How LA’s Robertson Boulevard Went From Paparazzi Heaven To Vacant Stores

by MR Magazine Staff

There are hardly any shoppers on Robertson Boulevard on a recent visit, compared to the throngs on nearby Rodeo Drive or Melrose Avenue. Robertson is a bit of a contradiction. While there is a Chanel store selling $3,000 handbags, it’s surrounded by depressing vacant storefronts. There are a few tourists on the street, here mostly for one reason. “Pretty much The Ivy,” said Samantha Young, from Arizona. “We’re visiting. We know about The Ivy, and we really wanted to go.” She’s talking about the white picket-fenced restaurant that’s been a landmark here for decades. She’s surprised by what she sees on the rest of the street. “Especially being as busy an area as it is, it’s very noticeable when it’s vacant like this,” Young said. About a third of the retail spaces on Robertson are vacant, a far cry from when Fraser Ross opened kitschy high-end retailer Kitson here in 2000. The store became the epicenter of LA fame culture. “The heyday was probably 2005, when the reality stars would come to Robertson to be photographed,” Ross said. “And even the A-list actors would go to The Ivy and have lunch.” Read more at WVTF.