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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Will a new Echo Park restaurant serve up unwelcome noise?

Rendering from Spacecraft

The intersection of Glendale Boulevard and Montana Street in Echo Park is far from a tranquil place. Cars and trucks constantly rush past the corner. Metro buses groan to a stop as they pick up and drop off passengers. Occasionally  the words “Can I take  your order?” can be heard coming the direction of the KFC drive-thru.   So, who would be bothered by the opening up of a new restaurant with a roof-top terrace here?   Well at least one resident has taken issue with a proposal to allow a  restaurant to host live entertainment into the early morning hours.

The restaurant would be built  on a triangular parcel at Glendale Boulevard and Montana Street  where developer Sammy Kahen has been trying for several years now to attract a tenant to the former gas station property. It’s not clear if Kahen has leased the  proposed building  but earlier this year he enlisted the help of hired high-profile restaurant designer Kristofer Keith of Spacecraft Group to come up with a concept that would win over residents and a tenant.

After receiving a notice of a March 21 public hearing on the project, a woman named Sonia who lives on the other side of Glendale Boulevard expressed her concern about the additional noise the restaurant would generate:

We’ve owned our home for five years now …  We’re a block away from the site. I’m mostly worried about the sound. Echo Park is true to its name, it echoes. We can hear weird things, the police firing range, bands playing on rooftops and a train every once in a while. I’m also worried about added traffic and unsafe streets, but not as much. I really don’t want a night club with loud music playing all night going in a block away from me.

On Thursday, the city’s Planning Department will hold a public hearing to review the property owner’s request for a permit with conditions to serve beer and wine and hold live entertainment from 6 a.m.until midnight on Sunday through Thursdays and from 6 a.m. to 1 am. on Friday and Saturdays.



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42 comments

  1. You can hear the Jack In The Box drive thru that’s half a mile away from Montana Street?

  2. You can hear the Jack In The Box drive thru that’s half a mile away from Montana Street?

  3. That little church across the street from this place plays music louder than any bar/restaurant/venue, but nobody complains about them. I doubt this place is going to be that loud.

    Also, what bands on rooftops is she talking about? Have I been missing out? Sounds to me this lady is overreacting. One person shouldn’t be allowed to stop a new business from opening.

    • Had a similar problem with a “church” in our neighborhood. The guy would wail his fire and brimstone sermons and music over a loud PA system (to three people in a 15X20 room). After I kindly requested he (at least) close the windows he said he didn’t have to because he was a “church”!

      After a few calls to the LAPD non-emergency line over a few weeks, he got the message. I encourage all to push back on the “churches” in your neighborhood. Especially the noisy ones.

      As for this project, all in support should attend the meeting; that’s the purpose of it. More variety in Echo Park would be a good thing! Even though I think they’re great, I’m kinda tired of eating Rodeo Grill.

      • You are lucky that you have police officers that would actually do something about church noise. Divine Saviour Catholic Church has an amplified sound system that goes off 6 times or more every day. And, LAPD does nothing to help. Stop the noise. Churches are not “above the law”.

        • It took persistence and getting the “senior lead officer” for my area involved. After the second time the church ignored the request from officers, the SLO (via my request) got involved and it stopped. I think this guy had to be threatened with fines before they will stop, unfortunately.

  4. That little church across the street from this place plays music louder than any bar/restaurant/venue, but nobody complains about them. I doubt this place is going to be that loud.

    Also, what bands on rooftops is she talking about? Have I been missing out? Sounds to me this lady is overreacting. One person shouldn’t be allowed to stop a new business from opening.

  5. I live across the street on Lake Shore (I never hear the drive thru). next door to One Big Stage (which should be renamed One Bad Neighbor – talk about noise). A nice restaurant would be welcome, as long as it isn’t another fast food chain and as long as people are respectful and don’t block driveways, etc. I see this as improement over the empty lot.

    • You must have parking at your home or apartment. Those of use – and there are hundreds – who have to park on the street – think a 138 seat restaurant that borders our residential neighborhood is a really frightening thought. Parking 4 blocks away at 2am is never pleasant. Just thought you might like to hear the perspective of those of use down on the front lines – directly across the street from the proposed bar.

  6. I live across the street on Lake Shore (I never hear the drive thru). next door to One Big Stage (which should be renamed One Bad Neighbor – talk about noise). A nice restaurant would be welcome, as long as it isn’t another fast food chain and as long as people are respectful and don’t block driveways, etc. I see this as improement over the empty lot.

  7. never fails to amaze me that people oppose things like this, that can’t possibly be bad for the neighborhood. and as one commenter noted, the church (nothing against ‘em) is the loudest thing in the neighborhood.

