Before eBay, 4th Street was a trove of vintage goods. In the 1970s, locals stocked up on antiques for their homes in the nearby historic districts. Two decades later, as real estate prices soared and chains shouldered out mom-and-pops elsewhere in Long Beach, it remained a hub for resale stores, luring collectors from all over the region with prices that made up for the schlepp. Recently a handful of businesses arrived to liven up the mix, though with only about 30 shops and restaurants, the slightly gritty stretch is still low-key.
The mostly used books lining the shelves here reflect the offbeat sensibilities of co-owner Shea Gauer, who picks each title for its unusual appeal (a recent visit unearthed a history of the zipper). A small stage is the site of frequent readings and performances. » 2226 E. 4th St., 562-499-6736. Map
2 Shelter Surf Shop
Brushed concrete floors and exposed wooden rafters form the coolly industrial backdrop for a small and thoughtful selection of independent beachwear labels, handshaped boards, surf-inspired art, and a Japanese line of wet suits that can be custom tailored. Mingle with the tanned and toned during film screenings held in the store’s parking lot. » 2148 E. 4th St., 562-342- 4401. Map
3 Number Nine
The simple, inexpensive Vietnamese food at this three-month-old restaurant is in line with its Ikea aesthetic (think blond wood benches and orbshaped pendant lights). Dishes like pho, bun, and bành mi are elevated by organic ingredients, while heaping servings keep diners sated. » 2118 E. 4th St., 562-434-2009. Map
Photograph by Mindee Choi
The petite shop stocks smartly chosen secondhand clothes for women, many of them redesigned by owner Eiko Wise. We
like the classic Members Only jackets made over with slimmed-down silhouettes and puffy shoulders. » 2106 E. 4th St., 562-856-8154.
5 Portfolio Coffeehouse
Laptop-toting patrons come for some of the area’s best coffee, then park themselves on wellworn couches to take advantage of the free Wi- Fiand order from a full lunch menu. The back space serves as an unofficial community center, offering popular kids’ story-time sessions, knitting workshops, and openmic nights. » 2300 E. 4th St., 562-434-2486. Map
This shop carries highquality Danish and American modern furniture from the 1940s to the ‘70s by all the big designers— Bertoia, Saarinen, Wright, Nelson—for far less than on La Cienega. Co-owner Vaughn Keene has a sharp eye, so even pieces that aren’t by wellknown names are distinctive. Find some period fabrics here, too. » 2236 E. 4th St., 562-433-9911. Map
7 Pike Bar & Grill
This neighborhood hangout has a blaring jukebox, a laid-back atmosphere, and huge homemade dishes (we’re fans of the fish-and-chips). Bands or DJs play nightly. » 1836 E. 4th St., 562-437-4453. Map
8 The Vintage Collective
Twenty-five kiosks sell all manner of used goods— from early American fabrics to poodle skirts to LPs. We love the treasurehunt feel that comes with combing through what feels like a well-organized garage sale. » 2122 E. 4th St., 562-433-8699. Map
Photograph by Mindee Choi
Hawleywood’s Barber Shop
It’s nearly two years old, but with its faded linoleum tiles, red leather swivel chairs, and wooden shoe shine booth, this barbershop is tricked out to resemble the Eisenhower era. Tattooed barbers provide shaves ($25) and haircuts ($20) that recall that period and earlier to clients who favor rockabilly styles (pompadours are a specialty). If the men-only policy doesn’t keep women at bay, the tattered copies of Penthouse should. » 2234 E. 4th St., 562-434-5405.