“We are now serving the second and third generation of customers, and there is no greater compliment than repeat or return guests.”
1001 Manhattan Avenue in Manhattan Beach | 310-376-0242 | oldveniceonline.com
Old Venice is a family-owned and operated restaurant offering traditional, authentic Greek and Italian cuisine. Started in 1984 by Jimmy and Julie Hantzarides, the business flourished until 2006 when it was destroyed by fire. The Hantzarides’ children rebuilt the restaurant, re-opening in 2009. Both Andrew and Natalie literally grew up in the family business, and even though both received some formal business education, their true education was the “school of life” and the “university of Old Venice.” Julie attended LMU extension courses in hospitality management and worked in restaurants from the age of 18. Andrew is the executive chef; Natalie is in charge of the front of the house and all guest relations; and Julie operates the business end of the family business.
Does it take a special set of skills to operate a successful business with family members?
“We have learned how to put our heads together to find what is best for our business; we have also learned how to put our hearts together to find what is best for our family at the same time.”
How do you use the different strengths of each family member to help your company grow?
“It is the key to our success that each family member uses their own strengths in the business, and we do not cross each other’s roles. Because we each have a different set of skills to bring to the table, it all just works together at it should.”
Do you and your family members spend time together outside of work?
“Our family has always worked and played together. It is the European way of life for family and business to coexist. We know no other way.”
Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne are not just friends, but are also two of L.A.’s most lauded restaurateurs who’ve recently opened Brentwood’s Tavern as a further testament to their own blend of talents. (They also own Lucques and AOC.)