VENICE, Calif. – One by one the ornaments are placed on the Christmas tree, bringing a jolly flair to a dark speakeasy and bar.

“These work great,” said Louie Ryan, owner of The Townhouse.

Louie Ryan is putting the finishing touches on his local watering hole, The Townhouse, preparing for the festive holiday season that’s upon us.


“It’s the best time of the year, all the way through New Year’s. It’s very festive,” said Ryan.

The festivities are only beginning at this historic bar. The Townhouse is celebrating its 104th anniversary. It survived the Great Depression, two world wars and even The Prohibition. With only three owners since 1915, Ryan feels honored to continue to legacy.

“This is the holy grail of bars that comes with the great history,” said Ryan.

This history deeply rooted in the neighborhood, which makes it the perfect spot to celebrate the holidays with warmth, love, and care filling the space.

“It’s a wonderful and warm feeling in here with all the community that comes out,” said Ryan.

It is also a popular spot during the Venice Holiday Sign Lighting that takes over the streets and brings the community together. Ryan enjoys a drink with the owner of vintage clothing store Animal House next door, as they discuss the joyous occasion to come.

“The night of the sign lighting everybody is here. There are whole families here. People who grew up in Venice for generations. That’s a big honor for us. There’s a lot of places that changed in Venice and this one hasn’t,” said Ryan.

The local businesses are filled to the brim with neighbors coming out to see the historic Venice sign light up red and green. The streets are closed, there are performances, vendors, and more. It’s one of the busiest nights of the year for the shops nearby.

“All of the stores on the street have wonderful sales, they all have their decorations up, and all the buildings are decorated. It really has become a beautiful center for the community. It just seems to be bustling with joy and holiday cheer if you like,” said Ryan.

As the star gets placed on top of the tree, Townhouse is ready for the holiday glee.

The 8th Annual Venice Holiday Sign Lighting will be on Saturday, December 7 at 6:15 p.m. The lighting will be at 8 p.m. with festivities ending around 9 p.m.

Street closures: Windward Ave. east of Pacific Ave.

Venice Holiday Sign Lighting