The old Phoenix Bakery on Echo Park Avenue and Montana has few remnants of the old bakery days left – just a sticker-covered “free parking for Phoenix Express” remains. Although the magnificent mural on the Montana side is still there, a fresh coat of a burnt-orange paint is an indication that things are moving along for the upcoming opening of the much anticipated restaurant, Red Hill.
LA Weekly has the grand opening pegged as early as next week, on Tuesday, December 13, 2011, which also happens to be owner Jason Michaud’s birthday. Jason is not only an Echo Park resident, he and his wife own vintage store Tosen in Echo Park, the restaurant Local in Silver Lake, and a new restaurant in downtown called Local Express.
When we spoke to Jason last January, Red Hill was primarily going to focus on American cuisine, and would be open for brunch, lunch and dinner, with a primary focus on dinner. They also applied for a beer and wine license this year, which received the support of the neighborhood council.
The name Red Hill refers to a part of Echo Park/Elysian Heights history much older than I – the area was known to be a secluded and safe hub for artists, radicals, socialists and free-thinkers of all sorts. Communists joined them in the 1920s during the first Red Scare (a lot came from Boyle Heights), earning Echo Park the nickname of Red Hill (as well as “Red Gulch”).