Saturday, May 24, 2008

Larkspur downtown

Larkspur is located on the eastern side of Mt Tamalpais and contains an historic retail and commercial downtown area centered on Magnolia Avenue.

The city is currently celebrating its 100th year and a series of improvements are planned for the downtown area. As the photos below show, there's a diverse mix of buildings in the town, reflecting both its early history as a small working town and more recent past as the center of an afluent neighborhood.

There's 50+ retail stores in the downtown area. Cafes & eateries are the most prominent category; home furnishings and womenswear boutiques are also well-represented, with the rest being a mix of local services.

Starting at the south end of the town, the Lark Creek Shops is a small strip of stores located beside the beautiful Lark Creek Inn and the redwoods of the Madrone Canyon. The buildings are in poor condition but there are some popular local businesses here, including the Lingerie Shoppe and Yankee Pier.

Next there's one of the city's newer additions: the very popular Picco restaurant and wine bar.
At the intersection of King and Magnolia is the historic City Hall building, north of which starts the main part of the downtown shopping strip.
Emporio Rulli is the cafe with the awesome pastries and cakes. There's also a wine bar and one of the few places with outside tables. Fabrizio is a highly-rated Italian restaurant. Left Bank is also always busy with its french-influenced menu. The town's watering hole is The Silver Peso, complete with shuffleboard.There are more eateries at the northern end of the town, including Burritoville, the Ward Street Cafe, sushi at the King of The Roll and Fukusuke and pizza at Cafe Lucano.The town has several signature boutiques, including Nicolette, Gala and Canvas
And Swing is a great kids clothing store. A few stores focus on home furnishings, ranging from the pricey custom-made furniture to everyday gifts/furnishings. Stores to note include Coquelicot, Susana, L'Ambiente and Country Gift Shop.
The Northern end of downtown is a mess, with poor quality developments arranged around surface parking lots. The Lucky supermarket is a second rate grocery store, just about good enough for essentials.
But the whole area could do with a serious makeover.

No comments: