Venice Shorts: Ben & Jerry’s at the Beach No More

Local Retailer Loses Six-Year Battle With Homelessness, Rampant Crime and Drugs at the Boardwalk!

By Nick Antonicello

Another local business has had enough at the boardwalk as a Ben & Jerry’s franchisee has decided to close its doors on December 21st.

Owner Klaus Moeller made the announcement in an email dated Friday, November 3rd and a follow-up email yesterday November 5th.

In announcing his decision to close the business, Klaus Moeller stated “there are no families with children that dare frequent the boardwalk, especially local families.”

In emailing his intention to close operations, Moeller noted $500,000 was invested in the venture while losing some $200,000 during the height of Covid-19 and the pandemic that forced his store to close for being non-essential, despite having to pay certain fees and taxes to the City of Los Angeles.

Ownership cited multiple break-in’s and theft, children being attacked as well as a murder that took place directly in front of his place of business as just some of the primary reasons he could no longer continue to stay open.

He was also concerned for the safety of his employees closing the business in the evening and the crime element at the beach that places their personal safety at risk.

Moeller also stated a lawsuit that was filed against him for not being “wheelchair compliant” by an attorney who has filed hundreds, if not thousands of such cases over a twenty-year period ending in an out-of-court settlement.

Yo! Venice was notified of a recently similar settlement with a Lincoln Boulevard business over the same issue of not being ADA compliant regarding handicapped parking.

Moeller thanked the LAPD for their ongoing efforts at the boardwalk and will plan “a couple of free ice cream days for veterans and their families and first responders.”

Moeller couldn’t be more supportive of the efforts by the LAPD.

“The police are doing an amazing and so often thankless job. I just cycled down the boardwalk (11/5). Two cop cars making arrests. Two fire trucks on the boardwalk. Guy selling drinks from a cooler outside our store. I don’t really care and like that people are trying to earn money, rather than begging or stealing; just tough when rents are so high, and all these street vendors operate rent free. I feel sorry for the kids that worked for us. We have 5 or 6 people in low season and a dozen during summer. All these jobs are gone. But of course, politicians here couldn’t care less about business/jobs. It’s all about homelessness (mostly out of state) and how everyone can earn money from it – instead of solving it,”  offered Moeller, a respected local businessman and entrepreneur.

Given the experience with operating at the beach, Moeller stated “never again” would he open a business in Los Angeles.

Nick Antonicello is a thirty-year resident of Venice who covers the issues of homelessness locally. A volunteer member of the Oceanfront Committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council (www.venicenc.org), he can be reached via e-mail at nantoni@mindspring.com

in Dining, News
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