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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Storefront Report: A new look and name for an Echo Park coffee house

The new owners of the Downbeat Cafe have given the Echo Park coffee house a new look and name: Echo Lake Coffee Co. Six months after brothers Cesar and Sergio Diaz purchased the business, the new Echo Lake Coffee name appeared over the weekend on a bright blue awning that replaced the Downbeat’s faded purple canopy over the Alvarado Storefront. The new name, which was inspired by nearby Echo Park Lake, and awning on the outside signals changes inside one of Echo Park’s first coffee house, where a new paint job has brightened up the inside and new banquette seating has been installed on along one wall. “As part of our transformation, it was time to change the name,” said Cesar Diaz. “Everybody knew the [Downbeat] name but many had not been around in years.”

The interior changes are designed to make the space for customers to have meeting and bring their laptops, Diaz said

While the Downbeat Cafe name is gone, Diaz said the coffeehouse’s Wednesday evening jazz performances will now be called Downbeat Jazz Night.

24 comments

  1. most confusing name to remember ever!

  2. Honoring the neighborhood’s namesake lake by leaving out its middle name? Signature mark, indeed. But at least it isn’t “Echolake.”

  3. I agree with Jim, not a great name. But I’ll still check it out. I live down the block and was so disappointed the first time I went to Downbeat. Paid $7 for a single egg inside a stale bagel with some rough coffee water. Never returned. Good luck Echo Lake Coffee Company! I hope your menu is as much of a mouthful : )

  4. Does anyone know why the Downbeat owner sold the business?

    • The owner of the Downbeat sold the business because the economy gave him … wait for it … a beatdown.

    • which owner?! i had it from 2003-2007. bought it from marta & davin who started the place in 2001 & have started quite a few businesses since then (most recently the copper door in samta ana). i sold it to dan in 2007. not sure why he sold it. it was a great experience but i was never able to make enough to quit my day job in film biz. i wish i coulda made it work. miss the people. farewell downbeat cafe…

      • David: I miss the quiche you use to serve; it was the best!

        • thanks for the kind words but all the tastey cooking was bc of dakota. he was the chef under marta/davin & me. really amazing at what he does. he now works at “the park” so go see what hes cooking now!

          and btw REAL jazz (in my opinion anything before the 70′s) is timeless, an original american art form born from the blues. kenny g & all that 90s crap is NOT jazz any more than shania twain is country. thats all flavored pop music. my 2 cents.

  5. James for the win!

  6. perhaps they have some connection with the tiny town about 450 miles north of here

  7. Dan sold the Downbeat to move to Portland to raise his 3 children with the rest of his family.

  8. Love the new changes!

  9. The place is awesome! I love the name and the change. While the previous name may have been around for a long time, I think the new name reflects positive change. I have been there a lot of times and I love the dedication and attentiveness that Cesar offers his customers. I wasn’t a fan of the place the first time I was there. But then again, I’m not a “hipster” and actually shower and dress up to go to work.
    The changes appeal to a wider clientel and I am defiently going to have a client appointment here this week! I wish Echo Lake Coffee Co. the best! I know they will creaet an even bigger and better name for the business. Chancho loves it too ;-)

    • Jorge, I would probably be considered a “hipster” if you saw me on the street, but I do actually shower daily and dress up to go to work at a 9-to-5 job.

    • I stopped going after Dan scrapped the sandwiches I loved, jacked up the prices, and minimized the portions, so I haven’t been in. What changes have been made that “appeal to a wider clientele?” Rather, what about its previous iteration appealed to a niche clientele? Jazz?

      On that note (pun intended), I pray they’ll keep the Wednesday night jazz.

  10. I loved the old downbeat under Davin & Marta and then Dave. But stopped going after Dan switched the coffee out for what someone here accurately described as “rough coffee water.” It’s one thing to jack up your prices, shrink food portions and cheapen ingredients. It’s another thing altogether to serve rough coffee water when surrounded by so much excellent competition.

  11. Really REALLY miss the good scones here. They now taste like cardboard.

  12. Please tell me the peanut butter cookies stayed. Please?

  13. Does anyone know where they buy their coffee beans?
    I know Fixx / Chango roast their own beans and Stories Books n Cafe serves Cafecito Organico.

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