Issue: Issue Fall 2009

Lastpage - Franklin Village

By: DH


Nestled below the Hollywood Sign near the junction of Franklin and Bronson Avenues, newly designated Franklin Village is one of Hollywood’s most neighborly junctions. Los Angeles, like London, is rapidly becoming known for its neighborhoods - an evolution of a mega-city that cuts us down to bite-sized, easily-digestible pieces.

To those intent on driving to and from their businesses or only passing through to the freeway or points east and west, the uninitiated may not realize that they’ve passed through a popular stop to wine and dine, meet and mingle, rendezvous, be entertained, or browse and shop.

But slow down, stop and walk (yes, we do that in L.A.) and you’ll get a sense of the place and the piece of the Hollywood Hills that is its backyard. There’s sidewalk dining and lingering over an expresso and always a great place to people watch.

Where to start? The Daily Planet is a good place with its periodical and gift selection to either work up an appetite for the range of delectable cuisine at Prizzi’s and Birds, healthy and fresh fare at Real Raw Hollywood or the French bistro atmosphere at La Poubelle. As you meander, stop in at Native for trinkets, clothing and accessories. Guys can browse at Counterpoint Books while they’re waiting.

The Village includes the shops just north off of Bronson. there’s something for everyone. Also, the new Oaks Gourmet Shop with wines and liquor soon will repace Victor’s which closed after many years.

Our furry friends are in good hands at Tailwaggers and you’re even covered in cyberspace at Shotgun Digital.

This Village has deep roots, LaPoubelle soon will celebrate its 40th Anniversary and Counterpoint Books is in its 30th year. There are newcomers, if you can call Prizzi’s celebrating 20 years in business and the Daily Planet at 10. A more recent arrival is the Upright Citizens Brigade which has made quite a mark for itself since arriving from New York City where the comedy and improve stalwart is headquartered. The lines for UCB’s nightly comedy are a hint of its value and popularity.

The neighborhood surrounding the village center is an interesting, ecletic mixture of single family homes, whimsical apartments from the 20’s and 30’s. Some of the Craftsman bungalows date back to the teens. Here you’ll find a mega chateau, the Church of Scientology’s Celebrity Centre, formerly the Chateau Elyse (see Places of Interest), the Spanish-inspired Villa Carlotta, and California Craftsman single family homes dating back to the teens.

Manageable in size, Franklin Village is more bustling than Beachwood Village up Beachwood Canyon, but has its own school, charming Cheremoya Avenue Elementary School and supermarket. But best of all it has a casual ambiance where friends meet and where you can meet new friends.

Next time you’re in the area, stop a while at Franklin Village. You’ll be glad you did. DH