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THE CHECKOUT: LONG BEACH

Retro active

September 20, 2008|David A. Keeps | Times Staff Writer

Known as Retro Row, the stretch of East 4th Street between St. Louis and Junipero avenues in Long Beach has become a destination for budget-conscious shoppers and Hollywood designers alike. New boutiques and restaurants with inspiring design sensibilities are springing up on a strip that's already home to jampacked thrift shops and 20th century furniture galleries. The newest arrivals and a few old favorites:

1. Ruum opened this summer with a smart selection of midcentury American furniture, including Warren Platner's 1966 steel-rod, chalice-shaped lounge chairs. A refurbished pair costs $3,000, less than half the price of two new ones from manufacturer Knoll. The store also has a large inventory of Danish modern pieces and stackable modular nickel candlesticks by Nagel ($25 each). 2114 E. 4th St.; (562) 438-1818.

2. Trebor/Nevets, a contemporary L.A. design showroom formerly open only to the trade, recently launched its first retail space. The Long Beach store showcases the firm's own line of upholstered furniture as well as contemporary pieces such as the velvet armchair ($1,895), embroidered microsuede ottoman ($345), recycled tire table ($925) and white ceramic sculpture ($495), shown here. 2116 E. 4th St.; (562) 901-0600; www.trebornevets.com.

3. The new Vietnamese restaurant Number Nine has a sleek Palm Springs vibe with its potted succulents in a rock garden window, mosaic tile wall, concrete floor and custom plywood tables and benches. 2118 E. 4th St.; (562) 434-2009; www.numberninenoodles.com.

4. Replay, an upscale sister to the longtime vintage clothing store La Bomba, made a summer premiere with what co-owner and designer Albert Gonzales calls a "Pop art and Mondrian-influenced" interior scheme. Floating IKEA wood shelves coordinate with artwork screened onto plywood by famed L.A. poster designer Rolo Castillo. 2220 E. 4th St.; (562) 438-0800.

5. Deja Vu is a modernist boutique run by Parisians Vincent and Katell Dogat. They specialize in 20th century French pieces such as this bamboo framed mirror ($195) and California classics such as Brown Saltman furniture, including a Paul Laszlo-designed credenza with biomorphic handles ($1,950). 2238 E. 4th St.; (562) 439-4539; www.dejavu longbeach.com.

6. Xcape, a six-year veteran on Retro Row, has a devoted following for furnishings by the likes of Heywood-Wakefield and Mod-era accessories by the California firm Peter Pepper Products. "Mad Men" set decorator Amy Wells recently rented a mid-1950s Paul McCobb brass and mahogany room divider. The Scandinavian white-glass mushroom lamps ($995 and $1,295) shown here sit on a teak Danish sideboard ($3,500); the unsigned wall hanging ($395) is brass and copper. 2236 E. 4th St.; (562) 433-9911; www.xcapelongbeach.com.

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