Good news! Echo Park is getting a new beer store early next year! John Nugent and wife Jennifer, along with partners Jenna Miller-Vonah and Andrew Vonah (also investors in Eagle Rock Brewery) are opening up Sunset Beer Company in Echo Park, which will stock bottled beer for sale, as will as sport a tasting room as well (pending a liquor license approval).
The new space is located in a mini-mall along the 1400 block of Sunset Blvd, taking over the approximation 2,000 square foot ladies gym space next to Beauty Box. Nugent told us to expect everything from Unibroue Blanche de Chambly (a Belgian-style white ale from Canada) for $2.50, all the way to the fancy schmancy (and $22 a bottle) Russian River Consecration for those special occasions.
“California craft brews and Belgians are covered really well in Los Angeles and beyond,” said Nugent,” but we feel there is a gap in the market to carry obscure beers from all over the United States. The amount of new, upstart breweries from the Midwest and Southeast alone popping up at craft beer festivals is hard to keep up with. That’s exciting to us.”
So why did they choose Echo Park? Nugent and his wife have always wanted to open another wine or similar store in Echo Park – they have many friends in the neighborhood, and they couldn’t pass up the chance at this location. They plan having the “best” craft beer selection in Los Angeles, not necessarily the largest, because “our priority is quality over quantity.” They also want to make sure a majority of that beer is available in the cold coolers, so it will be ready to go.
An article on The Eastsider LA sparked some debate between some residents about introducing another alcohol establishment to Echo Park (arguments similar to those made against Tony Yanow’s new bar/restaurant at the old El Camino theater) – arguing that the establishment will increase those “rowdy drunks” in the neighborhood. Nugent responded to some of the comments, saying: “I will say that after almost six years of selling wine/beer/sake to-go and in-house in Eagle Rock from our wine store, Colorado Wine Company, we have never had an issue with our neighbors regarding excess noise or rowdy drunks.”
Nugent and partners plan on attending community meetings like the neighborhood council soon, so feel free to share your support (or opposition) by attending one of these meetings and get to know the people behind the concept.