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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Storefront Report: New Sunset Boulevard restaurant seeks support from Echo Park council

Echo Park, restaurants

Rendering of Ostrich Farm dining room | Ostrich Farm

ECHO PARK — Back in January The Eastsider reported that a new restaurant was in the works in the former Sunset Boulevard space once occupied by Nuvia’s Restaurant & Pupuseria. Now, the owners of the new restaurant, called Ostrich Farm, are trying to win support to change the existing alcohol license so they would be able to serve a full range of beer, wine and cocktails and also extend evening hours of the 49-seat restaurant.  Tonight, Ostrich Farm’s request for an upgraded liquor license will be reviewed by the Echo Park neighborhood council as some residents have complained about the growing numbers of places that serve alcohol on Sunset Boulevard.

Ostrich Farm would be located in the 1500 block of Sunset Boulevard near Lot 1 Cafe, which hosts live entertainment and is allowed to stay open until 4 a.m. But Ostrich Farm co-owners Jaime Turrey, a local chef, and  Brook Fruchtman, a museum executive, say they will not have bands or dancing. They are seeking city permission to stay open until 2 a.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays.

The restaurant plans a farm-to-table menu that will feature locally-sourced foods, with possible menu items including anchovy and burrata toasts, dungeness crab cakes  and smoked briskett on house rolls for a late night menu.   “Although new restaurants are coming into the neighborhood, there are still very few that serve the type and quality of food proposed by Ostrich Farm at a reasonable price point,” according to an Ostrich Farm presentation. “This is a true ‘neighborhood restaurant” designed by and for the locals.”

Tonight’s meeting of the Greater Echo Park Neighborhood Council is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Click here for an agenda and location information.

 



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28 comments

  1. Good morning Eastsider,

    Just a note of clarification. We have moved on from the proposed patio as our plan was met with understandable concerns regarding noise, etc. Perhaps we will revisit the idea of the patio in the future with a comprehensive plan that will account for the concerns that were expressed in the Planning and land use meetings. For now, we are seeking later weekend hours and an extension of our existing beer and wine permit
    best,

    Jaime

    • Thanks. The story has been updated to reflect your new info.

    • That’s too bad! It seems silly to me that we have so few places in the neighborhood where we can eat outside. I’m closer to Sunset Junction, and in this area there are very few restaurants or bars with outdoor seating, apart from a few sidewalk tables right next to the traffic of Sunset Blvd. With the weather we have all year long, I really wish that we had more ability to enjoy it while enjoying a meal or a drink in the neighborhood!

    • Kenny, you are absolutely right, with the beautiful weather we have in Southern California, you’d think there would be more outdoor eating in the area. However, in this case, the proposed outdoor seating will be surrounded entirely by residential property. Most the properties around this restaurant are mixed use, with commercial on Sunset and residences behind. To bring the commercial into the residence space will inevitably bring opposition. This view was very clearly stated at the Planning meeting of the neighborhood council.
      I think the best use of that space in the short term would be to turn it into a thriving food garden that produces some of the food used in the restaurant. You can’t get anymore local than that.

    • Jaimey! Don’t give in to the naysayers… An outdoor space in LA is a must have… Your restaurant deserves it.. Looking forward to a tasty meal at your establishment.. Stick to it an don’t give up!! Best wishes and best of luck with your new venture.. much success to you.

  2. Lol ? By locals ?
    I love how people move to Echo Park and then call themselves “locals”
    Im sorry , who are these people ?
    I doubt the prices will be inclusive to the economic variations of the neighborhood .
    Signed ,
    Echo Park dweller since 1967

    • Echo Park resident

      As far as I’m concerned, if you live in Echo Park, you are my neighbor. I don’t care if you’ve lived here for 40 years or 4 months. Everyone in this amazing neighborhood deserves respect. Acting like your length of residency gives you some sort of agency to demand what others can or cannot call themselves/who can or cannot claim residency to the place they live is divisive and rude.

    • Grahm Wellington

      How does one explain the ebb and flow of life to a person who expects everything to stay the same?

      Numa, how is it relevant that you have been in the neighborhood since 1967? Is it your wish to see no one “new” move into the neighborhood bringing investment and jobs? Do feel like your tenure gives you more rights or say-so? Perhaps your money is somehow more “green” than a person who has only been here 10 years. How are you more of a local because of how long you have lived in one spot? When does one achieve this glorious “local” status? Is it 5 years, 10 years or do we all have to wait 46 years to be considered your equal? Is there a ceremony where they give you a letterman style jacket that says “LOCAL” on the back? I would guess that only other locals could attend.

      Please Numa, grant us all this sacred knowledge so we can strive to be “local” like you.

