First Fridays on Abbot Kinney

In the early twentieth century, millionaire tobacconist, Abbot Kinney founded Venice, Los Angeles. Inspired by its Italian predecessor, “Venice of America” was a seaside resort equipped with roller-coasters, a miniature railroad and canals dotted with gondoliers. Kinney’s name was given to a boulevard, located a stone’s throw away from the heart of Venice. Not much remains from the original resort, but Abbot Kinney Blvd. has gone on to redefine the Venice Beach community.

Find A-list restaurants on Abbot Kinney- galleries and boutiques with stylish interior design, vintage furniture and high-end fashion. The street has become a destination for celebrities, as well as locals, who convene for lunch, dinner, or a coffee at one of its many cafes.

Every first Friday of the month, Abbot Kinney Blvd. participates in a well-visited event, featuring galleries, restaurants and food trucks, live music and shopping.

Jewelry vendor Michael Ford has come to First Fridays every month to sell his hand-made jewelry, since its start almost 5 years ago. Ford states that not only local Santa Monica and Venice residents visit the event; “I have met people that drive for a few hours to come here.” .

Ford also explains, that a few years back the event was much more art and music oriented- galleries and stores used to throw parties where visitors could observe art and enjoy a glass of wine. “Now most people seem to come for the food trucks,” he says.

The food trucks are undeniably the center of attention, with are at least 15-20 different trucks lining the street, and a diversity in food.

Zack, Garett and Patrick, three friends who live close by to Abbot Kinney, tell me that they’re not interested in art or shopping. Holy Aioli, a popular food truck with sandwiches, fries and salads is what draws them here tonight. “It's Friday, so we will probably go for a drink or two after,” Zack says.

When visitors are satiated and done shopping, First Fridays on Abbot Kinney turns into a bar-hop outing. The seemingly most popular bar, The Otherroom, already has a line to enter at 9 p.m.

First Fridays is not what it used to be, art and music wise, but is definitely worth attending for the individual who like food trucks, people watching and bar-hopping

The next ‘First Friday’ falls on May 4, and should start getting crowded around 7:30 p.m.

Free parking is available between Abbot Kinney Blvd. and Electric Ave., and on the side streets surrounding.

Bring cash, as most food trucks won’t accept credit cards.

CultureA+E EditorComment