When I first heard news about what was slated to come to the adorable little clapboard bungalow on Rowena Avenue that was briefly Zanzabelle and Freight, I confess to being slightly prejudiced against the Broome Street General Store. Does L.A. really need ANOTHER business named for places in New York? Hasn’t our inter-city rivalry and inferiority complex evolved? Even as a West Coast “immigrant” child of NYC natives and a fierce lover of that city, it’s time to MOVE ON, people — even if the shop’s co- owner did actually live on Broome Street. Yet my husband makes the point that New York serves as a cultural antecedent for some aspects of L.A. life, and besides, it’s not as if other monikers in L.A. — streets, neighborhoods, etc. — were entirely original and sprung origin-free. Fair enough. The same principle is also true, historically speaking, of New York itself.
Well, I’m happy to say I’m already in love with this exceedingly charming shop. I foresee many an impulse buy and last minute gift purchases made here, since I walked over for a cappuccino and somehow left with a Josie Maran beauty product, salt, and countertop cleaner. That’s what happens when a general store carries many and seemingly random items that are selected and displayed with a great eye and terrific taste. Before long I’ll be returning for this n’ that cooking needs, vintage style jars, small batch olive oils, retro candy if the kid begs hard enough, gardening tools, large market baskets, and who knows what else. (But beware: definitely not at discount store, high-volume retail prices).
And best of all for our needs, the sweet shaded patio out front is PERFECT for kids and parents. Women who bond during prenatal yoga classes at nearby Silverlake Yoga would be smart to adopt Broome Street’s patio for their afternoon get-togethers. Many a discussion about baby sleep habits and feeding routines will take place on the picnic benches, since it’s more open and frankly, more pleasant environment for the stroller-pushing crowd than the Coffee Table. Plus the ramp to get up to the store is super handy. We won’t stray from our other beloved local hang Proof/Cognoscenti Coffee, but Broome Street General Store’s outdoor area is a very welcome addition to the nabe.
In terms of food and beverage, Broome Street has assembled another example of what I like to call the New Pornographers of the L.A. food scene, i.e. a supergroup of local producers. There are Valerie jams, chocolates, and sweet + savory hand pies; a few Heirloom LA goodies in the fridge; Cake Monkey sweets on the counter, and Squirl to come. But the big geographical exception to this posse is instead of Intelli, Broome serves beans from Gimme! Coffee, which is excitingly a little taste of Ithaca, NY in L.A. This is very welcome news to the Ithaca local in our household (Gimme!, just as a reminder, is from Ithaca, not NYC!). No more waiting for my mother-in-law to come to town to get some Leftist beans.
2912 Rowena Avenue, Silver Lake