      • I think that numa has a point that you’re missing. Length of time is somewhat subjective, but long time residents, say since childhood, do have a perspective on the neighborhood not seem by johnny come lately residents who are able to pay high rents and eat and shop at trendy upscale venues. Increasingly, EP (and SL) is disconnecting from long time residents who aren’t able to afford such pricey options. This is about gentrification, pure and simple. For me as a Silver Lake resident since early childhood (late 1950s), the same holds. As much as possible I just put it on ignore and do my eating and shopping elsewhere. The less I intersect with hipsters and yupsters, the better, because for most of my life that’s not what my neighborhood was about. I can’t control how demographics change, sure enough, but that doesn’t mean that I have to welcome the hordes of snotty newcomers that found this place so cool that they decided to reinvent it to suit their cash-rich tastes. Whether the cash comes from mom and dad, a trust fund or a high end job, it does seem to be pouring in and the long term residents who have none of the above don’t intersect and feel pushed out. Naturally they will resent the newcomers and try to stand on their long term connections to their neighborhoods. So at least respect that while you have a high priced treat at some trendy venue.

        • “The less I intersect with hipsters and yupsters, the better, because for most of my life that’s not what my neighborhood was about.”

          What an awful way to live your life.

          • Sorry, but I have noticed a new –I’ll call it a pattern, in an effort to be gentle — of people moving into the neighborhood who don’t make eye contact or say hello back when greeted on the street. Maybe they’re not yet used to the new neighborhood–or maybe Echo Park is more interactive than what they’re used to–but it is a noticeable change in the last few years, and it is a little saddening. I too have days where I want to get home and away from the hipsters and yupsters.

        • Echo Park resident

          So glad to know that you’re the kind of “long time resident” who will automatically write me off just because I’m a certain age and dress in a particular way that makes you assume I’m part of the “hipster yuppy class.”

          Not all young people who live in Silver Lake/Echo Park are trust fund babies with high paying jobs. There are a good deal of us who work normal-paying jobs in non-glamorous industries, who have paid our way through school and rely only on our own incomes to pay rent + other expenses. Yes, drymtn — it’s totally possible to be non-Hispanic and not a rich, trust fund tool! Imagine that!

        • I don’t understand all of the anger towards people that you label as “hipsters”. Does it really mean that you just resent young people who are diverse and have a higher expectation of lifestyle? What does a hipster look like other than just being young and vibrant? Or maybe it’s just a word you use to identify white people.

    • Farm to table + cocktails til 2 am = exclusive prices.
      Anyone can do that math, no matter how long they have lived in EP or how sarcastic they are.

    • Jefferson Echoparkoff

      I have been a resident since 1906 – I was always mad EVERY TIME somebody new moved in and fell in love with Echo Park and made it their home.

      People kept moving in – having families – starting new businesses! Enjoying MY TOWN!!!!! CURSE THEM ALL!!!!!

      I wish that NO ONE would have moved in so it could now be an abandoned ruin haunted by the ghost of Xenophobia!!!!

  3. New EP enterpreneurs: don’t be fooled by the comments section on this site, many of us are happy to have you and support your efforts over those of the bureaucratic city political machine any day of the week.

    Good luck with the alcohol license, I have no idea why it’s so hard for restaurants to get booze licenses. It’s not the short stop we’re talking about here.

  4. I do agree, though, with the idea that a range of prices on the menu would be nice, so that the clientele of this new place is not locked in above a certain income level. Maybe some thought could go into how to make sure a new restaurant can include people at a mix of income levels (if that is a goal of the restaurant owners.) Nuvia’s was super affordable–and obviously a new restaurant is a brand new thing–but wouldn’t it be great if the new restaurant at the old Nuvia’s spot had some affordable things on the menu.

    Maybe desserts or appetizers could be offered and priced in such a way that even if (I’ll use myself as an example here) I can’t necessarily afford a full dinner with cocktails, I could stop in for a snack, or meet a friend and get out of the house for a beer or a glass of wine without total anxiety.

    Also happy hour is always a good way to provide a window of lower prices for a fixed time, so people who like to try new places but can’t afford the regular menu, can come and experience a new restaurant.

  5. !!!WELCOME WELCOME WELCOME!!!!

    All this new economic activity is a GREAT thing for Echo Park. Keep the streets lively with restaurants, shops. Powerwash those grimey sidewalks, pick up the trash… Get that street improvement project going (that can’t happen soon enough).

    Thanks for setting up shop Ostrich Farm.. and bring your friends and their friends.. There are lots of rundown threadbare empty storefronts that could be turned into some great places to shop, eat and play.

