Kevin Cody

Downtown Manhattan Beach celebrates Small Business Saturday

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Downtown Business Association executive director Kelly Stroman, Manhattan Economic Vitality Manager Andrew Sywak, Look Optometry’s Lester Silverman, Surflife Organics Andy Sywak, and council members Mark Burton and Wayne Powell. Photo by Kevin Cody

Downtown Business Association executive director Kelly Stroman, Manhattan Economic Vitality Manager Andrew Sywak, Look Optometry’s Lester Silverman, Sunlife Organics Khalil Rafati and council members Mark Burton and Wayne Powell. Photo by Kevin Cody

Saturday’s Small Business day was particularly significant to Old Venice owner Julie  Hantzardes, who opened the restaurant with her husband Jimmy in 1984. Saturday was the 10th anniversary of the 2006  fire that destroyed Old Venice and neighboring business on the 1000 block of Manhattan Avenue. In 2008, while work to rebuild the restaurant was underway Jimmy died in a bike accident. Despite the tragedy, Julie reopened the restaurant the following year,  “exactly as Jimmy planned it,” Julie told the council members during Saturday’s tour. ER

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