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Long occupied by car washes and auto repair operations, the stretch of Lincoln Boulevard between Venice Boulevard and Rose Avenue is being transformed with indie stores and restaurants that cater to savvy crowds. Among them is Superba Food & Bread, an offshoot of the Venice pasta bar, which is set to open in an 82-year-old auto body shop. Reminders of the area’s rougher side linger: The building housing Bruno’s, an upscale pet boutique, was recently tagged with graffiti.
Choose among two dozen sausages, from classics like bratwurst to exotics like rattlesnake. The dining room resembles a monastery, with its long wood tables. Save room for the thick Belgian fries and one of the 24 beers on tap. » 625 Lincoln Blvd., 213-687-4444.
The boutique stocks a bit of everything: tie-dyed toddler clothing, staplers shaped like whales, and refurbished vintage chairs. Thanks to the beeswax candles, perfume oils, and canisters of fragrant tea, the place also smells divine. » 1801 Lincoln Blvd., 310-751-6393.
Baby Blues BBQ
Corrugated metal lines a wall and Johnny Cash gives you the finger from a surfboard painting. The neon-lit bastion of smoked meat normally has a long queue of fans waiting for the tri-tip, ribs, and chicken. » 444 Lincoln Blvd., 310-396-7675.
Deus Ex Machina
The café and lifestyle brand from Down Under traffics in surfboards, custom motorcycles, denim overalls, and $100 sweatshirts. Drinks like the Flat White may confuse even experienced coffee fiends; it’s the Aussie take on a cappuccino. » 1001 Venice Blvd., 888-515-3387.
Remember those blond suede Clarks your Dad wore in the ’70s? You’ll find similar kicks alongside crisp Levi’s, slim-cut plaid shirts, and grooming products like MCMC’s Dude No. 1 beard oil. » 1807 Lincoln Blvd., 424-835-4397.
Dig through the recycled Members Only jackets, cutoff shorts, ruffled dresses, and faded jeans. Everything is affordably priced, especially if you take advantage of the $1 parking lot sale on Sundays. » 835 Lincoln Blvd., 310-664-8888.
The Mart Collective
The cavernous building holds dozens of stalls that are filled with antiques, paintings, sculptures, and vintage tchotchkes. Look for the 1960s mannequin heads, stuffed jackalopes, and a pinball machine from the 1920s. » 1600 Lincoln Blvd., 310-450-5142.
The toy emporium opened in March and offers goodies like remote-controlled mini zombies, noseshaped spoons, and playthings for baby. That’s owner Joe Falzarano behind the counter, where he’s sometimes assisted by his 11-yearold son, Will. » 2010 Lincoln Blvd., 310- 452-2900
Jeb Milne opened this joint in 2011 as a performance space for local talent. Despite his sudden passing last year, the place is still going strong. An enthusiastic crowd packs the dimly lit club to hear singers and comedians, all for a $10 cover charge. » 1717 Lincoln Blvd., 310-305-4792.
Lincoln Fine Wines
Need a moderately priced pinot? Knowledgeable staffers patiently field such requests. The selection is large, considering the small space, which can occasionally mean hunting through cardboard boxes stacked on the floor. » 727 Lincoln Blvd., 310-392-7816.
Photographs courtesy (in order): (1, 3-5, 7-9) Lauren Devon, (2) shop-generalstore.com, (4) facebook.com, (8) facebook.com
Why I Love it Here: Monique Brandon
Executive director, Boys & Girls Clubs of Venice
We’ve been in this building for about 15 years. In terms of reaching out to the kids, our goal is not just to be a baby-sitter. Our goal is to create programming that some kids otherwise wouldn’t receive. It’s been interesting to see all the construction that’s going on and the new businesses coming in. We have great relationships with a lot of those folks. Community is everything around here. Venice is not just Abbot Kinney. When I am here, I walk to the different restaurants, and there’s a group of us planning to ride our bikes to work in the summer. I already have it mapped out. 2232 Lincoln Blvd., 310-390-4477.
Police use Lincoln Boulevard in Marina del Rey and Venice for DUI checkpoints, which can cause slowdowns.
The gallery Venice Arts, which opened in 1993, is known for its free workshops for low-income youth.
The signs say Lincoln Boulevard, but be aware that this busy coastal thoroughfare is part of historic Highway 1.