Hearing date set for Fix’s beer and wine application

Flickr photo via Stuart Fingerhut

Fix Coffee owner Marc Gallucci hopes to turn his thriving Echo Park coffee shop, Fix Coffee, into a place for a little nightlife as well – he applied this year for a Conditional Use Permit for the sale of beer and wine inside the cafe as well as outside on the 450 square foot patio. The application is up for review at City Hall early next month.

The notice provides the hours during which he will serve alcohol, which is limits sales from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm weekdays, and 10:00 am – 10:00 pm on weekends. This might be helpful for direct neighbors, who have raised concerns that the quiet streets of that residential area will be interrupted with loud bar noises. Add additional stress on already limited parking, and the elementary school directly across the street, there are reasonable concerns. But not all residents are opposed, as we mentioned in a previous article about the issue on Echo Park Now. In a previous article publish by The Eastsider LA, resident Susan Borden is quoted 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.

Like it or not, the hearing is set for Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 10:30 am at City Hall. Click here for the public notice PDF. If you support or don’t support the application and would like your opinion on public record, contact Christine Saponara at Christine.Saponara@lAcity.org and reference case number ZA-2011-2029(CUB).

Additionally, the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council is also expected to take a vote on whether or not to support the application by Fix at tonight’s Planning, Public Works, Parks and Land Use Committee meeting. In addition to Fix, GEPENC is discussing and/or taking action on conditional use permit applications from other Echo Park restaurants, including Xoia, a proposed 7-11 store on Glendale Blvd, as well as the new Echo Park Blvd. restaurant Red Hill. Click here for the PDF agenda for tonight’s meeting.

If you’re intersted in attending the Neighborhood Council meeting tonight, it takes place at 6:30 pm at the St. Paul Cathedral Center, located at 840 N. Echo Park Avenue.

 

  • Brian Lewis

    I find it absolutely incredulous that a liquor permit is even being considered at this location. I grew up in the neighborhood, lived there from 1959-2005, attended Elysian Heights Elementary School. This is too close to the school and there is no reason for liquor to be sold here. You want a beer or wine, go home or go to a bar on Sunset Blvd. The only reason this piece of property is commercial is that it is grandfathered in from a gas station from the 50′s.

  • bh

    Not sure if Marc reads this or not, but if this goes through I’ll stop patronizing Fix. I live in the neighborhood and think this is a bad move for area for a number of what I would have thought were obvious reasons.

    As much as I love the current Fix, going through with this will be bad to neighborhood and there’s no way I could support that with my dollars. I would highly recommend other local residents to do likewise.

    It may seem like this is a one-time thing, but we all know that’s never the case. A Fix beer and wine permit will serve as a wedge that will turn this quiet corner of Elysian Heights into basically every crappy overcrowded loud commercial/residential area we have in LA now. If I wanted that I wouldn’t be in Elysian Heights in the first place.

  • amanda

    I have to say I’m really sorry that Marc is persisting in this endeavor and I am going to have to boycott Fix as a result – I’m done. I too am a nearby homeowner (but not within earshot of Fix) and I am strongly against the traffic which the alcohol and extended hours will create. I mean that’s why he wants to extend hours and add alcohol – to increase business and while I COMPLETELY understand his need and desire to do this – we are only asking that he do it closer to Sunset where there is already a whole lot of noise and traffic. I own a home a few blocks away and the whole appeal of this neighborhood is the quiet and isolation – that’s why we bought here. Everyone knows we’re already dealing with major police/gang activity and shootings right there on echo park/Baxter – right near/across from Fix – on a regular basis. How can it seem smart to add this into the mix??? How in good conscience can he do this?? If Marc succeeds with this permit it will attract other businesses – - and more traffic – - further up Echo Park Avenue…businesses buying up residential lots and applying for variances so they can be used commercially. This will set a precedent and start a trend. I know it’s not why I moved here…. Marc, again, PLEASE go closer to Sunset Blvd. where there is already plenty of traffic and noise. We’ve told you we don’t want this – - what part of that don’t you get? People coming in from Hollywood or Silverlake telling you “yeah, it’s a cool idea” don’t count…..THEY DON’T LIVE HERE and have no real interest. I now regret supporting your business since you opened. As I said – I’m done “boycott Fix”.

