Santa Monica is fortunate to have so many local, independent businesses that serve visitors and residents alike. The Buy Local Santa Monica campaign was launched earlier this year to help raise awareness of these businesses and tell their unique stories. Some of these local legends have been serving the community for 50 years or more. Here's a snapshot of some of our "oldies but goodies" here in Santa Monica.
DIYers look no further than Busy Bee, the classic hardware store that has been serving the Santa Monica community since 1914. Located at 1521 Santa Monica Boulevard, this one-stop shop has cut thousands keys for local residents and met our hardware needs with a personal touch.
For a different kind of hardware, visit Readers Fine Jewelers (1927, 331 Wilshire Blvd.), a fifth generation family business supplying local residents with everything from engagement rings to watch repair.
Bob Gabriel Company insurance agents opened up at 2325 Wilshire Blvd. in 1936. Santa Monica Brake (911 Santa Monica Blvd.) has more than 60 years under the hood serving both vintage and late model cars – they might shop at another Santa Monica institution, Engler Brothers Auto Parts and Machine Shop (2630 Pico Blvd.) Barrett’s Appliances (2723 Lincoln Boulevard), a community staple for over 63 years, is well known for its customer service and affordable range of products.
In the course of running errands, hungry shoppers with a sweet tooth have been hopping over to Callahan’s Restaurant and Vienna Pastry at 1213-1215 Wilshire Boulevard since 1957 for home-baked meals, tiramisu and canoli along with scrumptious deserts. It’s been reported that the head baker at Vienna has been there for more than 20 years.
Bay Cities Italian Deli and Bakery (1517 Lincoln Boulevard) has been a Santa Monica tradition since 1925, and it still has lines out the door of hungry customers waiting for scrumptious sandwiches, salads and fresh-baked breads. Santa Monica’s oldest restaurant and bar, The Galley (1934) serves up fresh seafood and steaks. This classic neighborhood haunt at 2442 Main Street is decked out with original WWII propaganda posters and memorabilia from the 1934 movie “Mutiny on the Bounty” (members of the cast were frequent visitors). And if it’s a traditional diner that you’re after, look no further than Rae’s Restaurant (2901 Pico Blvd), serving home-cooked comfort food since 1958.
After a bite at Rae's, stroll down to McCabe's Guitar Shop (3101 Pico), a wild and wonderful nirvana for music lovers. Since 1958, McCabe's has built an empire dedicated to "stringed things that make music" where one can buy anything from a guitar to fiddle, bouzoukis to an oud. On weekends, you can also catch some fantastic live acoustic concerts...Tom Petty, Liz Phair and Arlo Guthrie are just a few musicians who have passed through the doors of this Santa Monica landmark. And while we're on music, don't forget Harvelle's (1432 4th St), the oldest live music venue in Santa Monica (and in the westside), hosting some of the greatest legends in blues and jazz since 1931.
Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, you’re sure to have seen the iconic Doc’s Ski Haus sign on Santa Monica Boulevard. Outfitting California skiers and snowboarders for high-mountain fun, Doc’s celebrated both its golden anniversary and a grand opening this summer. In August, Doc’s moved a few doors down to 2929 Santa Monica Boulevard, a larger shop with more windows and parking.
Buy Local Santa Monica wishes to congratulate all these local gems and asks you to support them by thinking Santa Monica first – chances are we have it here, and it’s more fun to shop here than at the big box stores. Buying locally supports a sustainable Santa Monica. For more info on the Buy Local Santa Monica campaign and the City’s 6,700 businesses, visit http://www.buylocalsm.com/. Comment HERE to share some of your favorite local gems and also visit us on our new Buy Local Santa Monica Facebook page!