A drive past South La Brea Avenue and First Street usually comes accompanied with a double take and a few questions. Did I just see a giant Colonel Sanders head resting in a clawfoot bathtub? Was that two out of the three Pep Boys hanging out with Marge Simpson? Was there more than one antique piano sitting on the sidewalk?
The answer to those three questions is a resounding, “yes.” For nearly 30 years, Nick Metropolis Collectible Furniture has brought a splash of quirky color to the edge of Hancock Park.
But as the shopping landscape on La Brea turns decidedly more upscale, there might be less and less room in the neighborhood for a cluttered curiosity shop. The whimsical scrapyard is starting to feel a financial pinch as it struggles to keep up with the change in the neighborhood, reports the Los Angeles Times.
As the Times reports, owner Nick Metropolis is struggling to pay the $16,000-per-month rent.
A major theft and a lull in shoppers have exacerbated the store’s financial problems. Neighbors and longtime customers have come to the shop’s aid, pitching in cash to help Nick out, but Metropolis remains mired in debt.
There is a flicker of hope: On Monday, a judge put Metropolis on a strict weekly payment plan, saving him from eviction. If Metropolis can keep hustling, his shop will remain a scraggly outlier amongst a boom of luxury boutiques on La Brea.