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’Hood Hopping

Three neighborhood boutiques that fly under the radar


Downtown: Industry Showroom

345 Sixth Avenue

On the blurry border between the Gaslamp and East Village, Industry Showroom is one of downtown’s newest and most interesting boutique spaces. Owners Rex Edhlund and Sheila LeMire describe the store as a small-business brand incubator space, pop-up shop, retail floor, art gallery and creative workspace, rolled into one. However you describe it, it’s a fantastic place for fashion-finders to discover emerging designers, for health enthusiasts to take a yoga class or for anyone to shop at the jewelry and beauty boutique called Melt — all located inside the New York – style warehouse loft space. Watch for a monthly “Bohemian Market” coming soon, in which Industry opens up for outside vendors, performance-art events and maybe even a spontaneous fashion show.

North Park: Home

3013 University Avenue

David, Adrian and Nick Ross pay homage to their beloved uncle Richard by using the brand of his iconic restaurant, Home — once located in New York, and a favorite hangout for musicians such as John Lennon, who was photographed wearing a Home tee on the back cover of his album Sometime in New York City. The brothers recently opened a second Home Mercantile location in North Park — the flagship store is in Encinitas — that carries artsy Americana-style clothing (60 percent gently used and 40 percent new) at great prices with a cool street vibe.

Oceanside: Ensemble

301 Mission Avenue,
Suite 105

“The good town of Oceanside gets a bad rap,” says Ensemble owner Sharon Olloqui. “The perception is that because of our proximity to Camp Pendleton, there’s nothing else here. But we have a large tourist and local civilian population, and everyone needs a fashionable place to shop for clothing.” Ensemble fits the bill, with unique clothing lines for guys and gals, chic gifts and great fragrances. It faces the Oceanside pier and the bungalow-style house featured in Top Gun. With tons of parking and a packed-with-young-people Harney Sushi restaurant nearby, Ensemble is a cool boutique shopping experience in an almost-cool beachside village.

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