    • The very last thing we need is yet another nightclub, and more alcohol here. We already have too much of that here. And mind you, the hours are only going to become longer — the city is now considering extending nightclub and alcohol hours from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.

      This is like that scene out of “Its a Wonderful Life” where Jimmy Stewart is shown what Bedford Falls would have been without out, where it is just a wild drinking and party scene, no longer a nice neighborhood.

      • Most restaurants aren’t open until 2 AM, or 4 AM. Mohawk Bend, which is owned and operated by the same company as this projected restaurant closes at 12 most nights.

        • If your standard is “It’s a Wonderful Life”, you will be perpetually disappointed with life in Echo Park.

  8. “I really don’t want a night club with loud music playing all night going in a block away from me.”

    lady, this is not a night club. this place should be the least of your concerns. and, it could provide a buffer to some of the traffic noise. calm down. i hope this gets built, like ASAP.

  9. Take a look the Google street view for this blighted property and the fast food joints that surround it. Can anyone honestly say with a straight face that a nice, non-chain restaurant bringing increased business and foot traffic to the area would be some sort of detriment?

  10. Jeremy, that’s the first thing I thought. That Spanish-language storefront church across the street, in between Ms. Donut and the Domino’s strip mall is the most offensive-sounding noise-producer in a mile’s radius. Always playing (sorry) warbly, barely-competent praise songs for hours at a time, always with the door wide open. She’s right about the echoing, because I could hear that blight loud and clear when I lived on the other side of the lake, behind St. Paul’s on Laguna, half a mile away. So please, lady, you’ve got bigger fish to fry, if the noise around there bothers you.

    Also, you must be referring to the combination KFC/Taco Bell.

  11. I’d be more concerned with all of the car exhaust I’d be sucking in living there!

  12. My concern is parking, as it is there is limited parking. What’s the plan for parking?

  13. That church is a menace.

  14. previous posts about this spot show parking in the plans.

  15. Why is Eastsider penning a whole article about the concerns of one lady who lives in the area? Exactly why does she matter?

    • If you actually took time to read the article, it states that there was a public hearing , Sonia just happened to be quoted .

  16. I think the comments from the one lady could be the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps others would be equally opposed but hadn’t noticed what was happening. I notice in reading various Yahoo local groups (NELA, ASNC, Echo/Elysian Park, Lincoln Heights) that people who are concerned with issues will comment on the forum “I didn’t know”..sometimes it would be “I wish I had, I would have opposed it” or “I think this is great”.
    Eastsider is reporting not just the hard news but providing a forum for everyone in the area. And as far as sounds travelling, it’s difficult to know how sounds from the new place would travel in the neighborhood. The fact that the sounds would be coming from an elevated location could make them travel that much further I live on Mt Washington and when neighbors have a party (I talking about houses in a half mile radius) ) and we’re out for an evening walk, the sounds we hear at street level are much lower than those that echo around the hillsides. Children playing in the yard next door I can’t hear directly, but I do hear them as if they were across the street.
    Without a study I don’t think anyone can say what the effect would be if live music were performed on the upper level of the restaurant.
    I do think asking for a permit for music from 6am to midnight five days a week and 6 am to 1 am the remaining two….that’s the potential for 18 (19) hours a day, 7 days a week. I love music–but I want to be able to choose what I listen to.

    I hope the woman (and anyone else with her concerns) does oppose the idea at the Planning Commission meetings. At least the Commission can’t rubber stamp the request because there was no opposition.

    And because some issues generate heat without light I wil state that I have no personal interest in this issue, I don’t know anyone involved and represent no business interests that could gain or lose in this matter.

    • It could be the tip of the iceberg? Its useless to post things that “could” be anything. Lester is right if TE wants to alert the community to a project that’s fine but to try and make it out like some cranky lady’s opinion is noteworthy is nonsense.

      Elevated location??? it would be beneath an busy overpass and right below one of the busiest streets in the whole city. ..WTF We don’t need to use my tax dollars to study the effect of live music. Just put a cap on it a say midnight and call it a day. Jeezus the city is hurting for tax revenue let businesses prosper.

      • Another genius who did not bother to read the article.

        • haha that’s funny because it actually says “After receiving a notice of a March 21 public hearing” not “that there was a public hearing” either way honestly who cares if a woman named Sonia complained. The point is its a weak subject for a story without support or context.

  17. She should stop complaining about this and move onto closing down the train tracks.

  18. The lady has a point. Another point is that good, old Echo Park is changing rapidly, more rapidly than in (several) decades before. Please give leeway, change occurs of course, but this ‘hood — I clearly recall as a boy, and live as an adult and have for many years — is moving terribly fast. Not all change is good, or welcome.

