May 9th//Santa Monica

Main Street in Ocean Park: The Haves and Have Nots of this Neighbohrood On the Edge of Greatness

Main Street in Santa Monica’s Ocean Park neighborhood has so many great things to offer. You can shop, stroll and eat just steps from the Pacific Ocean’s crashing waves. The heart of Ocean Park stretches less than a mile and within that mile you will find no fewer than 5 places to stop for a cup of gourmet coffee.

Now, there are some really, truly amazing spots on Main Street not to be missed. Some have been there for what seems like forever and some are relatively new. Here are just a few of my favorites:

  • Arm Candy is a brand new handbag boutique that features unique, artistic, made in America bags in all shapes, sizes and materials. 2717 Main Street.
  • Undefeated isn’t new, but it is the place to go for the coolest sneakers anywhere. Basically, if you buy it at Undefeated, it has to be hip! 2654 Main Street.
  • Arts & Letters is one of the best places to get gifts cards, albums and knick-knacks, but all very lovely and high quality. 2665 Main Street.
  • The Ocean Park branch of the Santa Monica Library recently got a face lift. It’s a great little hideaway and the best kept secret is that you can “borrow” tons of great movies. 2601 Main Street.
  • The Galley is the oldest bar in Santa Monica and you can get a great burger with absolutely no attitude! 2442 Main Street.
  • ZJ Boarding House is the surf shop for real surfers. But please don’t be intimidated even if you’ve never caught a wave! The shop has been around forever and the super cool staff couldn’t be nicer. 2619 Main Street.

What we also have on Main Street are a lot of hard working shop owners providing great service and personal attention. So what’s missing on Main Street? It’s a question that gets asked (and answered) by locals all the time. Here’s a short list of what I think Main Street needs to cross over from a great place to live and visit to Greatness with a capital “G.”

  • A bookstore. Hard as it is to imagine, other than a new “gallery” that also sells some expensive, artsy books in the back room, you literally can not buy a book on Main Street. Good news for Amazon Kindle and Ipad I guess, but bad news for locals who love to browse the aisles or want to pick up a gift. There is something coming that’s been in the works for quite a while at the northern end of main street called Books and Cookies so stay tuned for an update.
  • A Go To Restaurant. Again, hard to believe, but when I want to walk down the hill from my house to grab a quick dinner with a friend and they ask what’s your favorite place I freeze because I don’t really have one. There are plenty of places that are just fine or even pretty  good, but no place that seems to have it all.
  • A great sandwich. Let’s say friends are stopping by for lunch and you want to run to Main Street to grab a few sandwiches. Where do you go? Well, honestly, you have to hop in your car and drive to Bay Cities or you go to Whole Foods.

What do you think is missing on Main Street or do you love it as is?  Do you have a favorite spot or know of a place to get a great deli sandwich or meal on Main Street?  Please share your comments below as I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Santa Monica .

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