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Metropolis / So SoCal

When a Business Wears Two Hats

November 16, 2003|DAVID WOLLOCK

In a city full of gridlock and busy people, one-stop shopping is a key to happiness, a truth not lost on local entrepreneurs. At these hybrids, it's businesses as usual.

Lucy's Laundromat & Water

Along with more than 100 dryers and washers, Lucy's offers drinking water, purified right on the premises--just 10 cents a gallon if you bring your own jug. A refreshing gift idea: Lucy's ceramic water coolers, shaped like fruit arrangements, soccer balls and floral bouquets. 10703 S. Inglewood Ave., Lennox.

Rita Flora

At this popular restaurant/flower shop one can enjoy a coffee or meal amid the calla lilies and the Dutch tulips. Third-generation florist Rita Azar started pushing posies in 1987. A self-serve cafe added in '89 has blossomed into a restaurant serving bouquets of California cuisine. 468 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles.

Puppies & Babies

On their first (blind) date, Robert Moritz and Hannah Brand brought their pooches, a French bulldog and Yorkie, to dinner. Both couples hit it off, and Moritz and Brand launched this store replete with designer collars, organic catnip toys, $400 faux-crocodile dog bags and Italian baby cribs. The shop's aww-cute motto: "True Love Doesn't Count Legs." 8363 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles.

Slave

To fashion, that is. In 1995, sexy French couture designer Valerie Hammond converted the front of her warehouse loft into a funky-chic boutique specializing in trendy street and club wear. A couple of years ago, she added a nine-station hair and makeup salon. On weekends: pedicures and foot massages. 1221 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice.

Legal Grind

Java meets justice. "Law'ttes" and "copaccinos" steam alongside a la carte services ranging from notary public ($10) to divorce papers ($425). Founder and president Jeff Hughes opened his Santa Monica shop in 1996; an Inglewood location followed. Next on the docket: a matchmaking service, Hughes says. 2640 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; 6816 S. La Cienega Blvd., Inglewood.

Lil' Zeke's Motorcycle Parts & Supply Co. and Lil' Zeke's White Dragon Tattoo

What happens when a tattooed bail bondsman (Frank Esposito), a musician (Mark Peacock) and a bounty hunter/motorcycle expert (Zeke Unger) open a business? On the first floor, bike repair and Harley gear. Upstairs, an immaculate inking and piercing studio that caters to suits and hell-raisers alike. Bail bonding happens off-site, but Esposito can do spot consultations in a pinch. 7300 Valjean Ave., Van Nuys.

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