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Friday, October 31, 2014

Echo Park checks out the new Chango

Echo Park’s landmark Chango Coffee reopened this morning after a week-long makeover.  The menu and coffee  remain the same as do the the employees behind the counter. But that counter is now a gleaming slab of granite that tops dark wood cabinets. The same  dark  paint covers a new longer, wooden banquette that runs underneath a new wall mural and bright white walls. Outside, a new mural by the same artist is also taking shape.  The more refined look is the work of new owners Jenna Turner of Susina Bakery & Cafe and Marc Gallucci of Fix Coffee in Elysian Heights.  Chango customers made it clear they did not want things to change too much and Gallucci and Turner said they agreed not to replicate Fix, a Bauhaus-like cube staffed by uniformed barristas that stood in sharp contrast to Chango’s disheveled style. Instead, Gallucci said he wanted to give Echo Park residents cafe alternatives.

“While I love what we are doing at Fix, it’s not for everyone,” Gallucci said. “We wanted to be sensitive to the existing [Chango] clientele and keep it kind of the same [but] give it a little makeover and clean up.”



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61 comments

  1. if marc raises the coffee prices at chango, we will do everything possible to prevent fix from getting a permanent liquor license. his coffee prices have forced us to go to cheaper coffee houses, like starbucks.

  2. Looks like one of those home makeover shows, like the combination of a late 30’s suburban housewife meets the bedroom of her teenage son. Looks terrible! I will no longer hang out here. Too bad. Used to like the old Chango. Coffee was good and they would refill it. So tired of the $6 one cup of coffee trend.

  3. It’s unbelievable how much change freaks people out. As for raising prices, if all the hipsters and wannabes stop patronizing La Mille and Intelligentsia coffee then maybe prices would come down. Take a chill pill. It’s only coffee

    • Made the mistake of taking the chill pill with coffee.

    • What is “La Mille”?
      I know there’s a coffee house called “Lamill” on silver lake blvd.
      But I’ve never herd of La Mille.

      While we’re at it; what exactly is a “Hipster and/or a Wannabe” ?
      Are they one in the same? Or two different types of people?
      How do You know one when You see one? Please educate us

  4. eesh. too polished if you ask me.

  5. slowdownonlaguna

    Wow. Graffiti on the inside? Why? Keep the inside walls clean. Looks like shat.

    • White with matte black detail = clean, tasteful choice. Inside graffiti = tres tacky, tres dated.

      • way dated.. I was really cheering for that half-exposed brick wall to be fixed. Oh well. The outside also looked nicer just white. Murals are ugly, when are people going to realize that?

  6. Id love to see inside the homes of everybody that’s always hating on this site, and see what their places look like!
    Whether its chango or the color of the boat house at the lake, someone’s always got a negative opinion about it.

    Just once itd be nice to see an aesthetic choice made on the eastside that everyone applauds. Is that possible?
    Hate breeds hate!

  7. I think all we can ask is that business people make an effort an show pride in thier own place. . . maintain it and treat customers well. . . . and they clearly are making an effort. The old Chango didn’t care enough to clean the place. Fix is a little dwell-tastic but the staff is really nice which shows good management- I hope chango follows suit.

    Theese are clearly nice people and they are investing thier work in our neighborhood. . . not from a management office but from right there on site along with thier staff. The aesthietic is a little funny- like a west-side view if the east-side but the fact that they care really wins me over.

  8. New owners! Please get different coffee at chango! It tastes like gasoline! No disrespect.

    Thank you.

  9. Landmark? Chango a landmark? I think not.

    • It’s a landmark in the sense of something you point out to people when you give directions. Now that Magic Gas is “Echo Fuels”, Chango is the most visible/memorable landmark at that intersection.

  10. Is the drip coffee better (or even different)? I always much preferred Fix’s drip to Chango’s.

  11. All the charm is gone.

  12. The mural on the outside looks more like an advertisement than a piece of art and those colored sqiggles on the wall on the inside? You have to be kidding me. I nearly died laughing when i saw that. Was MC HAMMER there at the grand opening this morning, because if that was what was “crack a lacking” there it’s “whack” that i missed it. Word to your mama.

    Has anyone contacted the artist of the chicken mural yet to notify them that they may be entitled to damages?

  13. I agree … change the coffee. Can’t stand the Chango coffee and not a big fan of Fix’s Intelligentsia coffee. I would much rather see another local choice like Cafecito Organico or Groundworks.

    Though I will add that Fix’s pasties are Amazing and I appreciate their attention to detail in everything they do…I hope that transfers over to the new Chango too.

  14. When do they apply for the liquor license?

  15. J, Fix is now Handsome Coffee.

  16. Oy gevalt! Let it be. Shut up and drink your coffee.

  17. Last time I checked, Fix was getting their pastries from Susina…..

  18. To everyone complaining about fixing the coffee: why not just buy the coffee that best suits your taste and make it at home?

