Flickr photo via Stuart Fingerhut

The Eastsider LA reported today that there will be a forum at Fix Coffee on Wednesday, April 27 at 7:00 pm to discuss the coffee shop’s impending application for a beer and wine license.

While they claim to hold over 2,000 signatures in support of the business’ license, there are a handful of opponents – some of whom are not only long-time community members but also direct neighbors.

Some of the issues are obvious: It’s a quiet neighborhood, directly across from an elementary school, and they are also asking for extended hours until 11:00 pm. Add existing parking pressures, it’s understandable why neighbors would feel concerned.

The Eastsider LA article quotes neighbor Susan Borden, a long-time resident and activist, as saying:

This is the first step in turning our neighborhood from a residential one into a commercial one.  When he moved in three years ago Marc Galucci (FIX owner) could see that this is a residential not a commercial neighborhood.  He wants to change it.  All along Echo Park Avenue businesses will try to get alcohol licenses and bring the club-goers up from Sunset.  Some people will enjoy that—they are [usually] the ones who are not adjacent to the businesses and don’t have to deal with the noise and trash. Most of us like the non-commercial nature of our canyon.

And this is a major concern for neighbors – that even if Fix respects the neighborhood, keeps things quiet, the beer/wine license might open the door for even later hours and entertainments licenses (either by current owners or future owners) at that location and in the area that is unwelcome by some neighbors. Rumor mill has it that more restaurants and businesses serving alcohol will start popping up along Echo Park Avenue, so this just might be the start of it.

Owner Marc Galucci is hoping to listen and respond to such concerns at the meeting on Wednesday, and, as he said in a response to Susan on The Eastsider LA article, “I am sincerely trying to be empathetic to our neighbors but unfortunately, as you know, you can’t make everyone happy but I will always continue to try.”

While we do look forward to grabbing a beer and perhaps dinner on the lovely patio at Fix, we aren’t the neighbors who will be directly affected by this change.

Do you think Fix will be granted its beer and wine license by the city? Would you support the business if they serve beer, wine and dinner?

And, more importantly, do you see Echo Park Avenue as benefiting from bars and restaurants, or should it remain a quieter hub for schools and residences?

Click here to read the full Eastsider LA article and the letters from Susan and Marc.

Perhaps you’ve noticed things have been a little quiet here on Echo Park Now lately – well have no fear! I’ll be returning later this week, after we’re finished with our honeymoon in Maui! So if you’ve maybe submitted some info to us recently, or sent us an email, I haven’t been ignoring you.


Flickr photo by RexSteed

With our first truly warm weekend on the books here in a couple of days, we think it best to enjoy the outdoors of Echo Park with a mimosa in hand. While the places to enjoy outdoor alcohol are fairly limited in Echo Park, here are a few suggestions to maximize your time off from the work week:

The Park Restaurant

Our number one spot this weekend because they just recently expanded their beer and wine license to the cute little patio that greets you upon entering the restaurant. This is a huge bonus for the restaurant, which is probably at least a couple of years old by now and had limited alcohol service to just the inside (we even remember a short stint of BYOB when they first opened!). Mimosas will run you $6 with other very reasonably priced beers and wines on the list.

Bonus: They should be posting their summer menu (all menus change seasonally) on their website any day now!

Lot 1 Cafe

Along with its newly established reputation as an entertainment venue throughout the week and on weekends, Lot 1 Cafe on the corner of Sunset and Laveta Terrace received its beer and wine license in 2010. That license was also intended for a small patio area that wraps around the exterior of the corner building, so that we can all enjoy a glass of something tasty while watching the world go by.

Bonus: They seem to be the best deal in town for mimosas at $4 a glass!


This is a spot for the nightlife. Though they open earlier in the day, the outdoor patio in the back doesn’t open until 7 or 8:00 pm. Still, we remember a night last year when it was 90 degrees outside, and it was nice to have a margarita later at night in the back patio.

Bonus: If you’re on a budget and don’t mind the lower-quality tequila, Wednesday nights are $2.50 margarita nights.

Rodeo Grill

Believe it or not, this is a pretty sweet spot to enjoy the summer air in a covered patio area. I’m pretty certain you can enjoy an adult beverage on their patio – especially since they just recently received their liquor license fairly recently (can you say margaritas?).

Bonus: Do your laundry across the street and grab a beer – you can probably see your delicates washing from the patio.

Honorable Mentions:

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t give a little shout-out to the other patio spots in Echo Park. Just because they don’t serve up alcohol doesn’t mean you can’t chill out:

Masa of Echo Park has a few tables wrapping around the building. They serve beer and wine only inside, but you can get still order from the full menu and bring your pup.

