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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Echo Park council backs coffee house plans to serve beer and wine

By Mary Allen

A crowd of Echo Park and Elysian Heights residents attended a neighborhood council meeting Tuesday night  to voice their opinions on permitting Fix Coffee in Elysian Heights to serve beer and wine.  In a 9-3 vote, the Board of Governors ultimately backed Fix’s beer and wine permit after the discussing and rejecting additional conditions, which ranged from prohibiting live entertainment entirely to limiting beer and wine sales to 7 p.m – 10 pm.  The cafe’s beer and wine permit is still subject to an Oct. 5 public hearing.

Public comments and discussion took about an hour of the meeting of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council, with community members weighing in on each side of the beer and wine permit. FIX owner, Marc Gallucci and Consultant Kioshi Graves described the intent of the expansion of service, hours, and space. “I am a big advocate of safety.” emphasized Gallucci in response to community concerns over liquor being sold in the primarily residential neighborhood.

Fix is applying for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the City of Los Angeles,  which will allow for  the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to issue an on-premises beer and wine license. In addition, Galluci is seeking to expand the building as well as increasing operating hours to allow for evening dinner service.

The neighborhood council’s Planning, Public Works, Park and Land Use Committee, among several recommended conditions, had previously stipulated that Saturday beer and wine sales commence one hour after any scheduled school event at Elysian Heights Elementary, which is located across the street from the cafe.   The board and council’s conditions serve only as recommendations – they cannot be enforced. Only conditions imposed by the City of Los Angeles can be enforced.

In a separate votes, the council also supported liquor license applications for Echo Park restaurants Xoia and Red Hill (under construction) passed without incident.

Other items of interest:

Tree Removal
Community member Cheryl Parisi supported the Board’s unanimous approval to oppose the issuance of a fee tree removal permit for planned development at 2400 Allessandro Street at Riverside Drive until certain conditions can be met, including “a bond or insurance for the demolition, upkeep or removal of an unfinished project…that becomes a blight in the neighborhood.”

Apron Parking
Support for city-wide adoption of a new “Apron” parking policy passed unanimously.

Police Report
Senior Lead Officer Ford, representing the Rampart Division (south of Sunset Boulevard) said that crime overall has continued to drop from previous years but  warned residents that burglary from motor vehicles is the only crime that is up. “If you leave your purses and iPads in the car,” said Ford, you might as well “leave the car unlocked.”

Tip: Police are monitoring intersections in Angelino Heights; come to a full stop at stop signs!

Budget Items Approved

  • $250 for food and refreshments at Meet and Greet event with LA Unified School Board Member Bennett Kayser and UTLA Leadership in October.
  • $750 for GEPENC participation in Historic Filipinotown’s Festival and Health Fair.$1,000 for re-allocation of funds for Mariachi Festival rescheduled from September 17 to October 15, 2011.

Appointments

  • Gustavo Moreno and Jose Sigala re-appointed as GEPENC Representatives for the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates and will attend the Mayor’s Community Budget Day event in October.
  • Remigio “Remi” Mateo appointed as Stakeholder representative Board Member for District 2.
  • Jorge Prado re-appointed as At-Large Board Member

Dates to Note

  • October 8: Filipino American History Month Celebration
  • October 15: Dios de los Muertos Echo Park Mariachi Festival.

59 comments

  1. “…community concerns over liquor being sold in the primarily residential neighborhood.”

    This country is really bizarre sometimes, with it’s illogical and hysterical attitude toward drinking . There are at least two stores that sell beer and wine within 3 blocks of this location! Not to mention a notorious gang house RIGHT across the street from the school that is a magnet for violence. That this issue with Fix is seriously a concern blows my mind.

  2. @ Lauren: Thank you. Nice to see some non-puritans commenting here.

  3. not next to my house!

    next to yours is ok, as i love a good drink!
    i hate change. grrrr. the kids these days dont know how awesome it was when i was a kid in these parts. grrrr.

