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The owner of Hal's Bar and Grill, one of the restaurants that helped pioneer Abbot Kinney's rapid evolution from gritty to Gant, thinks that the gentrification of the street may have gone to far. In an article on Argonaut News, Don Novack said, "The street is prettier, it's cleaner, but some of the character is draining away. I just hope that the area doesn't change so much that artists don't feel comfortable here, that locals can't afford to eat and shop in their own neighborhood."
Higher rents are also changing the retail landscape of Abbot Kinney. Novack mentions the much-cited GQ article about Abbot Kinney being 'the hippest street in the country,' saying it was a death sentence for certain shops. "Old stores like Surfing Cowboys are on the way out–their lease went through the ceiling and they just announced that they're closing." If that's true, it's a serious bummer—can anyone confirm it?
Update: Surfing Cowboys tells us they're moving, not closing. Check the comments for more details.
· Looking back: Hal's co-owner reflects on 25 years on Abbot Kinney [Argonaut News]
· Abbot Kinney Named "Coolest Block in America" [Racked]
· Venetian: Abbot Kinney Chain Stores Are Destroying Venice [Curbed]