Melrose Hill, LA’s Buzziest Design Neighborhood, Is Ready for Primetime


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For this week’s edition of The Source, we’re returning to West Coast editor Mayer Rus for another dispatch. Below, Rus gives us the insider’s take on LA’s newest hotspot, Melrose Hill, which is home to a brood of hip new galleries, eateries, and other places to see and be seen. —Lila Allen, Senior Editor, AD PRO


Melrose Thrill

For anyone who didn’t get the memo, Los Angeles’s hottest new neighborhood is Melrose Hill, the formerly desolate, dilapidated stretch of mattress stores and repair shops clustered around the intersection of Western and Melrose Avenues. The name sounds like a 1990s or early-2000s television show on The CW, something starring Heather Locklear or James Van Der Beek, which I kind of like.

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The facade of Sargent’s Daughters, one of Melrose Hill’s hotspots.

Courtesy of Sargent’s Daughters

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Renderings of main gallery space and courtyard by John Frane of HGA Architects.

John Frane

The drumbeat of redevelopment started ringing out several years ago, just as the city was reawakening from the apocalyptic fever dream of COVID-19. Early settlers included Sized, the freewheeling curatorial project spearheaded by that international man of mystery Alexander May, and the beloved furniture and decorative arts emporium Pop Up Home. It wasn’t long before the twin mechanisms of culture and commerce kicked into high gear, with buzzy new galleries, eateries, and boutiques emerging on the scene seemingly every month.

A few weeks ago, the steady rhythm of urban rebirth reached a crescendo with the long-awaited debut of the David Zwirner gallery megaplex, which encompasses two erstwhile movie prop houses—renovated by AD100 Hall of Fame architect Annabelle Selldorf and opened in 2023—alongside a ground-up building, also by La Selldorf, christened in May with the boffo opening of Zwirner’s 30th anniversary exhibition and a cavalcade of boldface art stars.

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Café Telegrama, an all-day eatery serving croissants, vegan tea cakes, and coffee.

Roller Studio

In addition to the Zwirner extravaganza, contemporary art aficionados will find a gaggle of other fine galleries that have cropped up recently in Melrose Hill, among them Shrine and Sargent’s Daughters, Morán Morán, Rele, James Fuentes, and Fernberger. Later this month, The Brick (née LAXART, the nonprofit visual arts space founded by Lauri Firstenberg in 2005), will reopen in a capacious former furniture showroom renovated by architect John Frane. Southern Guild, Trevyn and Julian McGowan’s wonderland of African utilitarian and ritualistic art, is yet another dreamy Melrose Hill destination. Eater has already dubbed the ’hood “L.A.’s Hottest Culinary Boom Town,” so visitors will find plenty of sustenance along the boulevard. (Pro tip: Relax with a coffee and a cream puff at the lovely Café Telegrama, or chow down on a toothsome fried chicken sandwich at Le Coupé.) All in all, Melrose Hill is the must-visit spot for lovers of the new and the now. To borrow a phrase from Bill Hader’s indelible Saturday Night Live character Stefon, this place has everything. Culture vultures, start your engines. —Mayer Rus



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