The Revolution Heads Uptown

Palm Springs' Uptown Design District has blossomed into a thriving community of shops, restaurants, and bars

Emily Surface Shopping


The Uptown Design District has enjoyed a thoughtful restoration of historic buildings in recent years, including the original home of Don the Beachcomber, which opened in 1953. A duo of hip hangouts now occupies the space: Ernest Coffee and Bootlegger Tiki, connected by an outdoor patio, offer hot Stumptown Coffee and handcrafted tiki cocktails from morning to night. 

Co-owner of the spaces — now local hot spots — Jaime Kowal says she knew the legendary space at the heart of the district was exactly where she wanted to be. “The central location is ideal; we are close to the hospital, right on a corner lot, and have great mountain views. My business partner Chris Pardo and I also live in the neighborhood, and there wasn’t a coffee shop or a bar serving the area.”

The attached apartment building, The Twist, has also undergone a transformation and offers ultramodern residential and vacation rentals. The final space in this thriving complex now houses Dish Creative Cuisine. Recently relocated from Cathedral City, this avant-garde eatery is yet another fitting enhancement to the district. Additional dinner destinations include the industrial chic Workshop Kitchen + Bar and local classics Jake’s, Trio, and Copley’s.

Following in the fashionable footsteps of Trina Turk, an abundance of new retail and design-centered shops have braved the move north and created an eclectic and creative destination that is popular with locals and savvy tourists. 

Shopping in Uptown ranges from a Palm Springs midcentury modern aesthetic to traditional, with edgy furniture, art pieces, and vintage treasures. This vibe has attracted several new boutiques to North Palm Canyon Drive, including Los Angeles–based interior design and furniture showroom Grace Home Furnishings, trendsetting custom furniture manufacturer Mod Shop, design studio Trend House, and Trousdale, featuring furniture from all eras past. 

Joining the ranks of such thriving veteran shops as Just Modern and A La Mod, Semihandmade, a furniture showroom that customizes IKEA designs, recently opened its doors. Also new is Uptown’s second indoor marketplace, Raymond | Lawrence, which hosts several rotating pop-up shops carefully curated to present the best of the Palm Springs lifestyle under one roof.

With no slowdown in sight, the Uptown Design District continues to expand north, offering limitless opportunities for restaurants, retailers, artists, and hotels to cater to a chic local and international audience. 

Also soon to arrive is the Arrive Hotel. Owner-designer Pardo, of Ernest Coffee, recently broke ground on his next development, set to open this year. The boutique property will anchor the northern end of Palm Canyon Drive and offer additional retail and restaurant options.


Visit for a guide to the Uptown Design District.