  4. Happy that these teetotalling fascists were soundly rejected. Score one for liberty and three cheers for Fix!

  5. How many people within 100 feet of fix were for this? I mean I know I just love people hanging out side my windows every night of the week. I live completely on the other side of sunset. In a residential area. And if I wanted to live next to a bar I would move next to one. For everyone to be so inconsiderate to those that this really affects is wrong. It’s not like there aren’t any places within walking distance around here to get a drink. And there is every type of place to do that. Within walking distance. And everything from dives to cafes to wine bars. Fix does not need to sell booze.

  6. Echo Park Life Long Resident

    Petition Against Alcohol Permit for Fix can be signed at Elysian Heights Elementary School. See Main Office.

  7. Actually, if this is simply a coffeehouse, then to add beer and wine doesn’t make it a restaurant where you can have wine with your meal; it makes it a bar. And it no longer will simply attract people looking for a lightweight cup of coffee. It will attract people looking to hang out and drink alcohol. And not too many people looking to hang out at a coffeehouse will be interested in going somewhere where everyone else is drinking beer and wine, so the place will be transformed.

    Nothing is wrong with hanging out and drinking alcohol (as long as not to excess); the issue here is the special nature of Echo Park Avenue being a commercial zone but really being a very residential neighborhood — that is, not some place for a bar, but maybe for a coffeehouse.

  8. Echo Park Life Long Resident

    How many feet must licensed premises be from a church, a school, or residences?

    A. The law says ABC may deny any retail license located (a) within the immediate vicinity of churches and hospitals, or (b) within at least 600 feet of schools, public playgrounds and nonprofit youth facilities. Generally, ABC will deny a license in the above situations when there is evidence that normal operation of the licensed premises will be contrary to public welfare and morals. Mere proximity by itself is not sufficient to deny the license.
    ABC will not license a new retail location within 100 feet of a residence unless the applicant can establish that the operation of the proposed premises will not interfere with the quiet enjoyment of the property by residents. (Section 23789 and Rule 61.4)

  9. Lauren comments that beer & wine can be bought nearby. Lauren overlooks the fact that the sales are for off-site, that is, to be taken away and consumed elsewhere. If Fix gets the license, it will be for beer & wine to be drunk right there on the premises. That is a significant difference and is treated as such by licensing board and by the city.

  10. With all the beer drinkers puking over the streets in the wee hours, Echo Park should change its name to Echo Barf.

  11. Livertad, that is hilarious!

  12. How late does Fix plan to stay open once they start serving dinner/beer and wine? Does anyone know what the new hours would be.

    I can understand both sides of the issue. I live a lot closer to Sunset Blvd. and it gets noisy on weekends when people are out late drinking. It’s something I am fine putting up with or adapting to. But if I lived in a quieter part of Echo Park, it wouldn’t be something I want to deal with. People hanging out, talking loud into the wee hours of the night.

  13. Would the parents who are so worried about Fix endangering their kids be also willing to sign a pledge that they will refrain from stopping in the middle of Baxter for long periods of time in which they are a. waiting for kids to appear from somewhere b. having 5 minute chats with people on the sidewalk c. whatever..? Or will they feel that it’s their right to continue endangering us while they insist that alcohol served in a restaurant in the late afternoon endangers their kids?

  14. We’re lucky that FIX is independently owned. It could be a chain going in there with impersonal management & development goals. I hope FIX is given a chance to try this out.

  15. If you want to open a bar, open a BAR, if you want a coffee house, let it be just that….because the owners took a risk at opening a Coffee House (and obviously a non-profitable one at that) trying to find creative ways of bringing in money and patrons to make ends meet by adding Alcohol to your menu to attract ‘drinkers’ is a copout. It didn’t work out for you…go do something else and stop trying to change the fabric of our community because you made a bad business decision.

  16. Susan is ignoring the fact that said beverages can be consumed on ANY of the adjacent private property, and judging by the day-long drinking marathons going in in some local yards, I would say that they are. So does this “protect my quiet hamlet” mandate apply to parties and BBQs as well? Where does one draw the line between one faction’s wish to have a neighborhood remain the same in perpetuity, and other another faction’s desire to have a pleasant place in the neighborhood that serves beer and wine? The tavern as a concept in one form or another has been a part of human civilization for hundreds of years. It’s HOW it’s managed that matters.

