While the gritty, funky Venice Boardwalk is just yards away and the scruffy aura of counter-culture icons from Jim Morrison to Perry Farrell to a thousand skateboarding, bongo-playing, poetry-reciting characters surrounds the place, downstairs in the Townhouse is surprisingly nice — in the loungey, lush, golden-hued manner of classic Hollywood. No rustic, nautical touches; no laid-back surfy roadhouse feel or sleek, steely modern minimalism. This is pure luxury speakeasy. Into this scene comes 6-foot, 8-inch comedian-producer Bronston Jones, a certifiably unique East Coaster with a love for both Venice Beach and comedy. To Jones, Venice is gritty, grimy and real, and he feels that his Wednesday-night lineup at the Venice Underground Comedy Show tends toward comedians who display honesty, pouring out their heart and soul onstage. His partner in the venture is Matt Devlin, a Bostonian with an impressive Zach Galifianakis–length beard. And after the show you can stay for the burlesque. 52 Windward Ave., Venice. facebook.com/VeniceUground.

—Adam Gropman

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