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SUNDAY BRUNCH

Artistic Avenues

September 13, 1998|CONNIE KOENENN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

To emphasize the growing aesthetic diversity of a business area once dominated by interior design showrooms, West Hollywood will stage an arts street festival from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday. More than 50 art galleries, antique shops, design showrooms, restaurants and specialty retailers are participating in the "Open House on the Avenues: An Evening of Art & Design."

"Our first attempt at a street festival was last spring during L.A. Design Week, and it was successful enough to repeat," said Jeb Baird, director of Avenues of Art & Design, a business improvement district cooperative.

"There's a wonderful synergy in the area, and it's a good way for visitors to get a look at all the shops. It's unusual for L.A. in [that it is] pedestrian-friendly," Baird said.

The festival area will be bordered on the east and west by La Cienega Boulevard and Doheny Drive and on the north and south by Melrose Avenue and Beverly Boulevard.

All metered street parking will be free, and reduced-rate special event parking will be available at the Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., and other locations throughout the district.

"The showrooms are both high-end and funky," Baird said. "The area is not just Beverly Hills-adjacent: It's also street fashion."

To kick off the fall art season, galleries are holding opening-night receptions, showrooms will feature open houses, and restaurants are planning special menus and entertainment.

Among the evening's highlights: L'Arancino on Beverly Boulevard will serve complimentary Sicilian appetizers; Daniel Saxon Gallery will exhibit new large-scale paintings by Gronk at the Pacific Design Center's Feldman Gallery; and singer Ricky Jones will perform at Il Piccolino restaurant on Robertson Boulevard.

Fashion retailers participating will include Dean Hutchinson, Kate Spade and Jonathan Behr Bespoke Clothier, all on Robertson.

Information: (323) 650-2668.

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