This article was written in the early days of LAArtParty.com (stared in 2010) – FYI – Figtree Cafe was one of our first advertisers. Then owner Victoria Barcelona was a friend and a supportive client. She passed away suddenly in 2012. Those of us who knew her miss her dearly. I think of her each time I walk by Figtree’s Cafe. I wrote about her in in the SM Mirror as well.
The sun is setting on a Friday night. The sky over Venice Beach is festive. It almost dances with color, very much like Figtree’s Café. Live music can be heard, along with the sound of laughter and the clinking of drinks. Happy hour is in full swing as the crowd chimes in on a Beatle tune. Inside, the main dining room offers a warm cozy space, filled with beautiful paintings on the walls. There is a couple in the corner enjoying a romantic dinner. Victoria Barcelona walks out from her office and waives goodbye to a customer.
Another ‘regular’ walks in ….”My wife loves it, it looks wonderful in our place” he exclaims. He is talking about the painting he recently purchased as a gift for his wife. They first saw it hanging in Figtree’s Café. The Veneer of Venice, a painting by Venice local Barbara Mastej was featured at Figtree’s as part of the Venice Art Crawl. Figtree’s Café has been part of the monthly art event, since its inception. Barcelona actively participates, meeting with artists, curating the shows, as well as booking musical acts for each event. The Art Crawl happens every third Thursday of each month.
Located at 429 Ocean Front Walk, Figtree’s Café is steps from the beach. It has been a part of this Venice neighborhood for over 30 years. Figtree’s Café was originally founded by Bill and Tammy Figenbaum in 1978 who sold it to Victoria and her now ex husband in 2006. They bought the whole building, remodeled it, preserving the character and renovating the apartments. It is now a short term leasing property with twelve rental units. People come from all over the world to stay, as well as the families from Venice locals who come to visit.
When she took over, Barcelona decided to keep up the Figtree’s Café tradition by continuing their loyalty program, their ½ off breakfast as well as the Saturday and Sunday specials. Creating her own traditions Victoria started the weekly lunch specials and also an afternoon/early evening happy hour as well as live music on Friday nights, to much of the community’s delight.
Figtree’s Café offers an eclectic mix of healthy food made with natural ingredients. Victoria always keeps the menu up to date, adding new and tasty dishes. Stop in to Figtree’s Café for a wonderful meal, plus an endearing home-spun charm.