The “Four Christmases” BarDec 19th, 2013 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
Last December, while doing research on the Venice residence that was used as the interior of the house belonging to Kate (Reese Witherspoon) and Brad (Vince Vaughn) in Four Christmases (which I blogged about here), I came across this Venice Paper article that stated that the 2008 comedy had also done some filming at a neighboring property located at 1319 Abbot Kinney Boulevard. When I Googled the address, I learned that it was the location of a spiritual gift shop/bookstore named Mystic Journey (which has since moved). Being that Four Christmases did not have a scene that took place at any sort of a store, I could not for the life of me figure out what the space had been used for in the flick. It was not until I came across these interior photographs of the building’s second floor that I figured out a fake bar had been built there for the shoot. I later confirmed my theory with the movie’s incredibly nice production designer, Shepherd Frankel, and then ran right out to stalk the place in early February.
The 6,057-square-foot, three-story ultra-modern building was originally constructed in 2007 and was set up to accommodate two different retail/office spaces. The ground floor consists of a 2,000-square-foot storefront that has been vacant ever since Mystic Journey moved out this past April. (According to the Yo Venice website, It will soon be home to an IRO clothing store outpost.) You can see photographs of that bottom level here.
The top two floors are comprised of a 4,057-square-foot open live-work space with a full kitchen, hardwood flooring, two patios, and plenty of windows.
As you can see in the interior photographs below (which I got from the building’s former real estate listing), the place is absolutely incredible! Throw in a huge walk-in closet and it’s pretty much my ideal living space.
At the time of the filming of Four Christmases in December 2007, the building’s first floor and roof were being temporarily utilized for a Smart Car promotional event called the “Smart House.” Shepherd and his team took over the property’s second and third levels, which were vacant, and transformed them into a supposed San Francisco-area bar/art gallery.
The bar was only featured once in Four Christmases – in the opening scene, in which Kate and Brad pretended to be strangers named “Kent” and “Daphne.”
As you can see below, the place was dressed heavily for the filming and is virtually unrecognizable from the real estate listing photographs.
The third floor railing, thankfully, remains the same, though, and is what eventually tipped me off as to what the building had been used for in the movie.
The bathroom where Brad and Kate, ahem, rendezvoused in the scene was a set that Shepherd constructed inside of the building.
Although the exterior of the bar/gallery is never visible in Four Christmases, Kate and Brad are shown leaving the establishment and hopping onto a cable car. That portion of the scene was actually filmed in San Francisco (one of the few scenes that was), just outside of Café Grecco, which is located at 423 Columbus Avenue.
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Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The fake Four Christmases bar/art gallery was created on the second and third floors of the building located at 1319 Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. The spot where Kate and Brad caught a cable car outside of the bar can be found about 400 miles away at 423 Columbus Avenue in the North Beach area of San Francisco.