Or go for something a little different on Rose Avenue
Rose Avenue, between Lincoln and Pacific, also has an impressive range of restaurants for an evening of eating – like modern Indonesian Wallflower; spacious vegan venue Cafe Gratitude; itty bitty vino bar Venice Beach Wines; and airy mezcal and gourmet taco newcomer Chulita. Rose Avenue as a popular after-dark destination is a fairly new concept, according to Neroni. He opened his first Venice restaurant – the now-shuttered Superba – just up the street in 2011. “Rose still feels neighborhoody, but now at night we get regulars from all around, and a younger crowd. I don’t think dinner would have worked here 10 years ago.”
The sidewalks might have more foot traffic than the old days, but it still feels worlds away from elsewhere in Venice. “I guess Rose is still pretty independent,” he adds. “Venice reminds me of New York. Rose is still kind of like Avenue C, and Abbot Kinney is like Avenue A.”
Shop the art-and-design shops on Lincoln
Abbot Kinney was Venice’s only real shopping street for years, but independent retailers slowly began rolling the dice elsewhere; Rose Avenue has been home to a bevy of boutiques for a while now, and the scene is spilling east. Though Lincoln Boulevard is still a long way from feeling strollable with its cell phone retailers, car washes, and liquor stores, there’s a growing row of independent, oft-sustainability-focused shops taking over the semi-dilapidated storefronts along Lincoln.
At Amiga Wild -- semi-hidden next to an auto repair shop -- you can peruse apothecary, jewelry, and home decor. Sadie Gilliam, a jewelry maker who opened Amiga Wild in late 2017, says the area is still home to an art-loving community. She and co-owner Alisun Franson are trying to help modern-day Venice stay true to its artistic roots even as it develops, supporting artisans and hosting community programming like a monthly “Last Fridays” art show. “Our goal is to find a happy medium,” says Gilliam, “and to create something that’s never going to lose the heart of Venice.”
Walk a few doors down and you’ll hit Late Sunday Afternoon, dotted with sewing machines used to fashion scarves, hats, bandanas, and ascots (we know, we know) with locally sourced fabrics. The scraps are used to make dog beds that get donated to shelters. Nearby, model-turned-designer Christy Dawn uses upcycled, surplus fabrics procured from other labels to make a curated collection of vintage-inspired dresses.
And it’s impossible to miss Venice Beach Land: a corner lot that looks like a sliver of Burning Man, housing an artists’ studio and gallery filled with bean bag chairs, hula hoops, paintings, clothing, and vintage goods -- much of it sold out of RVs and old buses.