Xoia Vietnamese Eats has a nice covered patio as well, with modern art and woolly pockets it’s a pretty hip place to dine. They don’t serve alcohol at all yet (the restaurant just opened last year), but perhaps this year they’ll be getting that squared away.

Stories Books and Cafe has a nice patio in the back where they’ve hosted many gatherings. While you’re main view is of one of those not-so-pretty parking lots, there are murals and plants and all-around good company. Who knows… they might also benefit from a beer and wine license to serve up along with their super delicious vegan doughnuts.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.

The closure of the Save-A-Lot at the end of March prompted a decent-sized online debate about what entity should take over the former historic Pioneer Market location. It’s not clear whether or not the Save-A-Lot will actually return, but a letter posted on the front door doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the chain:

“It has come to the Landlord’s attention that Subtenant has ceased operating from the Premises. In order to protect the integrity of the Premisess and Landlord’s interest therein, Landlord has changed the locks and entered the Premises to inspect name.”

So what’s next?

Well, pretty much every time this location is open for a new tenant, someone mentions wanting a Trader Joe’s. Or perhaps a Fresh and Easy? The Sunset Blvd. storefront is a great location for any retailer or grocer, but so far no announcements have been made.

There’s even a Facebook page called “Bring Trader Joe’s to Echo Park” (with 200+ fans) for neighbors pushing for a Trader Joe’s to take over the location, even amongst speculation that the chain would never open in such a “low income” neighborhood.

It’s a nice thought – the nearest locations are Eagle Rock and Silver Lake, and it would be great to avoid the drive (ever try to park in the Silver Lake one at 5:00 on a Friday? Or any day of the week for that matter). But the downside to bringing a Trader Joe’s to Echo Park in that location is exactly the same issue – parking, traffic due to backed up parking, lack of employee parking, and all-around traffic/parking problems. Frankly, it would be a kind of a nightmare. But would you give up parking convenience that for Trader Joe’s convenience?

A comment on an Eastsider LA article (which, by the way, has nearly 60 comments!) mentioned they’d like to see a second Figueroa Produce location – truly my number one choice and probably a better fit for this neighborhood than another grocery chain. I mean, the fresh salsa and guacamole are really the best!

No offense to the Trader Joe’s fans, but here’s my official call to action: Bring on Figueroa Produce!

The Dodgers are in San Francisco tonight for another round against the rival team, while the stadium hosts a fundraiser today for Giants fan Brian Stow, who was critically injured in the Dodgers parking lot on opening less than two weeks ago. In addition to the tragic incident (Stow remains in critical condition in the hospital), this has been a bit of a PR issue for the Dodgers franchise and Los Angeles, as owner Frank McCourt and our own mayor have been criticized for not handling the issue very well.

Today, until 3:00 pm, the Dodgers are hosting a “drive-through” relief event for Bryan Stow. All collections going directly towards the trust fund established by the Stow family to benefit Bryan and his children. Assisting the Dodgers in the relief effort will be American Medical Response, the club’s media partners (KCAL 9, Prime Ticket, KABC 790 and Univision Radio), and the Los Angeles Times.

Please drive to the Stadium and donate, in Parking Lot 1. At noon, several community supporters are scheduled to be on hand.

Monetary donations of cash and checks will be accepted, with checks being made out to the “Bryan Stow Fund.” Contributions will also be accepted via PayPal and online at

The Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council (GEPENC) are hosting a neighborhood cleanup this weekend in partnership with the Historic Filipinotown Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club of Historic Filipinotown, and neighbors and friends.

They’ll be focusing on the Historic Filipinotown neighborhood for the cleanup.

With Earth Day coming up this month, now’s your chance to contribute to a clean environment in your neighborhood!

Meet at Lake Street Park (227 N. Lake Street) on Saturday, April 9th, 2010 from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.

For more information about the clean up or to RSVP, please contact
Jose Sigala at 213-308-2826 or by email at

Refreshments and lunch provided by the GEPENC and the Rotary of Historic Filpintown, with tools and supplies provided by the City of Los Angeles Office of Community Beautification.

Click here to download the full flyer.

I am very much looking forward to the meeting/social/fundraiser/mixer tonight for the Echo Park Improvement Association (as a committee member, I’ve been involved in the organization and this event).

At this particular meeting, the EPIA will have representatives from CD1, CD13, and the Northeast and Rampart Divisions to provide updates on community issues. Oftentimes there will also be input from other community members for event announcements and other comments. In between those agenda items, there will be cocktails, raffles (lots of great stuff from local eateries and businesses), and other goodies. It’s a great way to get involved!