    Naysayers should visit Austin, TX. EVERYwhere serves alcohol, to the point that it’s no big deal. It sorts itself out, as there are quiet coffeehouses that serve beer and wine where people study and work, as well as bars (many) that cater to those who just want to get hammered.

    Everyone needs to stop freaking out. You live in a huge city! Don’t you have bigger fish to fry?! How’s that gang house doing?

    In all seriousness though, maybe a compromise would be to have the permit be provisional and see how it goes regarding noise and general unrest.

  17. @just curious – - zero to none! Nearby HOMEOWNERS totally object and will be signing the petition over at the elementary school. We’ve started boycotting Fix. We don’t want the evening hours – - period. @Tom – see the various comments on other blog posts here if you search for Fix coffee. You’ll see there are many who feel as you do. Some people are most concerned about alcohol near the school but I think ALL are concerned about later hours and commercial businesses moving beyond Baxter on Echo Park and how that will change the feel of what we signed on for when we bought property here. As we all know Fix will be the first business but not the last – Marc will pave the way for others to follow who want later hours. As someone else said – - businesses will follow the money. Alot of people are all hung up in thinking this is puritanical. They sort of sound stuck in their rebellion “the man is getting me down” sounds pretty silly and laughable. Has nothing to do with your parents keeping your from partying people. Marc can grow his business where there are other RESTAURANTS WITH EVENING HOURS – we don’t want it above Baxter in this area.

  18. @Nearby Resident, why do you live in a big city? What’s wrong with Orange County?

  19. Im gonna show up day one and get WAAASSSTTTEEDDDD!!!!! Who is coming with me?!?! I need drinkin(buuurrrpppp) buddy (hiccup) to get this partayyyy startedededdddd!!!! Lets show these neighbors what a liquor license sounds like! Hollaaaaa!!!!!!

    I kid. Fix is a gentle place where people who don’t work go to sit and talk about working, or not working or about the bookshelf they just built or to talk about last nights episode of Portlandia. And we alll know those people can’t afford alcohol, just coconut water.

  20. @SCP I don’t usually like to get into flame wars but that is an ignorant, idiotic comment.

    I chose Elysian Heights because of it’s relatively quiet character in the midst of one of Los Angeles’ most dynamic areas. Considering the density and commercialization of most of this city, it’s something that’s worth preserving, along with other parts of this city’s heritage that get more publicity (such as landmark buildings, parkland, etc.).

    To think that a large city is incapable of supporting quiet enclaves reflects a deep ignorance with how cities are developed. As a point of comparison, I spent five years in Tokyo, which makes most of LA seem pretty sleepy in comparison, and there were plenty of neighborhoods even there that had the same quiet nature that you’d find in Elysian Heights.

    If you support building up a commercial strip at Echo Park and Baxter (and if Fix succeeds, I can guarantee you more will follow and that will be the inevitable result), that’s your right. But to say that we should not try to preserve our neighborhood’s character simply because we live in a big city is ridiculous.

  21. Beyond selling beer and liquor, does anyone know what The Fix’s actual plans are for dinner service? Is there even a kitchen in that space? I thought they only served packaged food brought in from other places and basic coffee shop fare. Are they just extending their hours and adding beer and wine to their pre-existing menu? Or, are they planning on shifting gears during dinner into a full service restaurant.
    I’m mostly just wondering, but depending on which way they go it would definitely effect the vibe and noise level…

  22. Fix’s plans call for building a new two-story addition where the storage shed stands now and extending the outdoor patio across the property. The addition will include a kitchen as well as an office and storage space.

  23. I live a block and a half away, I have a kid who’s about to start going to Elysian Heights ES and I 100% support Fix’s beer/wine license and expansion. Fix is an oasis. @nearby resident: quit it with your argument that the *three blocks* above Baxter will become a “commercial haven,” that’s craazy talk. Lemme guess, they’ll put the trolley back in to shuttle the customers up the hill?

