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Roosterfish Bar

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About the Roosterfish Bar

If you’re a gay in LA (or anywhere for that matter), you need to know your gay bars. Especially the legendary ones!

Knowing your gay culture is important when in the gay community! It’s essential that you understand the struggle of those who’ve come before you to understand better where the community needs to go. And some of the most essential histories to gay history involve bars! From Stonewall to Hamberger Mary’s, you need to know your gay nightlife staples! Roosterfish is no exception! The Roosterfish Bar has been a staple in the gay community since the early ’80s when the gay community took over Abbot Kinney and the greater Venice area.

Heres what you need to know about the Roosterfish bar if you plan on gay bar hopping in LA or if you are a gay planning on moving to the area:

Venice wasn’t always safe

While Venice is a hot spot for gay culture, muscle men, and rollerskaters everywhere, it wasn’t always a particularly friendly area. Like most places where gay (and other fringe) culture(s) began to thrive, Venice was a crime-ridden neighborhood. The Abbot Kinney specifically wasn’t the best place to take a midnight stroll.

But like most unsafe spaces, the rent is low. So naturally, people of marginalized cultures (the gays included) began to flock to the area for the freedom that they could have!

Abbot Kinney became a center for culture

As restaurants opened up, so did bars. The low rent and great food started to attract artists and gays alike. Gay culture began to thrive in this area and became a safe-haven for those who couldn’t be themselves elsewhere.

The Roosterfish opens

In 1979 the Roosterfish opened. This bar was immediately claimed by the gays. It became a center for a community for those who weren’t able to find community elsewhere. This gay space was a staple in the Venice nightlife and was a safe and comfortable place for those who would otherwise be targeted with violence and bullying (aka gays, femmes, and trans people).

Unfortunately, the original owners of the bar decided to close the place down. Eighteen months later this amazing spot was snatched up by the new owners: Mario Vollera and Patrick Brunet. This pair is well known in the Venice community as they used to run a pizzeria!

The Modern Roosterfish

Vollera and Brunet opened the bar in time for pride weekend that year and reestablished one of the best spaces in Venice for gay culture. They cleaned up the place, gave the bar a facelift, and changed up the drink menu in favor of something more modern… but the spirit of the bar is the same.

The Roosterfish is an extremely important spot in the Southern California gay scene and will continue on as a safe space for those who need it.

We love that the owners of the bar kept the name and allowed for this spot, which was one of the first progressive bars in the area, to continue to make a difference in Venice!

We like to blog too.

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Find Us

1302 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

Venice, CA 90291