Variety of services, only one coffee shop on Larchmont 50 years ago

| October 3, 2013 | 0 Comments
IN THE OLD DAYS Larchmont had one coffee shop.

IN THE OLD DAYS Larchmont had one coffee shop.

TIME Magazine referred to Hancock Park as “a rundown section of Los Angeles” in an article about Muirfield Road resident Dan Blocker.

The article appeared just a few years after we started the Chronicle. It was hardly a rundown neighborhood, but it certainly was unassuming.

The social gathering place was either Safeway or Jurgensen’s. Perino’s was the headquarters of many charity events, Landis Department Store was the to-go place for summer jobs for teens.

Many of the houses had been built only 30 or 40 years earlier, but owners where covering the wood floors with wall-to-wall shag rugs and removing original fixtures with Sears Roebuck replacements.

Children were enrolled at the local public schools, and PTAs were flourishing.

Larchmont had only ONE coffee shop—Helen’s—until the Coffee Cup came along. Besides Safeway and Jurgensen’s, shoppers could find food at Lindy’s, Larchmart, Tom’s, Van de Kamps, Phil’s Phish Market and Pat Salter’s ice cream store. Theo Aerts Beauty Salon was a favorite with the ladies; others were Larchmont Beauty and the Golden Comb.

There were three banks, five dry cleaners, six real estate firms and a host of other services. Larchmont Blvd. also boasted a hobby shop, record store, millinery shop, rug emporium and a host of other services.

Religious leaders were the stalwarts of the community-such as Archbishop Roger Mahony, Rabbi Edgar Magnin and Rev. James Fifield. Attendance was at an all-time high, and shoppers were hard-pressed to find stores open on Sundays.

DELIVERY SERVICE was one of the bonuses for shoppers at Balzer's, which was later purchased by Jurgensen's Grocery.                                                                                Photo courtesy of Erik Crespo

DELIVERY SERVICE was one of the bonuses for shoppers at Balzer’s, which was later purchased by Jurgensen’s Grocery.                           Photo courtesy of Erik Crespo

Three gas stations on Larchmont Blvd. provided drivers with their 29 cent-a-gallon gas, but Al O’Neal’s station gave way to an off-street parking lot, and Bank of America is where Richfield Station used to be.

A commercial strip dividing Hancock Park from Windsor Square, the Village in the 1960s met everyone’s needs. Its variety of stores and services drew nearby residents. Even the rise in the cost of parking, from a nickel to 10 cents an hour, didn’t deter the local populace.


Category: Real Estate

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