While Cafe Gratitude was accused of playing "hardball" in its bid for a beer and wine license at its upcoming Venice property on Wednesday night, Gjelina was also struggling with The Venice Neighborhood Council’s Land Use and Planning Committee. Venice Patch reports that Gjelina has applied to combine both its original restaurant and Gjelina Take Away into one business, using the recently opened, constantly packed to-go business for additional seating and an alcohol serving area. The motion is part of the restaurant’s long-running attempt for approval for an outdoor seating expansion that has been repeatedly fought against by residents and Abbot Kinney business owners, who feel the in-demand restaurant has been full of fudge when it comes to its current permit. What do they have to say?
The restaurant has all but one of the required 27 parking spots needed to fulfill its current permit, and has been accused by Venetians of violating its current permit by not providing parking; doctoring its output as well in an attempt to slide through. Last summer, the same perceived violation lead to Gjelina having to close an hour earlier than in the past, while restrictions were put on the use of its upstairs space.
The issue will live on to a future meeting, despite the voiced objections currently rattling its expansion bid. One resident was quoted as saying, "My neighborhood has been ruined by this restaurant," while Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association, encouraged the committee to "turn this application down cold."