  24. Some real misinformed comments here.

    Marc seems like a good guy and fix is a well run place. But a liquor license is simply an asset with value that is attached to the BUSINESS. . which marc can cash out and sell to someone else. The idea of fix selling some beer isn’t so bad.. . but he could sell to hooters (orange awning already in place!) tomorrow, or one of those fake “irish” bars with big screen tv’s for the USCtards. . .the law doesn’t recognise good taste. . . we’re lucky to have fix, but this will likely not be fix forever. . .while the license probably is .

  25. Fix Coffee is trying to get a liquor license in a neighborhood with houses right behind them, a pre-school across the street AND a Los Angeles Unified Elementary School directly next door (80 feet from door to door).

    Unfortunately, our council member’s office is deciding to take a “neutral” stance on this. If anyone wants to voice their opinion, please contact Eric Garcetti’s office. The field deputy handling this is Alejandra.Marroquin@lacity.org / 323-957-4500.

    I am confident that Eric’s office will reconsider their stance if enough of us let them know how we feel about this.

    The alcohol hearing is next week so we need all the phone calls / emails we can to show them how important our children’s safety is.

    If any media is reading this, we would love your help as well.

    In Los Angeles, we can have a liquor license right next door to a school, but ice cream trucks have to stay at least 500 feet away. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS LOGIC!

  26. I might suggest some caution here among the people on this thread who are so adamently against this beer and wine license. It is not a full liquor liscense and this Marc guy seems to have been pretty good about trying to work with the neighbors but his livelihood may well depend on this CUP. The economy now is making life very hard for restaurants and for many, a beer/wine liscence is the difference btwn folding and survival. Thus the caution….what do you think might well go in that place after Fix if you chase it away? Odds are another restaurant whose owner may be far less acommodating to the neighbors (especially if they read this blog)….or maybe an auto body/paint shop (you think a bakery is noisy, live next to an auto body shop – and enjoy the smell)….or how about the least desirable outcome of all, you end up forcing this guy to close and no one moves in. Then you get a nice staging area for the gang activity to expand into (especially as the neighborhood, while improving, is still transitional and as stated by several above, there is a gang house across the street.)

    An open and thriving business attracts positive people on the streets (I might suggest aa little Jane Jacobs here), cleans and maintainss the area and acts as a monitor the goings-on in its proximity, thus inhibiting litter/crime/gang activity. The neighborhood’s quality of life and home investments thus goes up. A derelict building on the other hand has the exact opposite function…no one to monitor and clean the area and the people who are attracted by an abandoned bulding are usually not there for positive reasons. Thus I suggest a little thought before you decide to shoot this down.

  27. very well said. I agree with you 1000%.

  28. One of the very first things I learned when I bought a house in EP after renting for years was about commercial zoning. If you don’t a business near your home, it’s best not to move into an area that has commercial zoning.
    That said, I am sympathetic to the noise concerns but that’s about all. People won’t be driving drunk in this neighborhood any more than they already do (you DO realize that it has one of the highest concentrations of drunk driving in the city already, right?) They’ll walk to Fix. Like most already do. And I applaud a coffee place serving beer/wine. To act as if this is something aberrant is just ridiculous. Many other countries have a long history of creating vibrant community spots doing just that (France, anyone?).
    I also think it is a bit dramatic to push the notion that people, once they see the new “Fix”, will be demolishing homes to build more comm’l spaces north of Baxter. Marc has always been a solid contributor to the community. I hope he’s successful and I hope he can and will address noise concerns to the surrounding neighbors. He’ll actually have a license to serve liquor which is more than several places in the neighborhood have so he’ll be accountable to the ABC which will make this one of the safer, more responsible venues in EP.

  29. I see Lauren believes that noone should be having a beer or glass of wine unless a business owner is making money off serving it to them!
    SL-er will be pleased to know that there are conditions on this property that prevent any auto related business such as he mentions from going in. Daytime coffee service does not disturb a residential neighborhood in the same way that a late night venue does. If Fix were not there, not to worry–the spot would make a convenient parking lot for school staff– who currently have to park on what was the school’s lawn.

  30. that’s a lot of conjecture on your part. the school district which can’t afford a janitor is all of a sudden going to pony up and secure a parking lot for the teachers? I’m doubtful of your claims about a ban on auto related businesses as well, considering how the place was formerly an auto related business.

    point your anger at the school system, or at the pathetic shape of our government. leave the honest businesses alone.

