La Fiesta Brava restaurant's looming eviction in Venice sparks frustration

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La Fiesta Brava, a family-run restaurant that's served up home-style dishes in Venice for decades, is being evicted. (KABC)

La Fiesta Brava, a family-run restaurant that's served up home-style dishes in Venice for decades, is being evicted.

Protesters say they're hungry for justice and fed up with the gentrification of their neighborhood.

"You're not welcome here anymore. We are pulling up the welcome mat," is the message family attorney Mark Kleiman says the city of Los Angeles is sending to longtime small-business owners and low-income tourists in the Venice area.

"We're frustrated, we're angry, we're hurt, heartbroken," said Jasmine Camarena.

Camarena and her family have owned La Fiesta Brava Mexican restaurant for the past 23 years. She says a recent city approval permit will force her family to shut down the well-known restaurant located in the 400 block of Rose Avenue.

"A deal was made behind our back, and someone later on applied for a permit change from restaurant and market to one big restaurant with a full liquor license, essentially displacing us," said Camarena.

According to Kleiman, the restaurant will be demolished to build a larger restaurant/bar, but he hopes an act by the California Coastal Commission will block the permit.

"That act says you look at the cumulative burden of development in the area," said Kleiman.

In other words, he says there are too many restaurant/bars in the area and some residents agree.

"Rose Avenue doesn't need another bar, and young people need a place to go out a night, but also the families around here and people who don't make that much money," said Steve Hibbert, a customer.

Eyewitness News found the owner of the property at her grocery store. She refused an interview on camera, but said she has never had a problem with the family, and the change is not due to discrimination as some have claimed.

Friday morning, protesters and activists plan on showing up at the commission meeting in hopes of being heard.

Related Topics:
businessrestaurantsevictionVeniceLos Angeles
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