the row dtla

the city’s biggest parking lot, oh and a sprawling work and shop complex

It’s kind of ironic how hipster hubs have a certain level of predictability. I guess it makes sense, when retailers are doing market research for new locations, they look at what other businesses are around there. And so you see the same collection of shops, clustered around the same few blocks. In San Francisco, in Chicago… in Culver City and Arts District. I mean, let’s be real, the ROW is just a bigger PLATFORM with more parking…right?

Here’s the thing though, the ROW is, for some bizarre reason, not that popular. I suppose it’s in a weird part of town, the industrial part of Arts District. After all, it’s literally developed in the reclaimed buildings of the historic Los Angeles Terminal Mart, in the skeletons of the former manufacturing hub for American Apparel. As the rest of downtown has quickly turned from an annoying to cool, Arts District is perhaps the coolest. This is just beyond walking distance from the more popular part of Arts District though, and surrounded by nondescript factory buildings and not much else. But the ROW is supposed to be a new center of gravity, with a ton of space for “creative offices” (which to me, just translates to open layouts and not enough conference rooms), and retail.

While Tartine Manufactory has closed already, there are still a bunch of other trendy businesses and food spots catering to a very specific kind of audience. The kind of audience that has Aesop soap and Parachute bedding. The kind of audience that drinks nitro cold brew and who’s dog has more Instagram followers than you. A read through their current tenants:

  • A+R, a furniture design shop
  • Burn & Bridge, a clothing shop
  • Bodega, a clothing shop (lol)
  • dRA, a clothing shop
  • Flask & Field, a wine and home goods shop
  • Galerie.LA, an “ethical concept shop”
  • LVIR, a clothing shop
  • LCD, designer fashion
  • Maker’s Mess, (I shit you not) a “creative space for artists”

 

I swear I am not making these up, they perpetuate the stereotype a little too perfectly. So many boutiques, and a focus on local businesses. My favorites are Poketo, Shades of Grey, Hightide, Flask & Field and Galerie.LA. For food and coffee, they have outposts of some favorites: PCP and Go Get Em Tiger, as well as some restaurants like the casual Japanese spot Pikuniko and more upscale dining option M. Georgina.

It’s still a baby though, and on any given weekday, you’ll probably find the parking structure mostly empty (granted, a majority of the space is still under development). But on the weekends it’s a different story. Because LA loves a good pop up. And the ROW has nothing but space to rent out for experiential museums and pop up events. Every Sunday, there’s the biggest weekly food fest, aka Smorgasburg. Aka the only time it takes longer than 1 minute to find a parking spot.

Anyways, give it a couple years and the ROW will be thriving. There’s no way a collection of such beautifully well-designed lifestyle brands won’t win over Instagram.

SHOP: HIGHTIDE
SHOP: FLASK & FIELD
EAT: PIKUNICO
DRINK: PCP
SHOP: A+R
SHOP: HAWKINS

It’s still a baby though, and on any given weekday, you’ll probably find the parking structure mostly empty (granted, a majority of the space is still under development). But on the weekends it’s a different story. Because LA loves a good pop up. And the ROW has nothing but space to rent out for experiential museums and pop up events. Every Sunday, there’s the biggest weekly food fest, aka Smorgasburg. Aka the only time it takes longer than 1 minute to find a parking spot.

Anyways, give it a couple years and the ROW will be thriving. There’s no way a collection of such beautifully well-designed lifestyle brands won’t win over Instagram.

the details

Address777 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA
Websitehttps://rowdtla.com/
Yelphttps://www.yelp.com/biz/row-dtla-los-angeles
Instagram@rowdtla
Hours8am to 10pm every day, but varies among vendors
Price$$-$$$, most of the boutiques skew towards audiences with more… disposable income
Aestheticannoyingly appealingly designed, hip & trendy

good to know

Go here for: a tour of LA boutiques and designers, or for a tour of Socal’s best street-ish food at Smorgasburg

Amount of time to spend: 1-2 hours is plenty to leisurely explore the shops and grab a bite. 

When to come: weekends are best, because weekdays tend to be a little too quiet. 

Parking: is ample. Their lot is huge and there’s rarely people around. Parking in the structure is free for the first hour every day, and for a second hour with validation (except for Saturdays, when you automatically get 2 hours of free parking). Daily max is $12. Parking is free on Market Row Mondays through Saturdays. 

Other things to note: 

  • Sundays are the busiest days with Smorgasburg, which also makes it the most exciting, because there’s really no fun in wandering around a ghost town of a mall.
  • All of the different shops have different hours, so if you’re looking for something specific and visiting in the morning or evening, double check to make sure they’re open.
  • They usually have some kind of family-friendly experiential pop up happening, so check out their website for tickets and reservations.

Last visited: March 2019

Last updated: January 2020

while you're here

la-guide-outline-logo

WANDERLOGUE COPYRIGHT 2019