  • http://none Susan Borden

    I am so glad that Brian, bh and amanda spoke up–and very eloquently too. Please, please, be sure to communicate these same sentiments to the Los Angeles City Planning Department as soon as possible.
    I never imagined that such a license would be seriously considered. Since I was wrong, I will fight the application for the sake of our quality of life.
    I was one of two people at the Neighborhood Council Planning Committee meeting opposing this misbegotten proposal. Marc filled the room with a dozen sycophant customers and thoroughly misled the committee as to the real situation. His slick campaign could lead to a disaster for the peace and seclusion of Elysian Heights.
    In spite of his protestations to the contrary, Marc has made almost no concessions to opponents. He has put out a DVD to support his application which is carefully shot and edited to exclude the residential nature of Fix’s location. The DVD shows plenty of shots of businesses on and near Sunset, the closest being Chango, thereby giving the impression that Fix is part of the same commercial corridor. I believe Marc’s strategy is to mislead those who are unfamiliar with Elysian Heights and ignore those who do not want an entertainment venue here. His proposal includes “live entertainment” and the construction of a 2-story addition.

  • Josh

    Just wanted to throw my voice in there too, as it seems there are a lot of naysayers. I’m a 6 year Echo Park resident (maybe not as long as some of you, but I’m hardly new to the area) and I think this is a GREAT idea. Having a place to walk to get a beer and sit outside sounds wonderful. Honestly, I’m not sure what everyone is afraid of. Loud noise? Loud noises will only come with loud music and late nights. I don’t think that FIX is planning on blasting club music (live music on the patio would be fun!), and they can only serve until 10 pm. Sorry friends, but if people have a glass of wine or a beer outside on the patio at 9 pm it will hardly change the neighborhood to similar to Sunset.

    Just breathe people, I know change is hard, but trust me, this one is an okay change. Let’s all put our energy fighting this towards fighting that massive amounts of trash that have built up on Echo Park Ave as of late – burned couches, old chairs, general waste.

  • Josh

    Also, just thought I’d respond to ‘amanda’

    Having people on Echo Park Ave. later in the night will DECREASE gang activity. Pedestrian traffic tends to encourage a safer neighborhood, so having people walking around around 10 o’clock is a good thing.

  • bh

    Josh, it sounds great on paper, but these things NEVER stop with just one place. If you are happy with transforming Echo Park Avenue into a commercial district all the way up through (and past Fix), then by all means throw your support behind this venture. Personally, I think residential areas like Elysian Heights are getting harder and harder to come by in LA, and want to preserve the character of this little enclave as much as possible.

  • Josh

    bh-

    I guess that’s where we differ. Echo Park Ave. already feels like a commercial corridor to me, so I I don’t have a problem with more businesses opening up. If I wanted to live in a quiet enclave, I wouldn’t be living in the second biggest city in the country.

  • bh

    Josh, I’ve lived in LA for 10 years, and Tokyo before that for 5… mixed with a lot of smaller, “quieter” places in various places around the US and Canada before that… I can tell you from experience that you can find quiet enclaves ANYWHERE. And in fact, Elysian Heights IS one of those places, certainly by LA standards.

    I don’t know where you get the idea that Echo Park Avenue is a commercial corridor, unless you’re just shilling for Marc. I’d suggest you do a count of residences vs businesses the next time you go from Baxter down to Sunset and figure out the ratio. Then, do the same for an equal block of, say, Hillhurst below Los Feliz. You’ll see that one of those areas is a commercial corridor, and the other is residential–and in fact the further up the Echo Park Avenue you go, the more residential it becomes. THAT’S the character many of us up here like about the area, and that’s the character we’d like to preserve.

  • dm

    Echo Park Avenue 1 mile above Sunset, up into the hills is a commercial corridor? Are you kidding? I don’t know Josh – I think you are outnumbered here. Fix is an anomaly. Although there are other businesses along Echo Park, they are blocks further south and they DO NOT have evening hours. Are you thinking of the area more than half a mile down towards Sunset where the gas station is? Chango area? That’s more of a commercial corridor and has a completely different feel. No one has a problem with anyone having a beer at a cute restaurant. You’re completely missing the point. This is an out of the way neighborhood, up in the hills and homeowners have a right to keep it secluded and quiet in nature. If you ARE an actual resident as you state, you would know as well as I do how very dead and quiet the area around Fix is by 7 or 8 pm. It would be totally disruptive and change the whole feel of the area to have a restaurant with service until 10 pm at that location. I can’t even imagine it. I’m with the other commenters – no go on extended hours. I don’t care if they want to serve alcohol but no extended hours for Fix.

  • Josh

    It seems that yes, I am outnumbered. There’s a big difference between a street that is entirely residential and entirely commercial. Echo Park Ave is a mix. At least that’s how I view it. There are a number of mini marts and production facilities and restaurants – I walk my dog on echo park Ave every day.

    I don’t know why i get into internet discussions, as people always get snarky. dm – I do live in Echo park, and I don’t need you questioning my residency, thank you.

    Regardless of all of this, my support is in favor of FIX. :)

  • Josh

    The Eastsider just did a post on this as well and most of the people there are in support of FIX, so thankfully, I’m not alone. :)

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