Imagine Mayberry with tattoos. The stretch of Magnolia Boulevard from Buena Vista Street to Hollywood Way was developed in the 1920s; it flourished in the ’40s, when the Burbank neighborhood attracted returning GIs with its affordable homes. These days you’re likely to find folks from the nearby studios living on the wide, shady streets, which adjoin a wealth of retro boutiques and independent stores that add a touch of funk to the small-town feel.
1. Porto’s Bakery & Cafe
The Cuban-style spot has three lines: One goes to the café that serves potato croquettes and cubano sandwiches, another leads to the bakery and its guava-cheese pastries, and the last is for ordering custom cakes. » 3614 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-846-9100.
2. Karabel Dancewear
Owner Lori Binkly will fit you for dance shoes, find a tutu in almost any color, and help select the perfect pair of yoga pants. Those who miss the Hollywood Capezio store, which closed in 2010, can pick up the line’s leotards and tap shoes here. » 3901 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-955-8480.
3. Monte Carlo Italian Deli & Pinocchio Restaurant
The red-checkered-tablecloth joint has been playing Sinatra and selling enormous slabs of garlic bread since the ’60s. Patrons love the Italian heroes, lasagna, and housemade cannoli. On the deli side, get olives the length of your thumb or a scoop of gelato to go. » 3103 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-845-3516.
4. Atomic Records
Boxes of vinyl, DVDs, and CDs cover every surface of this crate digger’s paradise. With a quick flick you might come across Doris Day, Chet Baker, and Liberace LPs next to comedy and spoken-word albums. » 3812 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-848-7090.
Necklaces and rings, prints and sculptures—all by local artists—fill the store. The soaps and lotions are mixed on-site, and roll-on perfumes from KleanSpa smell sweet. » 3319 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-840-0123.
6. Mia & the Dragonfly
Named for owner Cat Ivanovich’s daughter, the children’s store stocks wee fashions like $5 onesies and shirts with detachable capes. Books and toys round out the offerings. » 1005 N. Cordova St., 818-846-1500.
With its cherubs and chandeliers, the shop could double as a film set. Apparel from the 1930s through the ’80s is marked with colored tags signifying the decade. No wonder costumers from Mad Men and Masters of Sex are regulars. » 3100 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-557-8447.
8. Romancing the Bean
The café lists its salads and pressed sandwiches on a chalkboard wall. Try the grilled cheese—made with cheddar, Taleggio, and blue cheese on walnut-raisin bread—while sipping organic cold-brewed coffee from a mason jar. » 3413 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-845-2326.
9. Pinup Girl Boutique
The window displays at this boutique, which specializes in vintage-style clothing, hark to classic department stores. There’s even a hair and makeup salon. The decked-out sales gals are as eye-catching as the mannequins. » 3606 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-559-9586.
10. Rocket Fizz
Whether you’re craving a sip of Lester’s Fixins Buffalo Wing Soda or Fidel Castro’s Havana Banana, you’ll find an array of uncommon pop and candy here. Throwback sweets include Bit-O-Honey, every flavor of Hubba Bubba, and barrels of saltwater taffy. » 3524 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-846-7632.
Why I Love It Here: Pat Taylor
Owner, Hubba Hubba! 3220 W. Magnolia Blvd., 818-845-0636
Thirty-two years ago I was the first vintage store on this street. The name comes from when the boys in movies would drive by the high school in their convertibles and yell “Hubba hubba!” at the girls. I live right down the block. All the little rockabilly girls shop here, and people tattooed from head to toe. (They’re the most polite, most friendly, most fun people.) I carry stuff from the ’30s through the ’60s. A lot of young actors and actresses stop by to get things before auditions. They’ll call me and say, “Pat, I got a callback,” or “I didn’t get it, but the director pulled me aside and said, ‘I’m so glad you came in vintage.’ ”
The focus is on Irish plays and playwrights at the intimate Theatre Banshee, where thoughtful productions are staged year-round.
“Ladies’ Night Out,” with food trucks and bands along the boulevard, is held on the last Friday of the month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Many of the homes in the area were built in the minimal traditional style, with decorative gables and windows.
Photographs 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, and 10 by Lauren Devon. All other photographs courtesy facebook.com.