The Venetian sold to La Jolla restaurateur
Published - 08/12/19 - 07:05 AM | 11446 views | 1 1 comments | 72 72 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Vince Giacolone, founder of The Venetian, is flanked by sons Frank (left) and Joey. / COURTESY PHOTO
Vince Giacolone, founder of The Venetian, is flanked by sons Frank (left) and Joey. / COURTESY PHOTO
John Rudolph, son of Harry Rudolph Jr. who founded La Jolla’s Harry’s Coffee Shop in 1960, has purchased The Venetian Restaurant at 3663 Voltaire St. in Point Loma.

“We’re currently waiting for the close of escrow and if all goes well, we should take over operations in a seamless transition on Jan. 1, 2020,” said Rudolph. “The Venetian has been serving the community for nearly 55 years and our goal is to continue the legacy of serving delicious food, warm hospitality and community engagement for another 55 years or more.” 

The Venetian is Rudolph’s fourth restaurant. He purchased Cass Street Bar & Grill at 4612 Cass St. three years ago. He also owns Mike’s Taco Club at 5060 Newport Ave. in Ocean Beach.

Rudolph talked about how he acquired his latest eatery.

“A mutual friend put me in touch with the owners of The Venetian,” he said. “The owners called me to see if I was interested. We’ve been in negotiations for over a year.”

Rudolph said his interest in the Italian restaurant, known for its classic red sauce Italian-American cuisine, stemmed from “their long standing track record of success. They’ve been serving San Diego since 1965. And their business is mostly dinner, which is opposite of Harry’s.”

Added Rudolph, “Plus, I’m addicted to pizza and veal parmesan.”

Rudolph’s not planning any major changes to his new eatery and intends to rehire as many of its current employees as possible.

Vince and Carmella Giacalone opened The Venetian in 1965 and operated it until it was taken over by their sons, Frank and Joey. Originally, it was at 2910 Canon St. It relocated to 3663 Voltaire St. in 1973. The restaurant underwent a full interior makeover in 2013.

The Venetian’s website noted founder Vince Giacalone turned a dream into reality by opening a restaurant where people could enjoy food from his family's heritage. Through the years, the Venetian was part of the prestigious Zagat Rating, and was featured in San Diego Magazine. 

The Giacalone’s little Italian restaurant has stayed true to their family recipes for more than 40 years, pleasing generations of families. Peninsulans come to enjoy the restaurant’s great food and expect to run into someone they know.

Famous people in movies, music and sports, including Bo Derek, Point Loman David Wells, who pitched 20 years in the major leagues, Padres’ and Chargers’ players, and singers Frankie Laine, Barry White and Jason Scheff, former vocalist for the band Chicago, all patronized The Venetian.

A competitive golfer, Rudolph is competing in the USGA’s U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club on Aug. 19 for a shot at playing in the 2020 Masters Tournament.

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Robert Burns
August 13, 2019
The Venetian is a fantastic restaurant. I'm happy for the continuity through the change of ownership. I also love Rudolph's Mike's Taco Club.
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