners of Venice Ale House will debut their second beachside restaurant and bar, Bank of Venice, at the corner of Pacific and Windward under the iconic Venice light-up sign. 

Ale House duo Tom Elliott and Spoon Singh, whose mission is to "change the world one pint at a time," and Chef Jason Feeher are starting with a nearly-identical menu at The Bank with all of the favorites from the Ale House, including seared sea scallops and grilled cheese sandwiches, plus comfort food additions including baked mac & cheese, a juicy meatloaf sandwich, and bangers and mash. They'll also have 30 local craft beers, a lengthy list of California wine options, plus Soju infusion cocktails -- try The Mint, made with local chocolate mint and raw cacao.

One glaring omission, however, is the absence of a burger, of any kind. The Ale House has the grass-fed California beef burger, a lamb burger, turkey burger, black bean veggie burger and a portobello burger, but there's nary a patty in sight at Bank of Venice, a brazen decision given the proximity to the beach and next-door burger options at Larry's, Barlo, and Barnyard, which have similarly upped the ante on standard Boardwalk corn dogs and slice pizza options. Singh says that the menu will evolve into small plates and will also include desserts starting with a chocolate brownie and berry pie.

Bank of Venice pulls its name from the original occupants of the space -- established in 1905 -- and noted on the top of the food and drink menus. Black and white photos and other vintage memorabilia including a penny-farthing transport patrons to the earliest days of Venice of America. Dinner here would be capped off perfectly with live music and cocktails at Townhouse & Del Monte Speakeasy, established in 1915 and just a few steps down Windward. On Friday's grand opening, patrons are invited (and incentivized with discounts) to don fedoras and fringe in honor of the Bank's historic roots and ambiance.

In its most recent past life, Bank of Venice was Dry Tour Wine Bar, which opened last May serving small plates of California cuisine and artisanal beer and wine. Then it switched up management and rebranded as Code in October, reportedly adding a burger to the menu to create a more casual vibe, but despite the foot traffic and a sleek, industrial modern makeover (which all remains in tact), it never caught on with the eclectic mix of locals and tourists. 

Singh and Elliott are, ahem, banking on their cachet and that their network of Venice friends, like local artist Evo who painted the Bank of Venice signage, will spread the word and bring the local love to their new endeavor.

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