Echo Park storefronts transforming

A wave of recent restaurant and storefront closures (Villainy, Barragans, and more) in Echo Park has many wondering about the changing face of the neighborhood. But there’s been some new activity in those sad, dusty storefronts that will hopefully make Sunset Boulevard feel a little less empty.

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Photo via Villainy General Store

Former Nuvia’s

This restaurant space, formerly Nuvia’s and then La Botana, has been closed down for nearly two years. Located on the north side of Sunset between Laveta and McDuff, we thought we were getting a gastropub in the space back in 2012. But The Eastsider LA reports some new activity in the space – unfortunately the owners did not provide any details on what kind of restaurant. One things is for sure – we hope it’s not another pizza joint.

The owners expect to open in four months.

Dinette

Owner of Cafe Stella in Silver Lake, Gareth Kantner, purchased the building on Sunset where E’Pack Family Clothing Store plus the Sunset Snack stand is. Well, was. Recently the construction wall (what the heck do they call those?) went up around the storefront, a sign that the transformation into new take-out and dine-in sandwich shop has begun.

Kantner told The Eastsider LA they expect to open in February of this year. In addition to sandwiches like Lobster Rolls and Po’boys, there will be grilled meats, vegetarian dishes, and oven-baked pizzas.

Lassen’s

FINALLY something is being done to the former Save-A-Lot store next to the Walgreens at Sunset and Logan. The grocery chain shut down in March of 2011, and has been sitting vacant ever since. There were pipe dreams of a Trader Joe’s, and what appeared to be decent traction on a Fresh & Easy until the company went bankrupt.

Although we knew Lassen’s Natural Foods & Vitamins was taking over the location back in June, there is now some signage and a lot of activity in the building. We’re not sure when the store will open, however we’re not sure how well-received the location will be in Echo Park – the Lassen family has in the past made donations in support of Prop 8, which many aren’t happy about.

Trencher

Still a work in progress, despite hopes to open in December, Trencher took over a former Mexican/Salvadorian place (before that Phnom Penh’ Vietnamese) on Portia and Sunset. Expect pulled pork sandwiches, open-faced sandwiches, tofu banh mi, sliders, and more. We’re standing by for the opening any day now.

Barragan’s

Barragan’s held it’s farewell party in December, and the change of ownership notification lists The Lost Knight as the new business name under the control of Alan Moore. We’ve been hearing a lot of rumors about what this space will bring… what do you think? For now, the front doors of Barragan’s sit quietly in the shadows.


Echo Park Lake Christmas Bird Count on Sunday

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Join fellow bird lovers on Sunday, December 29 for the annual Christmas Bird Count at Echo Park Lake!

Bird lovers in Echo Park have identified over 70 species of birds over the last ten years. You can expect to find species such as mallards, great-tailed grackles, robins, American coots, sparrows, finches, great egrets, black-crowned night herons, green herons, blackbirds, hawks and various gulls and doves, and more.

Beginning birders, including children, are welcome to the free bird walk. Binoculars are strongly recommended along with a bird guide if you have one.

Meet at the Boathouse at 8:00 am for the two-hour count.

Following the Echo Park Lake bird count, at about 11:00 am, is the Vista Hermosa bird count. Vista Hermosa is a small park just a little west of downtown Los Angeles. Meet at the parking lot at 100 Toluca Street, just north of First Street. Time about 1.5 hours. Terrain mostly level, some slight elevation.


Holiday guide to parking, trash and street sweeping in Echo Park

Coming from someone who just paid a very expensive expired meter ticket (a rare thing in my household), there’s nothing better than finding those sweet, sweet parking spots. Since today is Christmas Eve, you can avoid some tickets by parking a little smarter over the holiday – just not today. Official observance is on Christmas DAY – so be aware!

Meters

Always look at the signs – certain city parking regulations (such as state parking laws) are not enforced on national holidays. However, consider yourself free and clear on Christmas Day when there’s noone working to give you that ticket. Since this year Christmas Day falls on Wednesday, the holiday is observed that day. More info here.

The parking regulations/signs that are not enforced are:

  • Time Limit (ie one hour, two hour, four hours, etc.)
  • Parking Meters (unless posted to include holidays). Exceptions include, but are not limited to, areas around Venice Beach and in West Los Angeles. In these areas, the signs reflect “Including Holidays.”
  • No Parking Signs with specific time limits (i.e. 9:00am to 4:00pm, 8:00am to 10:00am)
  • No Stopping signs with specified time limits (i.e. 7:00am to 9:00am, 4:00pm to 6:00pm). This includes Peak Hour parking restirionts.
  • Preferential Parking (unless posted to include holidays)

The following safety violations are enforced on all days, including National Holidays:

  • Red zones, including bus zones
  • Yellow/White zones (on request only)
  • Alleys
  • Sidewalks
  • Handicapped Zones (also known as Blue Zones)
  • “No Parking Anytime” zones (including “Tow Away” restrictions
  • “No Parking Anytime” zones
  • “No Stopping Anytime” zones
  • All temporary “No Stopping” or “No Parking” zones
  • Requests for service, including, but not limited to, blocked driveways

Trash

Trash service will not commence on Christmas Day (December 25), but there will be a one day delay. So, in essence, Wednesday collection day will now be on Thursday. If you’re throwing away your Christmas tree already, consider recycling it.

Street Sweeping

Once again, Christmas Day (not Eve!) is the name of the game – as long as the sign says “Holidays Exempt” or something along those lines.

 


Snow Day in Echo Park Friday

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Get your snow gear ready – winter is coming to Echo Park!

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell is bringing Winter Wonderland to the Echo Park Farmers’ Market TOMORROW, Friday, December 20 from 3:00-5:00 pm. Free snow play area for the kids – and for the kid in you!


35 trees slated for removal on Sunset Boulevard

Tree removals in Echo Park

Sunset Boulevard along Echo Park is getting a makeover. As part of the $750,000 grant for the Echo Park Beautification Project, Sunset Boulevard from Rosemont Street to Everett Street will get some well-deserved attention when it comes to some much-needed sidewalk repairs, and more, including (but not limited to): Removing and replacing trees along Sunset Boulevard Improving sidewalks […]


Shop local: Specials in Echo Park on Saturday

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The 4th annual Echo Park Shop Hop takes place this year all day on Saturday, December 14 (same day as the Echo Park Community Parade!) Check out the event lineup below, or click here to view the Echo Park Shop Hop Facebook event page.


Pet photos with Santa on December 8

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One day only this year! All proceeds support the Echo Park Animal Alliance.


Villainy General Store closing for good

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This is a bit sad news because we’ve gotten to know owners and Echo Parkians Erich Schlieske and Ellen McAlister (eEvil Ink Design) quite well. Villainy General Store opened in the former Echo Curio space almost exactly two years ago, taking on the challenge of renovating the space and that terribly tiny bathroom. Erich announced the store’s […]


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