Leprechauns (legendary entities)

Aisles of treats from the Emerald Isle

Aisles of treats from the Emerald Isle

When the luck of the Irish holds, the lovers buy Claddagh rings for their valentines, frat boys gearing up for St. Paddy's Day go for Guinness caps with built-in bottle openers — and come Christmas, there's a run on plum pudding and St. Nicks in Kelly green.

But holidays alone don't explain how a small Irish store survives year after year in a Hollywood mini-mall.

The plain brown shopping complex set back from Vine Street houses the usual suspects: a pawnshop, check cashing, Thai massage, tattoos. You see them without really seeing them — which makes the one surprise easy to miss.

The Irish Import Shop, which opened 50 years ago, is wedged between a dry cleaner and a...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World