The owners of the Echo Park minimall at the southeast corner of Glendale Boulevard and Berkeley Avenue have erected a new sign with a blank space at the top that is apparently being saved for a proposed 7-Eleven store. But the prospect of a 24-hour, convenience store selling beer and wine – as well as generating more traffic – has stirred up opposition from some neighbors. Meanwhile, on Sunset Boulevard, Xoia Vietnamese Eats wants to be able to serve its customers beer and wine, joining several other Echo Park restaurants and bars that have received new or expanded beer and wine licenses in recent years. On Wednesday night, the planning committee of the Echo Park neighborhood council is scheduled to meet and review the 7-Eleven and Xoia beer and wine applications in addition to the creation of “neighborhood alcohol zones” to guide future decisions on beer and wine permits. What is an “alcohol zone”? Jose Sigala, president of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council, explains:
The idea of an “alcohol zone” is to work with the planning department to develop a map of our neighborhood council area indicating the areas where a business may be able to apply for a beer/wine or alcohol license that may be suitable according to the city zoning laws.
We have had many requests for these types of licenses, and the map may help businesses and community members have a better understanding of where these type of licenses may be suitable. Information detailing current licenses may also be helpful. We are looking to work with the planning department to see if this is possible.
A beer and wine license is considered essential by many businesses. A representative for 7-Eleven has said it would be very unlikely that the national chain would open at the location if the city imposed restrictions on beer and wine sales. Click here for meeting details.
Update on June 8: The planning committee voted to hold a special meeting regarding the 7-Eleven application to hear the concerns of neighbors, said Sigala. The Xoia item was postponed at the request of the applicant. On the alcohol zone, the committee recommended that the neighborhood council draft a letter asking the city’s Planning Department “to work with our neighborhood council to establish the map providing the areas where alcohol is allowed according to zoning laws,” Sigala said. “I believe it would be tje first neighborhood council in the city requesting this type of zoning map.”
* Xoia is an Eastsider advertiser.