At the center of Catalina’s boardwalk, Crescent Ave, a new facet of the Dunn Dynasty has emerged. Latitude 33, now located across from the Green Pleasure Pier, held it’s grand opening last Saturday, June 20, 2015. At their previous location on Metropole, the Island-feel clothing store had a variety of stylish beach wear that carries over to the new location. However, the owner, Jerry Dunn, had dreams to transform the culture of his previous store beyond the beachy vibes brought on by the trendy bikinis, board shorts and other active swimwear. The new Latitude 33 gives a revamped, reimagined upgrade that the previous location did not have the capacity for.
The entrance to Latitude 33 blew my mind, from the welcoming simplicity of the structure, to the generously handwritten “smiles are free” sign at the front door. Walking into the building I couldn’t decide what I was more interested in browsing through first. Every direction I looked was a clean and presentable rack of more than just the expected swimsuits and sporty brand clothing I am normally used to seeing. Latitude 33 provides all those things and more, including Tommy Bahama styles, beautifully designed women’s dresses and handbags, and a very unique collection of watches and jewelry. Wonderfully painted, limited edition ukuleles reach nearly every corner of the store. The brick walls and hardwood shelving provide a distinct rustic groove that makes browsing comfortable (and believe me, there are more than enough cool products and clothing to enhance your browsing experience).
The attitudes of each employee matched perfectly with the atmosphere of the store. They are polite, knowledgeable, and it definitely seems like they have a good time working in such a fun-loving environment. I must have spent 15 minutes walking through and trying on several pairs of sunglasses. I also checked out different button down shirts (I am an avid Hawaiian shirt fan, giggity). In the time I browsed around, the store was packed with shoppers coming in and out. Every one of the employees engaged and offered help. I ended up purchasing a fitted button down, and if I may say so myself, I look darn groovy in it. If you see a good looking blond dude wearing a spiffy, light blue Hawaiian shirt, it’s probably me.
Latitude 33 knows how to speak the “Island” language. The store illuminates the trendy side of Catalina culture without delving too far into the ‘touristy’ feel in the design. Although, there is a trendy selection of Catalina Island gear as well. One particular aspect of the store that stood out to me was the eye catching “Catalina Island” signs made up by individual letters carved out of what I thought at first was just cardboard. At a closer look of a smaller replica, I noticed that it was actually carved from books! If that isn’t the definition of capturing the artistic culture of Catalina Island, point me out something that is. To my fellow Catalina travelers out there looking for some groovy clothes like me, I absolutely suggest you take a stroll to Latitude 33.