Spring brings hope to the Boulevard

| March 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

LOUISE’S, in Larchmont Village, is among local restaurants offering casual dining-in-the-street.

With spring’s arrival this month, Larchmont Village is eager to leave the worst of the pandemic behind with new historic photo posters displayed in storefronts, new shops to open, and the return of outdoor dining. Not to mention Village Heights is celebrating its 15th anniversary on Larchmont! Here’s what’s happening on the Boulevard.

Sidewalk Sale cancelled

For the first time in many years, the Larchmont Boulevard Association (LBA) has cancelled its annual spring Sidewalk Sale for the Larchmont shopping district. Among the reasons for the cancellation are that there are fewer retail merchants currently operating on the Boulevard because of empty storefronts and construction, as well as a lack of sidewalk space due to that construction, according to John Winther, president of the LBA.

Historic Larchmont posters

Despite the news above, residents still have a reason to visit Larchmont: The first in a series of historic photo posters went up last month in the windows of two local storefronts as part of this year’s celebration of Larchmont’s centennial anniversary. The LBA is working on plans for a big celebration in the fall.

The poster project, spearheaded by author Patty Lombard, is printing poster-size photos from her book “Larchmont,” a pictorial history of the street, published in 2015 by Arcadia Press. To the extent possible, the posters will be displayed in the historic image’s modern-day location.

The project will complement efforts to celebrate the Boulevard’s 100th anniversary this year with events planned by the LBA.

According to Lombard, the idea for the project started with a conversation with Brookside resident Charlie Hess as the two brainstormed ways to “perk up” the shopping district at a time when vacant storefronts are multiplying.

The first display was placed in the window of the former Trina Turk location, thanks to property owner Ron Simms; a second display was placed at the former Flywheel location, thanks to new tenant Tailwaggers’ owner Todd Warner.

More historic photos are in the works to be posted in the weeks ahead.

New shops open

Speaking of Tailwaggers, the retail pet store is opening a third location this month in the former Flywheel space at 147 N. Larchmont. Former Brookside resident Todd Warner is creating a one-stop-shop for all of your pet’s needs that includes space for retail, grooming and daycare. Read more on page 1.

After 27 years on Larchmont Boulevard, Pickett Fences closed its doors, at 219 N. Larchmont, in January (read more on page 1). Within a matter of days, a new pop-up shop was operating in its place. “The Optimist” is a men’s lifestyle 6concept from founders Joseph Miller and Larchmont resident David Fishbein. Their flagship boutique opened in 2019 at Culver City’s trendy shopping center, Platform, a development that the two men created in 2016 via their real estate company, Runyon Group. An associate at the Larchmont pop-up said they expect to be in the space for at least the next few months.

Outdoor dining returns

After weeks of takeout or delivery only, restaurants in Los Angeles County once again can offer outdoor dining. On Larchmont Boulevard, several restaurants are expanding outdoor seating areas to meet demand, including Louise’s Trattoria and Vernetti, both of which have built wooden “street decks” for customers.


SWEETFIN has a shop on Larchmont.

As you consider dining options on Larchmont, we hear Sweetfin Poke has launched a new line of “nutrient-rich and superfood dense” functional bowls with celebrity fitness trainer Lacey Stone. The new options include an “Immunity Bowl,” high in vitamin C and anti-inflammatory ingredients, the “Brain Booster” packed with omega-3s and leafy greens, and the “Protein Power Bowl” that aims to keep you satiated throughout the day.

Village Heights anniversary

This month, Village Heights is celebrating 15 years on Larchmont Boulevard. “It’s amazing — I’m more surprised than anyone!” owner Louis Eafalla told the Chronicle.

In fact, Eafalla hopes the anniversary marks a pivot from the hardships of 2020: “Last year was really hard on so many levels. The ups and downs of opening and closing.” But things are slowly improving, he says: “People have hit COVID fatigue and they’re starting to come out.”

In regard to the large construction project (the former Lipson Building) just to the north of his shop, Eafalla said that he’s just trying to stay positive: “I don’t have any control what will go into those shops. But I’m hopeful that we keep the charm and character of the Village, that it doesn’t become like every other shopping mall in America.”

To celebrate its 15th anniversary on March 7, Village Heights is offering a 15-percent- off card for customers to be used for future purchases. Local residents are encouraged to stop by and help celebrate.

“We have a lot of new merchandise including candles, stationery, journals and home décor,” said Eafalla.

Vincent leaves Larchmont

After plans to relocate to a new space on Larchmont Boulevard collapsed, Vincent Hair Artistry (another refugee from the former Lipson Building behind the plywood pedestrian walkway) has taken space inside the Salon Republic at the Arclight Theatre Center in Hollywood. Stylist Nick Moses has joined Vincent De Marco at the new location. Visit vincenthairartistry.com.

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