Hope to see you tonight at 7:00 pm at Taix!!

At he beginning of March, the Echo Park Farmers Market started a healthy baskets program. Similar to CSA Please review the options below to find the Healthy Market Basket that’s right for you and your family!

Order now! Orders placed by Tuesday at 12:00 p.m. will be delivered that same week. Orders placed after 12:00 p.m. Tuesday will start delivery the following week. (If you would like to pay using CalFresh/EBT please email or call 323-463-3171)

Available in 4, 8 and 12-week options!

Fresh Market Basket:
Weekly farm-fresh produce selection featuring approximately 8-10 farmers’ market produce items each week. No customization will be offered on these baskets. $22/week

Healthy Market Baskets:
Weekly farm-fresh produce selection offering subscribers 13-16 different market fresh fruits and vegetables. Each basket will help subscribers to meet the USDA recommendation of 31.5 cups of fruits and vegetables per person per week. Subscribers will be able to choose between Basket A and Basket B options by making a selection online.

1-Person Healthy Market Basket: $29/week
2-Person Healthy Market Basket: $55/week
3-Person Healthy Market Basket: $82/week

Click here for the website and to sign up!

Our CD13 rep Eric Garcetti is quite busy these days! (Perhaps gearing up for a mayoral campaign…?) Tomorrow (Saturday, April 2, 2011) he and his team will be hosting a “visioning summit” for Echo Park and Historic Filipinotown.

Called the “Los Angeles Neighborhood Dreams (LAND),” the community forum is a chance for Echo Park residents to voice their opinions about the future of Echo Park.

What do you see in the future of Echo Park? Perhaps more transparency when big developers want to build in Echo Park? More community input? A serious look at the Community Plan and removal of rules that give developers rights to build high-density projects that don’t fit in with the community?

Okay, maybe those are my recommendations. Yours might be a little different – so share them at tomorrow’s forum!

When: Saturday, April 2nd from 9:00 am to 12:0 pm

Where: Angelus Temple, located at 1100 Glendale Blvd.

RSVP using the following methods:

call the Hollywood District Office at 323-957-4500

See you there!

Yogala, the new yoga studio in Echo Park, is hosting a “Vegan Supper” tonight, April 1, starting at 7:00 pm.

You can go in from 5:00 – 6:30 pm for te “Good Weekend Yoga and Sound Healing” class and then stay for dinner!

Bring any dish to share (remember vegan means no eggs, meat, or diary!) and a drink. Please RSVP to or sign up at Yogala, located at 1840 Echo Park Ave.

A Dodgers "sleeved fleece." Yes please!

Now that opening day is over, we’re looking forward to a new season of McCourt-divorce-drama-free baseball! (Pretty please!) Here’s your season lineup to all the freebies (aka promos) at the Stadium:

Friday night fireworks are back, so you can expect all the oohs and ahhs of fireworks every Friday evening when there’s a home game. This starts at tonight’s game (Friday, April 1 vs. Giants).

Dodgers Sleeved Blanket: Sunday, April 3 at 5:00 pm vs Giants

Lakers Tribute – Purple and Gold LA Cap: Thursday, April 14 at 7:10 pm vs Cardinals

Jackie Robinson Night: Friday, April 15 at 7:10 pm vs Cardinals

Fernando Valenzuela Fleece Blanket: Tuesday, April 19 at 7:10 pm vs Braves

Half-Price Food & Drink: Thursday, April 21 at 12:10 pm vs Braves

Retro ’81 World Series T-Shirt: Sunday, May 1 at 1:10 pm vs Padres

Cooler Bag: Tuesday, May 3 at 7:10 pm vs Cubs

Half-Price Food & Drink: Wednesday, May 4 at 12:10 pm vs Cubs

Kids James Loney BP Jersey: Sunday, May 15 at 1:10 pm vs D-backs

Clayton Kershaw Bobblehead: Tuesday, May 17 at 7:10 pm vs Brewers

Bark in the Park: Saturday, May 28 at 7:10 pm vs Marlins

$1 Dodger Dog Day: Monday, May 30 at 5:10 pm vs Rockies

Don Mattingly Bobblehead: Wednesday, June 1 at 7:10 pm vs Rockies

Hong-Chih Kuo Bobblehead: Tuesday, June 14 at 7:10 pm vs Reds

Half-Price Food & Drink: Wednesday, June 15 at 12:10 pm vs Reds

Read more