Tag Archive for: speakeasy

Flickr photo via aileenrobot

The Echo Curio has been a long-time performance and art space, and a great space for local bands to play – we’ve been in the crowd for many of our friend’s performances and are grateful to have a place in Echo Park for great music to happen. But on Friday night (October 1), the LAPD shut down the Echo Curio during a show, even after they complied with the city to cease the BYOB policy last August.

“As you know,” said co-owner Justin Justin McInteer, “we have been a dry space for over 3 months now, so were a little confused as to why the police are spending time shutting down a community art and performance space.” They then learned that this time, the violation seems to be a lack of permits, specifically a Cafe-Entertainment license required for any business with any form of entertainment (including karaoke) on a regular basis.

With several shows coming up, including the Culture Collide fest and full schedules through November with local and touring bands, other nearby spaces are helping redirect shows while the shop is closed through October 18. In the meantime, the Curio owners are doing their research and are even meeting with Eric Garcetti to find out what they should do.

“…hopefully we’ll pass the class and get the info we need together that day and start the process… What would be great to find out is if we can get temporary permission to have shows while this period of waiting for the next step – the inspection and then vote by the commission to (hopefully) approve our license,” a recent post on the website blog says.

Other classes and workshops will continue to be held at the shop, and the art gallery will still be open (an art opening for Justin McInteer will take place either Thursday or Friday). We hope things happen smoothly for the guys at the Echo Curio, and look forward to seeing some great shows soon!

If you’re interested in showing your support for the Echo Curio, tell Eric Garcetti at councilmember.garcetti@lacity.org

When you go out this weekend to see some awesome shows in Echo Park, don’t forget that the Echo Curio is no longer allowing patrons to bring their own booze to the gallery’s shows. Last week the curiousity shop tweeted “changes they are a-coming – ECHO CURIO is going to go dry for the time being… no byob in or out of the shop… sorry for inconvenience.” This week they confirmed the news with a blog post, saying:

We’re now an alcohol-less venue, neither selling nor allowing byob anymore. It is for the greater good, according to the LAPD, so all we can suggest is get your freak on before or after you visit us. Or maybe sneak out in the middle for a quickie… My word!

It seems they were visited by the LAPD on August 9 during a show, and were cited for being a “bottle club.” Co-owner Grant Cape told the LA Times music blog Pop & Hiss: “Funny thing was, we had no one drinking outside, no loud music playing, and maybe five adults drinking inside.” Either way, patrons had to poor out what drinks they did have (for quite a few months now, the Curio hasn’t allowed drinking outside).

So is this the future of venues like Echo Curio, where BYOB or a cooler of Colt 45 will be a critical concern of neighbors and the LAPD? It’s becoming such a common (and expected) part of the “speakeasy” shows in LA, especially in areas like Silver Lake and Echo Park. What once started as an innovative way to bring customers into an art gallery or a record store, now might be a problem. The Echo Curio isn’t as concerned, Cap told the LA Times, “[This] will make it harder to get a crowd, I think, but we’ll see.”