“We had to do a lot for the City to bring it up to code,” she said. “I felt like we took many steps back to go forward.”
Finally ready to open this past March, Little Venice was hit with another roadblock, the COVID-19 pandemic. Limited to takeout service only, the brand new restaurant was able to survive, thanks in large part to the following Walter had created since his time at the Summit Club.
“We had a lot of support from a lot of people,” Candi said.
On May 1, Little Venice was able to open its doors to the public after the statewide shutdown on indoor seating for bars and restaurants was lifted. Candi remembers Walter getting message as soon after word began to spread.
“They made the announcement on Wednesday (April 29) that things could open on Friday,” she recalled. “I remember hearing Walter’s phone buzzing and looking at the clock. It was 11:39 (p.m.). These were people who had his personal number and were texting him at night trying to make reservations … That’s when I knew we had to do this.”
Despite some ups-and-downs along the way, word of Little Venice is beginning to spread. The restaurant includes the Tavolo de la Familia and Giulia rooms, which allow for larger family or private gatherings.
Munaretto has passed his knowledge onto the staff. Raymundo Macias works in the front of the house while baker Luigi Sposato and Estefani Figueroa, in charge of salads, antipastos and other cold items, help prepare the freshly-made dishes.