  19. As Chango was a complete turn-off, it was the new ownership that brought me back to give it a try. Excellent, fast customer service, with great products were had and after entering yesterday morning, now the space feels clean. Interior mural is nice too. So many complainers on this blog.

  20. For those of you who dislike the changes, please don’t take it out on the employees. I was in Chango for five minutes this morning, and the poor barista was absorbing a lot of misdirected anger.

    • Anger. Over remodeling. Seriously, folks…
      When someone endeavors to undertake an anthropological study of the decline of civilization in the 21st century, I hope they start in Echo Park.

  21. I like the changes. Staff still friendly. Prices even seem to have come down a bit from where they were a week ago. I approve.

  22. Who cares if the counter is granite or wood? What they should’ve done is add A/C because once June gets here that place is so hot it’s uninhabitable. I used to visit Chango all the time, but got tired of waiting on line forever for a cup of coffee. Not blaming the people that work there, but it seemed like they were always understaffed. Hopefully new management will change that. Fix runs like a well-oiled machine despite the more time-consuming process of hand dripping each cup.

  23. OPINIONATED OLD LADY SEZ

    TO ALL THE REGULARS WHO DO NOTHING BUT GRIPE (NOT THOSE WHO HAVE A POSITIVE SUGGESTION OR TWO):

    There is an old saying “He would bitch if he was hung with a new rope.”

    If the shoe fits . . .

  24. as dilapidated as it used to be, it borders on crime-against-humanity now.

    • hate’s a strong word, but… i think i might hate you.

    • You’re clearly a just, rational man who is, with any luck, in charge of a lot of important things. Is it that they raised the price of a small coffee an entire quarter? How dare they!!!! And to think, they lowered the price of large coffee and a 12oz latte is still cheaper than Stories!!!! Down with the Man, bro!!! I can’t even snuggle up in a blanket of dust bunnies when I sit down anymore!!!!!!! I mean, I blinked and the rotten wood and rust salad was taken off the menu. Stop the west side infiltration!!!!

      it’s a little too much white and it needs to get lived in for more than two days to be comfortable. other than that I think it’s gonna be awesome. Talked to the owners for a while today and in my opinion it’s nice to have someone who actually gives a shit.

      Why do I feel like you’re the guy who takes his cup from 2 days ago to the coffee shop for a free refill?

      p.s. the entire upper section is meant to be sarcastic.

  25. Hi ,
    My name is disaya and I am 21 years old ,I am a virgo and I’m looking for a guy that is willing to treat me like a the princess I am, please send pictures and I will reply back soon, please no games ,no b.s,no weirdos,or jerks,only adults and mature men age and race is open .so don’t be shy send me your pics and ill send you mine. Please read before you email me thanks

    Disaya

  26. new owners, please, please do something about the coffee. chango isn’t any cheaper than fix and the coffee…not good. wishing you guys luck with the new venture.

  27. We should be thanking our lucky stars anyone is willing to provide an establishment for the neighborhood so close to constant shooting at EP+Fargo.

  28. I ventured into the new Changos on Sunday after avoiding it for years due to it being disgustingly filthy and to the complete ambivalence of the staff. It felt wrong to give my hard earned cash to an establishment that patently didnt give a shit.
    However, Sunday was a completely different story, like night and day from the shambles it once was. Well decorated with obviously an awful lot of thought and effort not to take away the character of the place but to enhance it. The pastries supplied by the award winning Susina bakery are to die for and the coffee just perfect. The staff obviously work hard and give the place a charming ambiance. A place definately suited to hanging out, people watching. It shows that the owners respect the local communities needs. I cannot understand all the haters, there is no downside to having a wonderful local place to meet, eat the best pastries LA has to offer and to linger over a good cup of coffee. Seems to be a lot of people with nothing to do but gripe about things changing for the better !

  29. the new design has an Abercrombie & Fitch/See’s Candy pallet to it

  30. Welcome to the corner! We wish you loads of luck. Thanks for investing in Echo Park. Maybe Disaya will meet a nice, single Virgo guy there!

  31. This is worse than that wall they built around cafe stella!

  32. Bring back the Chickens!

  33. Yeah, so glad I moved out of ever evolving into worse and worse crap Echo Park. Chicken Corner was killed… glad I didn’t have to witness its painful death :(

    Bring on the Chango liquor license, you know thats next on the agenda. Enjoy it suckers!

  34. Please do change the coffee. Love having Chango close to home, but stopped going there due to the nasty coffee.

  35. Just got to say you guys are complete fools for painting over the beautiful hand-painted signage that was on the outside wall. So boring now.

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