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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The revolving restaurant concepts of Echo Park and Highland Park

AYC (left) in Echo Park and Highland Park Kitchen

AYC (left) in Echo Park and Highland Park Kitchen

Some locations attract restaurants that remain in business for decades. But restaurant turnover is much higher in some locations, with new eateries coming and going in only a few years or even just months. That’s the case in a pair of spots in Echo Park and Highland Park that are preparing to once again host new restaurants.

In Echo Park, a small Echo Park Avenue building has played host to three restaurants in recent years years, including a pupseria that was followed by the high-end Restaurant 15 and then Allston Yacht Club, which opened in 2008. But in September, the owners of Allston Yacht Club – aka AYC – announced that they were closing.  This week,  a story in Zagat  says that AYC will now become  Allumette, a restaurant overseen by Miles Thompson. Thompson was the same chef who operated a pop-up restaurant- Vagrancy Project – in the same Echo Park Avenue location this summer – the same restaurant that had a $175 steak on the menu.

Zagat does not say whether the $175 steak will return to Echo Park. Instead,  Thompson is said to have developed a “soulful seasonal menu” that will include items like monkfish with sour cherry and chorizo, and rabbit with hazelnut tortellini.

Meanwhile, in Highland Park, the revolving door of restaurants is spinning at a much faster pace, with what appears to be the fourth restaurant preparing to open in the same York Boulevard spot in less than 18 months.  Eater L.A. reports that Highland Park Kitchen, which opened only about 10 months ago, will become Sonny’s Hideaway. Highland Park Kitchen was preceded by, Cafe Lobos, which opened and closed in less than three months in the same spot once occupied by Marty’s bar.  Marty’s was operated by restauranteur and real estate investor Rudy Martinez,  who apparently still owns the building.

How long will Sonny’s Hideway stay open?  Come back in a few months to find out.

16 comments

  1. Love the HPK location – I’ve just never really liked the food. Hopefully these guys are better!! I’ll definitely give it a try.

  2. That’s a bit of hyperbole regarding the former AYC.

    The name and concept changed and the restaurants owners didn’t.
    Plus, that $175 steak was pretty ridiculous, but it coexisted as an alternative option during the Vagrancy Project which occurred over the summer and only during the prix fixe on mondays and tuesdays.

    AYC was a great dealy, especially with all dishes (if which 2-3 was enough for one) being $5 ea. on wednesday and sunday evenings.

  3. Ha!

    Called that one –

    Of course they were going to re-open under with the super expensive prix-fixe — what restaurateur could pass up the ability to charge 20 times what they’re already charging?

  4. I live right next door to HPK and have only eaten there twice. Their food is inedible. I really hope someone sensible is behind the new restaurant. I would love to be a frequent customer.

  5. Well I sure hope they don’t think those 120 dollar steaks will be attracting any of the trustafarians from around the neighborhood. Try turning it into a subway.

  6. Whatever happens to HPK can only be an improvement.

  7. before AYC, it was 15!

  8. We liked 15, we liked AYC a lot and went there pretty often. Friendly atmosphere and some very fairly priced tasty dishes. I’m not sure why it didn’t catch on bigger – maybe the name confused people?

    Charlie and Bill are great guys and I wish them success – I’m just hoping we’ll still be able to afford to eat there once in a while.

  9. mmmm, RABIT!

  10. HPK was very mediocore.

  11. j and mr. rollers: Before 15, it was Cafe de la Paz. I really miss their pupusas and guisados.

  12. HPK’s fare was worst than airline food.

  13. I live near HPK and I’m excited for some potentially good food to come my way! I had brunch at HPK and it was … not good. High hopes for Sonny’s Hideaway

  14. HPK was at least an improvement over Cafe Lobos, and they managed to stay open somewhat consistently, unlike the previous 2 iterations. Hopefully the next attempt will be even better.

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