Proposed Echo Park video arcade-restaurant moves on while councilman moves in

The video game enthusiasts who wanted to open up a combination  restaurant-bar-arcade in a former Echo Park laundromat have given up on the Sunset Boulevard storefront, setting their sights on a different location. So, what’s going into the former Laundromat on Sunset?  Councilman Mitch O’Farrell wants to lease the nearly 4,000-square-foot space for the Council District 13 field office, according to a City Council motion.

The current Council District 13 field office, which is located on the fourth floor of an office building in Hollywood, lacks on-site parking for guests and  street level access, according to the motion. The Echo Park location apparently is more convenient. Says the motion:

Council District 13 has identified suitable office space at 1722 W. Sunset Boulevard that will provide street level access and convenient parking in a City-owned parking lot. Council District 13, along with the Department of General Services, has been working with the landlord of the proposed new building to develop a draft term sheet for a lease agreement.

The city would pay more than $12,000 a month for rent and maintenance for the Echo Park space, according  to proposed lease terms. The motion does not say how that cost compares to what the city currently pays for the Hollywood space.

Meanwhile, the people behind the proposed restaurant-bar-arcade said they are looking at another space in Echo Park.

“We are currently finalizing a lease on a great new space in a different area of Echo Park,” said Gabe Fowlkes. “We really appreciate all the support and encouragement we’ve received from local residents and business owners and we remain committed to bringing Echo Park our unique mix of quality food and vintage arcade games.”


  1. Twelve thousand dollars a month? Really? Is this market rent, or just plain landlord greed?

  2. Do these councilmen, assemblymen, etc, not realize that not putting great tenants in these spaces will actually hurt the neighborhood? This is a walkable part of sunset… get these assemblymen and councilmen out of retail and into office space where they belong.

    Hey Mr. Landlord… you do not want office tenants in your retail space, it will hurt your building vibe.

    For the guy balking at 12k… learn about the avg rents/ft on sunset before you whine about total rents.. 3/ft is not a bad price for this area… also, you have no idea what kind of incentives the landlord is going to throw in.

    • Echo Park resident

      Blame the NIMBYs on the Neighborhood Council. They were against the arcade from the get go because they’re all local geezers who can’t fathom why a place with video games should be restricted to 21+ only and think Echo Park has too much nightlife. Seriously, they’re the worst and kill/scare off any good ideas businesspeople bring to the neighborhood.

      • You do realize the barcade guys never pulled a permit for the space, right? Also they lied about community organizations supporting them. These guys are dilettantes, not serious business people – definitely should not be running a bar in the middle of echo park! (We’ll see if they actually try to open some where else – rubber, meet road).

        As far as I could tell, GEPENC’s planning committee gave reasonable advice to the project proponent to try to help the project get approval.

        Don’t know if Mitch is the right tenant but I will bet that the space will be much more trafficked than De Leon’s office.

  3. It seems very bizarre that the restaurant arcade were people unable to open in this laundromat space but then coincidentally Councilman Mitch O’Farrell swoops in to rent the prime spot.

    The restaurant arcade people clearly have the money and appropriate requirements if they are opening somewhere else in EP but suspiciously were not allowed this laundromat spot while a politician who has a lot of control over the fate of new businesses gets the spot….

  4. Gkad to hear our councilman is moving there! This is terrific news.

  5. This would not be good, it’ll create a dead gap in an otherwise very walkable commercial strip, just like Senator De Leon’s office created a dead zone next to Masa. Bring something useful here, not an office space!

  6. The restaurant/bar/arcade should open in the Highland Park area. The rent will be slightly less.

  7. What’s the benefit for Mitch paying 12,000 dollars when he can get a suitable space cheaper. Does he think hes going to engraciate himself buy being in the middle of a thriving retail district at the expense of more business?

  8. I wonder what the square footage of the Hollywood office is? This seems like a lot of space for a field office. How many people will be working here?

  9. Mr. Mitchell, you should check the Citibank building not far away, there is plenty of parking, the place is ready for office and handicap access, and the rent is much lower than that and is available, it use to house The Foursquare organization.

  10. This is so inconsiderate to the community. We want a business we can frequent…not a self-righteous, self-centered politician’s office so the politician can feel all warm and fuzzy about what a good person he is.

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