Platform ups Culver City’s cool quotient with a highly curated collection of culinary, fashion and art talent
Written by Alexandria Abramian
Culver City’s food and housing scene has been on the leading edge of the burgeoning area for the past 10 years. Starting with Ford’s Filling Station, other prominent chefs have come to the area, creating a foodie destination that draws Angelenos from all over. What Culver City had never managed to add to the mix, however, was a vital retail component. If you live in the area and want to buy clothes, beauty products or jewelry, for example, it usually involves a trip beyond the downtown area’s tree-lined streets. But that may change this month, when Platform officially opens. It’s located at what may be the hub of all things hip in the incorporated city of 40,000—next to the Expo Line station (which will extend to Santa Monica in May) and just blocks from the creative office spaces for Beats by Dre, Smashbox, Sony Pictures and Maker Studios.
Inside the four-acre, newly built complex, where artists were hired to produce striking day-glow creations on exterior walls, a collection of carefully curated, high-end fashion retailers, cutting-edge restaurants and high-concept design stores will soon open. Also included will be SoulCycle, an art gallery and beloved micro-roaster Blue Bottle Coffee. Put it all together and you’ve got an A-to-Z experience that may be the cool kids’ answer to The Grove.
“We do a ton of traveling and exploring, looking for the most interesting and unique merchants and chefs from around the world,” says David Fishbein, who, along with Joseph Miller, are partners of Runyon Group, which developed the $75 million project. “In addition to this work, we try and stay in touch with larger brands that are doing new and interesting things in retail. This mix of established groups trying to do new and exciting things mixed with new voices is what we strive for in our merchandising mixes.”
The combination includes well-known fashion boutiques such as Curve and Velvet, and still below-the-radar brands like Kilter, which offers athletic streetwear, and the Australian skin, hair and body-care line Aesop. Homegoods god Tom Dixon also will also have a presence at Platform, with a store that will show off the British designer’s iconic furniture and lighting.
But it’s Platform’s culinary component that really compels: The lineup of restaurants, juice bars and other eateries is truly noteworthy. Among soon-to-open tenants are Brooklyn-based artisan ice cream shop Van Leeuwen, and Loqui, a first-to-market taqueria that will offer a modern take on Baja California street food. Perhaps one of the most anticipated concepts is Cannibal, a meat-leaning butcher shop and restaurant that originally started in New York. With an open kitchen and more than 500 international beers available, the restaurant will also offer—get this—a bike valet. And for those who enter in full bicycle regalia? That second beer is on the house.
If it all sounds like a flash-in-the-pan nod to what’s fashionable at the moment, Miller has serious roots when it comes to the entire endeavor. “My great-grandfather worked as a car dealer on the site that we built Platform on,” says the 33-year-old. “To be able to contribute back to the community he grew up in is an amazing feeling.”