  31. gosh golly! i sense people get the feeling that FIX is going to turn into THE SHORTSTOP EAST or something. calm down, people! firstly, beer and wine places are much more mellow than places that serve hard liquor – ask any bartender about this. if the people against this issue were in, oh, let’s say FRANCE… i bet they would be the first ones ordering a nice PINOT NOIR (mmmm raspberry with a hint of ginger). although i’m not friends (not even on FACEBOOK) with the owner marc, i’ve met him a couple times and always had a sense that he’s a DECENT guy and is sensitive to the community. why not let this go on a trial basis and see, at the very least? why not channel your energy into something like keeping all cats indoors because they are NON=NATIVE predatory animals that kill native wildlife like SONGBIRDS ? echo park ave has all sorts of businesses on it – and a bus line – it’s not like it’s LEMOYNE street or anything.

  32. genevieve, you are nuts. preschoolers will not be damaged by FIX serving beer and wine after 7 pm. They will be damaged by all the gang activity that happens in the Fargo/Baxter/ EP ave. area. Focus people.

  33. plus, those ice ream trucks play horrible music!

  34. Beer and wine is the first step, idiots. The “hard” license comes later, after the business is sold to an outsider.

    Come on, 20 feet from an elementary school at the top of a canyon and you want to turn the place into a BAR because some cell phone jabbering nut claims he is concerned about “safety.”?

    Are you serious? Why does this even need to be discussed?

  35. @eastsidearts. I agree with you that the gang violence needs to stop and that ice cream trucks have annoying music.

    The last I heard a few nights ago, Mark personally said they were going to start selling alcohol at 4pm. Has something changed? Is he now agreeing to wait until 7pm when all the kids are out of school?

    Please confirm. If this is the case, then that is a step in the right direction and I applaud Mark for putting the safety of the children above profit.

  36. FIX is squandering all the good will it has engendered over the last couple years. It’s a lovely, immensely overpriced daytime hang, but in trying to take it up a notch with beer/wine license and a physical expansion to two stories, it will open the door to expansion further up the avenue and clog up an already saturated intersection late-night and evening traffic and noise. It’s a selfish, self-serving move.

  37. Funny how a number of people who are in support of the expansion (NOT ALL but quite a few) have no better argument than to make childish remarks about drinking. That’s really gonna win alot of people over! You might want to reconsider your approach. You’re essentially making a case against your own argument – - by acting like a meathead. If you’d listen to what alot of us are saying – - WE DON’T WANT EVENING HOURS ABOVE BAXTER WITH OR WITHOUT ALCOHOL! Do you understand this is not about the alcohol for many of the residents. We don’t want an evening business in our neighborhood. Read this: WE DON’T WANT A BUSINESS WITH EVENING HOURS ABOVE BAXTER.

  38. This is echo park, not Iran. Calm down.

  39. Giving FIX an alcohol license will not fix the gang problem. This is an assumption thats potentially puts others in the community at risk. It is also the primary argument I have heard to offset the negative elements of commercializing the residential neighborhood.

    Alcohol alters peoples state and it makes them less focused and typically louder. This is why people drink…and I am not at all against drinking. The fact that this is a residential neighborhood across the street from a school creates the need for a safe zone. Studies show people are more relaxed when close to home and driving…and people will be driving. This equals less focused and more potential for risk.

    Now those who live and walk near FIX will be required to be more alert because of additional traffic and night time activity. This is what happens when an area becomes commercialized – this has nothing to do specifically with FIX. I know this is a desired state for many these days but it is not for me. I purchased my home in this area because I was close enough to have access to activity but did not live next door to it. This will be the start of changing that. And just because it is commercial zoning does not make it right to serve alcohol.

    FIX will also not have a full kitchen – no stove, no oven and no hood. None of these are in the current plan to expand.

  40. No need to have a coffee/beer/wine bar across the street from an elementary school; period. The location is not set-up to have nightly (or increased daily) influx of customers so I imagine this will quickly become a bother for local residents.

  41. Genevieve,
    You wouldn’t happen to own a little restaurant/bakery down the street from FIX would you?

    Competition.

