In the Old Days:
Arielle Haze views
Unpainting the Town:
Helen K. Garber photos
Art at the Rose Cafe'
New Venice Sign
In the Old Days:
The Mecca Buffet was one of the original buildings of 1905 Venice. The main entrance was on Market Street and the building also faced on the boardwalk. Originally there were two stories of brick, topped by what appears to be a wooden structure. It is an odd historical fact that the Mecca Buffet waiters were the first lifeguards of Venice Beach. Maybe they kept watch from the roof?
Above: The Boardwalk at Venice Beach
in the early 1900s.
Jeffrey Stanton says Harrahs was in the Plaza building at the entrance of the pier, and opened July 1932. Others say that Harrahs was in the Mecca building. Theres no reason why gambling establishments couldnt have been in both places and many more besides. At other stages of its history, the building was a drug store and a 20-bartender saloon.
The Mecca Buffet turned out to be one of the most famous buildings in America in its later incarnation as the Gas House.
Former Mecca Buffet in a photo Jeffrey Stanton dates 1947. Bridgo is a variety of bingo.
Mecca Buffet when new, circa 1905
In both the above views, we are looking more or less Westward, seeing just a corner of the Mecca building. The structure decorated like a series of caves is the Thompson Scenic Railway.
The Thompson Scenic Railway, on the right, west, or seaward side, shows the effects of its 1913 remodeling in a postcard mailed in 1916. The Mecca building is on the left or inland side of Ocean Front Walk.
Interior, Mecca Buffet, early 1900s
© 2004 - 2012 Pat Hartman