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'Little Santa Monica' Boulevard in Beverly Hills may see name change

September 10, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
In Beverly Hills, a little name can be a big deal. Case in point: South Santa Monica Boulevard, known by most around here as Little Santa Monica Boulevard.

But to some, like longtime resident Fred Barman, "little" just doesn't cut it.

"Everyone refers to it as little. And that's the thing that's really stupid," said Barman.

Barman is pushing the Beverly Hills City Council to officially change the street's name. He says there are too many Santa Monica Boulevards in Beverly Hills, with North Santa Monica and South Santa Monica.

Barman's solution: forget the "south" and "little" monikers and just consider it an extension of the already existing Burton Way, which Barman says was its original name.

But ask around Beverly Hills, and you may be hard pressed to find people who support changing the street's name.

"Santa Monica Boulevard, the name is iconic Beverly Hills and I think it should stay the same. It's historical," said Sue Winchester of Beverly Hills.

Others say they don't see the point in changing the name and think it will cause more confusion.

Meantime, some businesses, like Frankie & Johnnie's Pizza, aren't too excited about a proposed name change. They said they'd have to change their boxes and it could confuse many of their customers.

"If they change the whole name, then that's going to be really expensive," said Ramon Manuel of Frankie & Johnnie's Pizza. "I think they should just leave it alone because it works."

Barman says a name change would be phased in over several years. The street will retain its South Santa Monica name with Burton Way added to the signage. And even if the new name is hated, he says it's already generating something Beverly Hills loves: publicity.

"It's the old saying, 'Like it or not, spell my name right,'" said Barman.