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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Would you pour $250,000 into an Echo Park wine bar?


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Eater L.A. notes that CitySip, the Echo Park wine bar that announced it would be closing at the end of January, is now up for sale, with the owner asking $250,000 in key money, which includes furniture, fixtures, equipment, beer and wine licenses and the remaining lease, according to LoopNet. Of course, in addition to coming up with $250,000 the new owner would still have to pay $3,331.25 a month in rent.  Is that a deal or perhaps it’s time to go wine bar shopping in Highland Park?

28 comments

  1. just like Delilah Bakery i doubt anyone will buy this either. Why would anybody pay that much for a failing business.

  2. Delilah’s had all the potential to be something great. I won’t list the reasons why we stopped going there but I hope the place sales for a fair price, not the crazy asking price of $165,00, so someone else to come in and make a neighborhood destination restaurant Delilah’s could have been.

    • why not list the reasons?

      perhaps some constructive post-closure analysis would help future business owners understand how to better serve and keep their customers. people in this neighborhood seem to be very picky about which businesses they will/won’t patronize.

      help us, help you. please share your opinions. thanks.

      • Leaden biscuits, rude service and spotty quality. I will gladly patronize any place in the neighborhood that is friendly and that offers tasty food at fair prices.

      • Fair enough, Local. Mrs. Roper gave the short answer. Mine is longer. First, yes having great baking abilities and design sense can get you started as a new business. Greet customers, do not ignore them when they walk in, even if there is a line. Act like you are actually happy when someone comes to the counter to order. Hire staff that can will wait and bus the tables. No one would clean up the tables, piles of dirty dishes with flies were left on empty tables while the server would walk by empty handed. When someone steals the highchair and the dog water bowl you left out overnight, replace them immediately and keep them inside after closing. So many families with little kids used to go there but the owner’s lack of caring for the basic needs of her customers was appalling. OK. I am going to stop there. All I can say to sum things up is it was a sad holiday season last year without Delilah’s whiskey bread pudding on our table. For the $165,000 price tag that recipe better be included!

        • Cool… that’s constructive. Thank you.

          • I went in to buy a sandwich at Delilah once, there were 5 people working there, no customers, and they told me it was going to take them 15 minutes to make me a frickin’ turkey sandwich.

            So I left. That seems to sum it up.

          • Here’s a short tale of this neighbor’s most recent Delilah’s experience – went there with my just-arrived parents, visiting from Ohio, on my lunch break from working Downtown. No other customers. Ordered 4 sandwiches. Sandwiches took, no fooling, 45 minutes to prepare – and we STILL didn’t get them until I stood up and said “We’re leaving – thanks.” Got the sandwiches to go, for free. But at that point, I knew I would never be stepping foot in there again, as it was just the latest and most egregious in a long line of utterly inept interactions with the staff there.

            Mind you, this was AFTER they had been closed down for months and were re-opening with so-called “improved management.” As someone who lives very close, I knew it was only a matter of time before the hours got unpredictable, the service went from bad to worse and the place shut down again. I was right – about 3 months later, it was closed again, which is the state in which it remains today.

            One piece of advice – hire people who can interact with customers. That’s all it takes. Neighborhood folks want to like good, local places. We’re not looking for reasons not to like a place – look at the Yelp page for Delilah’s. Almost every review begins with “I really wanted to like this place” or “I gave this place quite a few chances.”

            Contempt for one’s customers will close a business, literally every time.

    • Echo Park has become so dramatically oversaturated with alcohol and nightclubs everywhere that this is the result. The dramatic overload of competition will run the weaker ones out.

      This one was one of the earlier ones, and actually had sought to skirt the rules for bars, by technically being a retail store with a mere tasting room, not technically a bar, making for lesser requirements for the license.

      Frankly, while any particular operation might be nice, Echo Park would be a LOT better off if a ton more of the alcohol establishments here were to closed. 24-7 drunkeness and partying (and , of course, the ever more drunken driving accidents we hear more and more of) does not make for a very good neighborhood.

      Nothing personal about this particular business, but generally I say good riddance to the overload of alcohol establishments here. We need to reclaim the neighborhood rather than be directed by alcohol.

    • I tried to buy delilahs and no one ever contacted me despite multiple points of contact phone, email, and even facebook… lol.

  3. @East Side Critic

    A new license and buildout is $150k at least. Not to mention the hassle and delays involved with city planning, ADA, health, and building/safety. Anyone who has built these businesses out before knows that’s not a bad price. It will come down for sure but not by much. Or someone will just wait her out and see if she gets desperate.

  4. it is a bargain, but major drawback there is no parking even close anymore.

  5. Turn this place into a bong hits/yoga place. Where you can do yoga and also take bong rips mid position. We can call it Boga, and it’ll be everywhere in 5 years and it would have started in Echo Park. Ill run the place, anyone want in on this?

    • You could come up with your own unique list of yoga poses, like Bikram. I can see it now:
      Downward-Facing Fog
      Sinsemilla Salutation
      Balancing (Thai) Stick Pose
      Don’t forget the breathing exercises, such as:
      Indica Inhalation

      One minor complication: The Boga Brothers might sue you for using their name without their permission.

    • god yes finally please. i get super baked and head to yoga but by the time i get there, park, etc my buzz is over. brilliant. btw, i think this could also work for any of my other destination as well. like my moms house for starters.

    • That would be……AMAZING!!!

      The Healing Center in Little Tokyo was similar to this, smoke a spliff, listen to a cool mellow band and eat a sandwich. Reminds me of Amsterdam almost. This would be such a great place, if only people weren’t so damn scared of the gateway drugs and what kind of loose, immoral women and men they might become…..

  6. In the owners’ farewell letter she said that she had a buyer. Strange!

  7. Boga? Well…Echo Park is a place for creativity I guess. Lol. City Sip was a cool place but the surrounding business aren’t aesthetically appealing so never really thought to go there when planning my night. Plus I’m more of a beer person.

    • Price on rental in Echo Park are outrageous to start, that is killing the new entrepreneur’s, then of course the price of the food and drinks ? only some local could afford it ? most of the community shops and eats somewhere else, Echo Park is promissing, but unless we go down on some of the prices…….ohhhhhh, have anyone think that a local day of shopping and eating out, but with good prices could help local’s ? Lets create a local shop and eat in Echo Park day(s), who runs the chamber of commerce? bring all aboard for some exciting new ideas…..of course have the landlords aboard also, its time for some new talks, not the same old stuff.
      Build it here keep it here, partneships work…! Where are the organizations that call themselves? improvement ? hyssterical, NC, etc ? gimme some constructive plans, stop politics as usual…stop dividing, start uniting, competition is good, lets talk !!!!!!!

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