At the Venice Whaler Bar & Grill about a mile south of Snap's main offices, about 250 people had gathered by Thursday afternoon. A bartender said they had begun arriving by mid-morning.
Wearing Spectacles, T-shirts decorated with Snap's ghost logo and name badges with bitmojis, they filled the upper level of the bar. They looked out on the boardwalk and sunny beach while soccer and college basketball games — as well as CNBC, which broadcast Snap’s stock price throughout the trading day — played on TV sets.
Some of them snapped photos using Snapchat lenses as they downed beers, margaritas and shots, periodically erupting in cheers.
Snap Inc. set up two food trucks Thursday near its offices on Market Street offering free cheeseburgers and ice cream to all comers. A taco truck arrived in time for the lunch hour.
A steady stream of people, mostly skateboarders, lined up for food. A few shouted anti-Snap comments as they waited for their meals.
Mike Lindley, a protestor and organizer with Veterans for Peace, was trying to encourage people to stay away from the trucks, which he saw as simply a way for the company to garner good publicity. Lindley said he moved to Venice in 1968 after serving in the Navy and now stays on a friend's couch because he can't afford rent.
An hour and a half after Snap Inc. shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, about 30 protesters had gathered at the corner of Market Street and Pacific Avenue in Venice, near the company’s offices. They carried signs that said "Venice is a community, not a corporate campus" and "Snap killed Mom and Pop."
Nate Hansen, 24, was one of the first protesters to arrive, riding a skateboard he’d painted. The Connecticut native moved directly to the Los Angeles beachside neighborhood in 2014 to be an artist. Today he lives in an apartment near where Jim Morrison once lived and sells his paintings on the boardwalk.
Snap Inc. founders Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel each made $272 million by selling shares in their company's initial public offering. And they each made more than $1 billion in paper gains as shares soared on the first day of trading.
Snap shares closed Thursday at $24.48, up from $17 when shares priced late Wednesday, a gain of 44%.
At Thursday's closing price, Murphy's remaining shares — he and Spiegel each sold only a small percentage of their holdings in the IPO and continue to own hundreds of millions of Snap shares — are worth $5.2 billion, a gain of $1.6 billion since this morning.