    I’ve never seen less parking in Echo Park in my life. And even at the start of the change I could never have predicted how hipster EP would become.

    The lady will have to live with the changes, as will myself and others who miss a quieter, less crowded ‘hood. Doesn’t mean we have to like it.

  19. Complainers should stop complaining. If the owner gives up on getting a really cool restaurant on his property, residents might find a Burger King or mini-condos there instead.

  20. Everyone is right about that church being ridiculously loud, but I have to say I kinda love it. It always sounds like what I would imagine worship music would sound like if played by a punk band comprised of 13 year olds. But really, it’s not that bad. They don’t play at unreasonable hours. They’re just tryin’ to get their God on.

    • If you like the music I suggest you GO TO THE CHURCH AND SIT INSIDE! I’m sure they would welcome you right in, they are a church after all!

      The point is not about “liking” the music, it’s about having to listen to something you don’t like because they are TOO LOUD!

      The weird thing is I think they think they’re proselytizing, not pissing a bunch of people off…

  21. Parking is all ready a f*cking nightmare here. I would love to see some grass and lovely trees put in instead.

    • Donald, you should buy that plot of land fronm sammy and plant all the trees you want, mabey even give away some free parking spaces too.

  22. “…getting their God on…”. I like that.

    • You like it? Great. Me too! As long as I don’t have it pumping though my space uninvited.

      Neighbors should be neighborly. Even if they think they are better than you.

  23. My name is Tom Pace and I am a tenant on Montana Street in Echo Park. I’ve been living in the Echo Park community for 12 years now. I’m very proud of my community and my address. However, as gentrification and unchecked expansion has begun to take a serious toll on our quality of life in the area, I feel the need to say something regarding the proposed restaurant/site development at the intersection of Montana and Glendale Boulevard.

    LACK OF PARKING
    To understand the impact this project would have on the majority of neighbors and families who do NOT have driveways or garages, you need to understand just a few of the dramatic changes that have taken place over the last 8 years in this busy residential area. We border Sunset Boulevard which has seen in influx of bars, restaurants and boutiques that attract shoppers and diners from around the city. No longer are we surrounded by neighborhood Mexican/American restaurants and shops serving locals. These are destination establishments that get write-ups in the LA WEEKLY and mentions in food blogs. Most of these establishments do not offer enough parking for their patrons. Our surrounding residential streets feel the brunt of this influx of cars. If you don’t have a parking space by 6:30pm it is likely you will not find one until the morning.

    In addition, we have seen the expansion of the Echo into the Echoplex which more than tripled their capacity. Even though they offer valet, most patrons choose to park as far up as Scott and walk down to the club. The Echoplex has recently been joined by an underground comedy club just two doors down from my home. This venue, dubbed ‘Echo Under Sunset’ hosts comedy nights and nightclub type events that attract a wide audience. Since there is no parking we feel the brunt of the lost spaces. On a busy night cars circle our residential area looking for even the tiniest space. Our cars have been dinged, stolen and our driveways have been blocked by concertgoers.

    BUSY INTERSECTION
    Another concern in developing this former transient space (gas station) is that this is the main corridor that sweeps people into the city and out of the city. It is one of the most dangerous intersections in the city logging no less than 23 major traffic accidents per year. Police, ambulance, fire engines and tow trucks are called regularly to this busy little corner to pick up the pieces after people misjudge the lights while turning onto Montana from Glendale or vice versa. Serious injury and death have occurred in the time that I have lived here. Putting an outdoor dining venue with alcohol right at the epicenter seems more than inappropriate.

    NOISE/ALCOHOL
    Finally, with our bedrooms so close to the proposed restaurant we will be subjected to live music, dinner chatter, food aromas and dumpster smells. This space is simply too close and too tiny to appropriately save us from all of the above. The job of a new restaurant or art gallery or shopping center or book store is to serve the community, provide jobs and make our neighborhood better. This plan, proposed by a man who has shown absolutely no concern for the needs of the community, is simply an attempt to profit from the gentrification in the area. This plot made a terrible gas station. It would make an even worse restaurant.

    • With all due respect to your carefully and succinctly written essay:

      THE BIG CITY
      The big city often has many “O” changes.
      The city has lots of noisy things especially near busy streets like Glendale AND Sunset!
      People who live in the big city patronize places as proposed for entertainment and a source of food and drink.
      This is probably only the beginning for this area.

      SOLUTION
      Move to a suburb in San Bernadino. The TGI Fridays is at least 3 miles away! YAY! And they NEVER have live music!

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