  42. The slippery arguments are getting old. It’s all based on speculation and rationalization of your puritanical views on drinking. Most of us do it responsibly. If ypu want to live without alcohol then move to iran or utah.

    Otherwise grow up.

  43. @Darren….nowhere in my post did I suggest that giving Fix a beer & wine liscense would “solve the gang problem” but having a thriving business does help curb the problem (again would recommend reading Jane Jacobs here). And more to my point was that an abandoned space (if this chases Fix away and nothing replaces it which in this economy is not far fetched) has a high likelihood of making the gang problem worse by creating a vacum which they would fill.

    Even a cursory internet search of the devastating effects to cities and neighborhoods across the contry that abandoned forclosed houses/businesses are having should make everyone think twice before acting (not just talking about Fix here). I have a pretty good idea of the advice you would get from someone living next to an abandoned house/business in Detroit, Cleveland, Allentown, Riverside, Murrietta, etc. etc. etc. would be….”try to work things out and do whatever you can to keep the business/people there!” If times were different I might not be posting this advice but they are what they are and IMO at least warrant more careful consideration. (Full disclosure here – as my posting name suggests, I do not live in EP but we have similar issues in SL).

  44. This is a conditional use permit (cup), for beer and wine to be served until 10pm. As with all cup permits, if granted it will be up for review after a year. So if all those crazy people barf everywhere after a nice dinner and wine, or if fix makes anymore noise then police choppers and bumping sound systems. Then we yank the license, until the it is un american to not give him a shot.

  45. Just my $.02 on potential customer demographics, based on me and my friends, and the types of establishments I always wished existed more.

    A lot of people think that alcohol license = noise & drunk people. That’s understandable, because it often does. But despite how much our typical bars try to tell me differently, I firmly believe it does not have to.

    I often find myself in quite the quandary. I like to get out of the house once or twice a week to spend time with friends. I’m 33, and am past the point that I really want to spend “friend-time” in noisy & raucous bars and clubs. I work in a “professional” career but do so at a non-profit, so I don’t make a lot of money to spend on meals at full restaurants. I don’t drink often, so having alcohol at my house takes up valuable fridge/cupboard space, and also leads to me actually drinking & spending more $ because once it’s in the house I’ll have a drink when I would otherwise not have gone out of my way to do so.

    The end result is that there are LOTS of times that I wish for a nice, quiet place where I could meet some friends, or even just go to read, and have a beer or a glass of wine. Basically, what I can do at a coffee shop, except instead of having caffeine after dinner, I can have a quiet drink.

    So, perhaps this is the type of demographic FIX can/will target and attract, and the type of place it can/will be. If it’s a smallish place with a smallish crowd, it’s easier for owners/employees to make sure customers are not getting out of control. And if a place is low-key, then the people whose goal is to go get bombed and have a party won’t be going there. Instead, the folks who want to just chill and chat with friends at a quiet place will finally have somewhere to go.

    It really sounds like a conditional license is the way to go. Positive community gathering spaces are often one of the best weapons against societal entropy–unfortunately, the way that we view “residential” neighborhoods (the focus on isolation and purely private activities) often makes them vulnerable because keeping all of our focus inside our houses means there is less of an “eye” being kept on the outside. While one place serving wine won’t single-handedly stop gang proliferation, it seems pretty clear that stagnation at the status quo has less of a chance of making any impact.

    A conditional license seems like a reasonable way to try a step forward, and if it doesn’t work, or the bad impacts outweigh the good, then we won’t be stuck with it.

  46. I still can’t believe no one is mentioning those damn parrots.

    If you are complaining about the possible noise from Fix and you aren’t also talking about the parrots, you do NOT live anywhere remotely near Fix.

  47. To everyone assuming this is just going to be “Fix with later hours and some beer and wine” this is what the proposal actually entails:

    “The applicant is seeking a Conditional Use to permit the sale and dispensing of beer and wine sales for on-site consumption in conjunction with a 653 square-foot addition to an existing 806 square-foot cafe and 459 square-foot patio for a new total of 1,9118 total square-feet with hours of operation room 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Sunday through Wednesday and 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with beer and wine sales limited from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The project is located within the [Q]C2-1VL Zone.”

