Echo Park gas station mermaids greet new customers

One of the mosaic mermaid at new Echo Park gas station

What’s with the mermaids at Echo Park’s new gas station? A mermaid depicted on an outdoor mosaic mural gazes out at customers pumping gas. Inside, another mermaid floats over the soda and coffee machines. As the Eastsider reported back in May, the underwater motif for the United Oil station and convenience store at Sunset Boulevard and Portia Street was the idea of owner Jeff Appel, whose chain of service stations are known for taking an artistic and whimsical approach to gas station design.

The mermaids – who float amid elaborate scenes of fish and coral – don’t have names, but the mermaid by the front door is named after Appel’s neice, Chelsea.


  1. Nice! Welcome. Could you take over the former Magic Gas on Morton & Echo Park Ave too? Construction on it has been idle for quite some time.. It would use a dose of whimsy.

  2. What a great fit for Echo Park. The effort to add beauty to the neighborhood rather than the same corporate BLAH is enough to get me to patronize this place!

  3. I have never been so excited about a gas station and convenience store opening before. Thank you Jeff Appel for investing in Echo Park!

  4. But why doesn’t it have a diesel pump?

    WHYYYYYY?! 🙁

  5. This gas station has already been tagged multiple times by the gang terrorists in Echo Park.

  6. Great! A gas station. How 1950’s of Echo Park. Now how approving the building of some new dense mixed-use developments.

    • HUH? Should we not have convenient places to fuel the millions of cars we have in LA? Oh I think you mean if we didn’t have any fueling stations, we wouldn’t have as many cars… Great Logic. Running for office any time soon?

      • Your conclusion is as single use as this gas station. Stay car dependent. Who gives a f*ck! What I was commenting on was the ease at which something like this goes through the neighborhood approval process with ease that can only do one dumb thing while mixed-use residential proposals (where humans can actually live) are met with fainting in the aisles.

        • Echo Park resident

          Perhaps you are new to this area and didn’t know that this had been a gas station for many, many years and was already zoned as such. This was just the product of a long renovation. That’s probably why it went up “so quickly” in your mind — this actually has been under construction for about a year.

    • Dude, there’s only one gas station on all of sunset between Vermont and Downtown. Are you seriously going to argue that another isn’t needed? Only one means more unnecessary driving, and more traffic at Sunset and Alvarado. I mean, I take public transport whenever possible, but that’s a little extreme.

  7. Looks like the Aquarius in Laughlin Nevada! UUUUUGGGGGGLLLLYYYYY!!!!!! I give this place a year like everything else in this poor neighborhood. DAMN G’s

  8. I LOVE it! The fact that this company spends time and money on creating a gas station that is waaaay more creative than any other gas station around is enough for me to give them my business. Thanks for understanding that people do respond to art. it might not be my kind of art, but it doesn’t mean i don’t appreciate that this company spends much time and money to add some beauty to their place of business. LOVE it!!!! As a long time Echo Parker, I say WELCOME, Ms Mermaid!

  9. I don’t care if there are unicorns on the gas station, as long as it pumps gas. About effing time… Praise be to mermaid fan gas station man!

  10. Not particularly my taste, but I appreciate the intention behind the decor. Drove past the other day and noticed the very (comparatively) low prices! Welcome to the neighborhood.

  11. Funny, and fun. Reminds me of that whimsical one-liner comedian from the UK, Milton Jones:

    “Old ladies in wheelchairs with blankets over their legs, I don’t think so
retired mermaids.”

  12. Ride a bike!

    • Echo Park resident

      Because that’ll work really well for my 30 mile commute to work!

      Some people have to use cars for a reason. I hate the busybodies who think they automatically know what’s best for me and my commute. Sorry I’m unable to find work closer to home and sorry I’m unable to move closer to my work because of my income!

      • If my comment doesn’t apply to you then don’t blame me for your sh*tty commute. You chose it! But for all others get out of your stupid cars.

    • So C. Phylis how do you propose I take my family camping in the desert? Do we all get on our bikes and ride up the 395 out to Death Valley…..on our bikes???

      When my elderly mother flys into LAX should I expect her to get on a bike and ride to the top of the hill in Echo Park? Or do you think she shouldn’t fly and ride a bike all the way to California?

      Your thinking is myopic.

      Bike riding is great, I support it, but you seem to be a one-trick-pony….and anti-car. Your responses always reek of immaturity when it comes to considering other peoples’ lifestyles.

      I am a vegan, yet I do not preach and expect all people to live the same way I do.

      People are stopping at gas stations to fuel their car for many reasons.

      Check yo’ self.

  13. quite lovely…in a neighborhood of developmental eyesores, it is, refreshing to see something beautiful and refreshing. Kudos to the designer.

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