    This is almost doubling the building space on the lot, in addition to extending hours way beyond what any other business currently does ANYWHERE in this neighborhood.

    “A big man” and others voicing similar opinions, the slippery slope IS the argument. If you think this change is going to be a little oasis of tranquility, you have your head waaay up your ass. If indeed this new expanded Fix does turn out to be a quiet neighbor, there is NOTHING that prevents Marc from selling to someone down the line who could transform Fix into whatever he or should would like. PLUS, if Fix succeeds, it’s a PROMISE that the next time someone wants to open their own Fix in the area, they can use Fix as justification for their own license and hours.

    Personally, I don’t care at all that they want to sell alcohol, I don’t even care it’s next to a school. What I do care about is that what Marc is proposing is to transform Fix from a coffee shop to a nightlife/restaurant establishment, which fundamentally begins to change the character of this neighborhood – and not for the better IMHO.

  48. Sorry – one last point and then I’ll step away…. With the caveats that 1) Fix may stay in business with or without these changes (my point is weighing the risk) and 2) the conditions for closure of The Coffee Table (which I’m going to mention next) were different….

    It might be instructive to make a visit to the recently closed Coffee Table on Rowena in SL. What was once a vibrant space that attracted a lot of neighborhood traffic – pedestrian, bike and auto, has with just a few short weeks become a dead zone. Far fewer pedestrians, lots of empty parking spaces, dead unwatered plants, ugly chain link fencing & overflowing sidewalk trashcan/s.

    Again the situation of the closing is different and the Coffee Table did not serve beer & wine (though Blairs, Mchaelangelos & Edendale all do and they are all very close to Ivanhoe school and all have immediate residential neighbors of which I am one). But be careful…our neighborhood is not better for the loss of the Coffee Table. It is worse….and we don’t have the degree of gang risk (at least not as much). It’s an easy (though sad) trip to check it out for yourself. Thus my posts here about excersing some thought and discresion before deciding about Fix.

    I don’t live in EP but it’s a great place and whatever you guys decide I hope it works out for the best.

  49. damn those early 1900′s dwellers that made echo park rd a commercial zone! if even, to only fulfill their daily needs of survival.

    i think back then, the hill was primarily sprinkled with hunting shacks that the downtown city folk could go to, as retreat from the hustle and bustle of city living and spend quality time with their mistresses and/or lovers.

    didnt they know that 111 years later, someone would want to serve beer and wine at a walking distance establishment? echo park has the ability to be a model community of the future!

    those wanting fix to be a school parking lot should consider offering up their properties for teachers to park at! those upset about people parking in the middle of the street while waiting for their kids need to bust out their cell phones and snap photo’s for officers to see..

    good luck to all! keep up the good fight!!!

  50. Ahahahaha what a bunch of Chicken Littles! I would hardly call something that’s open until 10pm a “nightlife spot.” Good LORD. Having a business open a little later – an upscale one at that – could only be a good thing as it would act as a crime deterrent. That area is sketchy as hell after dark, and a total wasteland, save for the dudes who hang out in front of the gang house and harass people.

    @Susan – I have NO idea how you inferred from my last comment that I “…believe that noone should be having a beer or glass of wine unless a business owner is making money off serving it to them.” My point was that there’s plenty of drinking already going on in this neighborhood in front yards, so I doubt that one more patio (where people are paying a lot more for their booze, btw, thereby most likely limiting intake) is going to make a huge difference.

    That said, SO glad I don’t live in this neighborhood! Have at it.

  51. If you’re skeptical about the impact on the neighborhood the late hours and liquor license will have, just go to Lamill around 9 pm. (I think this has been brought up already, but bears repeating) I think you’ll see very few people, fewer drinkers, and little or no loud conversation. I would guess FIX would end up in a very similar situation.

  52. As i read all of these comments from the far off east coast, (where i moved to LA from 21 years ago), it has really given me reason to consider how poorly planned LA really is. I am working in Richmond, Va. Living in a very residential neighborhood, and like most well planned older communities, every corner has a commercial business. Some sell coffee. newspapers. offer dry cleaning. My favorite of course is the Hill Cafe. On a residential street. but commercial corner. I walk 3 blocks there most nights, to have a glass of wine and a soup and salad after a 14 hour work day. I would love that opportunity when i come back home to Echo Park. Walk to my neighborhood cafe. I have only been in Richmond a little over 3 weeks. But i know most of the staff, and regulars by name, because, like most local, corner businesses, you get to know everyone by their name. It’s not a nightclub. It’s not a hipster attracting spot. It’s a neighborhood spot with limited seating and capacity, not unlike FIX. It could never be more because of its limited space. Not unlike FIX. I look forward to LA growing up and offering more localized services and planning so we can get out of our cars and stay close to home. Oh, people bring their kids to the cafe as well. Not unlike FIX. As for distance from a school, CRES 14 just opened up at Mohawk and Sunset– if anywhere is a threat to children at any hour of the day, it’s that corner! Traffic accident records are well substantiated, from speeding drivers racing through our neighborhood to get where ever the heck they are going. But this is not a reason to shut down CitySip, Pizza Buona or Elf Cafe. I just don’t get the threat to children from a corner cafe. I grew up in Boston. We walked to our favorite spots all the time as a family, and then walked home. We need more of that in our communities. Rather than boycott, monopolize it so, all of those awful people you think will invade our neighborhood, won’t be able to get seats. Become regulars, and enjoy.

    And, If it ends up the nightmare all the fear mongers believe it will become, it will lose its “Conditional Use Permit” . I don’t see that happening, but if need be, it would, and that is why it is called conditional, and revocable.

    Those are my thoughts after a lovely glass of Malbec and a seared Ahi Tuna Salad.
    I did not holler, yell, throw trash on anyones lawn, throw up, nothing of the sort as I walked home to my home away from home. I did not see one child wandering the streets at 9pm, which in general I assume should be the case. I did however thoroughly love that i got to walk home. I likely will do it again tomorrow.

    g’night all,
    cp

  53. @cp-

    “Malbec and a seared Ahi Tuna Salad”? Okay…

  54. Cp007. Very well put. I hope that these little fascists read and think about what you said.

  55. Thanks @bh just read the expansion proposal you posted. So FIX in it’s current incarnation will be no more. Funny how people are fighting over it when it probably won’t even have the same feel that we’ve all loved. Reading that he wants to almost double up in size while extending hours to 10 on some nights and 11 on others, well, we can kiss the quiet corner at Baxter & Echo Park goodbye if this goes through. Talk about trying to stuff 10 lbs. of s— in a 5lb. bag! I don’t even want to think about the parking. I go running most evenings and it’s completely dead around FIX after 7pm. I don’t know what strange planet folks are living on where they make comparisons to restaurants on Rowena or Silverlake Boulevard as being in any way similar to Echo Park Avenue near Baxter. Those are commercial corridors in the truest sense while FIX is on a street which essentially winds into a quasi dead end further up the road. The alcohol thing doesn’t bother me (but I don’t have kids), however the late hours do. There are so few areas left in LA that stay quiet in the evening and even closer to Sunset at the busier area near Chango, things shut down at 7pm. I don’t get it. Let’s not forget that his expansion will take months–construction in LA anyone? Will he have to close while he does it? That said why not just open up a little FIX annex down the road? Plenty of space available and he would retain the good will of many of us who are now boycotting. Like it or not, the hearing is set for Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 10:30 am at City Hall. If you don’t support the application and can’t make the hearing but would like your opinion on public record, contact Christine Saponara at Christine.Saponara@lAcity.org and reference case number ZA-2011-2029(CUB). I feel bad for the neighbors who are within a block. This will be a big night time nuisance for them. I’m a few blocks out.

  56. "we can kiss the quiet corner at Baxter & Echo Park goodbye?"

    how is adding some storage space, a kitchen and an office going to change FIX into some sort of enormous booze soaked nightmare? it’s not like they’re adding on an additional 5,000 feet of bar space. you guys are really good at exaggeration when it suits your narrative.

  57. This is NIMBYism in its truest form. #occupybaxter

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