    Anyone for a Ramen Place, Indian, Caribbean or more places like Square One at the Boathouse, and Guisados would make that stretch of Sunset a great place.. keep em coming please. oh and a bakery like Lark or an Echo Park version of Alcove would be sweet.

    More please!

    • Having lived in Echo Park since 1870, my family has roots going back to the 1600s, I heartily approve this message!

  6. How exciting! It will be great to have some new choices in the neighborhood and how nice that it’s actually people who live here. Welcome to the neighborhood!

  7. Graham Wellington why are you so to the point of comedy ,angry ?
    Yeah um the ebb and flow of my life has been in Echo Park .
    I have a business here , went to all the local schools here, i have friends and family here that i have known since childhood and that have all made positive contributions to this community .
    I have raised children here and have amazing memories here and still continue to build more .
    I cant help this is where my parents build a life for my siblings and i , and surprise to some peoples ignorance , we are not all gang bangers ,or losers thank god !
    When publications ask for old photos of Echo Park , guess what ? The locals provide them , along with a rich verbal history of an amazing part of Los Angeles that im proud to call home and am happy that people Are what i say re-discovering .
    So before you act like i shouldn’t be proud of where i grew up and build a life , ease up on your position of judging people that have been here for a long time. We contribute in ways you do not know .
    In the meantime you can find me at my “local” hang out the echo or taix or cuttin ‘ a rug at the short stop … Im a local hipster , and damned proud!
    For further clarification , look up the word local .
    Cheers my neighbor.

    • Oh Numa,
      1967 is not so long, I’ve been here since 1870 = real local.

    • Plus, you make a very angry sounding initial post and then act surprised at people’s response. Please have the courage of your initial convictions:
      “Lol ? By locals ?
      I love how people move to Echo Park and then call themselves “locals”
      Im sorry , who are these people ?
      I doubt the prices will be inclusive to the economic variations of the neighborhood .
      Signed ,
      Echo Park dweller since 1967″

      EP since 1870.

    • Grahm Wellington

      @numa

      So I took your advise and looked up the word local, numa.
      .
      Local (adj.)
      “belonging or relating to a particular area or neighborhood, typically exclusively so.”

      Uhm, by that definition, one is local to where ever they live.

      If nice businesses open here in Echo Park and they survive, that means there is a demand. Simple economics. That you are uncomfortable with change is a different issue.

      Maybe you need to start using a term different than “local” to describe yourself. May I suggest xenophobe.

  8. Where to begin…
    I could live without another bar in Echo Park being open til 2am. Another restaurant/bar open til 2am also means the possibility of another food truck or hot dog vendor parked on Sunset which leads to more trash on our streets. Sure, they provide trash cans but when their customers eat their food on the way back to their car on Sunset, l;a Veta, Portia, Scott, Sutherland, Quintero, Douglas, etc….their leaving their trash on the streets. I’m all for new business as long as it doesn’t come at the cost of making our neighborhoods trashy. I’d love to see more trash bins go up around Echo Park, especially Sunset Blvd. with new signage that reads “Keep Echo Park Beautiful” on our light posts or even posted on businesses. We have many visitors that come to Echo Park to play especially on weekends, it’s time we tell them to be respectful. It’s long overdue.

    • 1. The Echo Park Beautification Project, which is going to add new and more trash cans to Sunset Blvd, will address the lack of trash receptacles you bring up. Please look into that project more, as it has additional improvements that will brighten up our sidewalks.

      2. The type of individuals who patronize restaurants like this are not the same type of people who stay out drinking at the Gold Room until 2am, stumble onto the sidewalk and buy hot dogs from street vendors. Do you see, for example, Alumette or Red Hill diners stumbling out of the restaurant and vomiting all over the street? Or are these younger people, maybe even teenagers/young adults not of legal drinking age?

      The fact of the matter is that specialty restaurants — especially small, local restaurants with things like “anchovies” and “crab cakes” on the menu — are patronized by a more mature crowd. These are people looking for a nice evening out with their spouse, partner or friends and generally know how to behave in public. They’re not the kind of people who are downing shots at the dinner table with their appetizers. (Also, I’m guessing this restaurant wants to have “specialty” cocktails — not cheap Shortstop well drinks designed to get people wasted.) I don’t think the teens who hang out at Lot 1 to see punk shows even have the type of disposable income required to have a sit down dinner at anything but a fast food or fast casual restaurant.

      • A. Red Hill and Alumette dont stay open past 11 or midnight.
        B. The cheap well drinks arent the only items on The Short Stop’s menu. They’ve upgraded their whiskey, wine, bourbon, mezcal, and offer new cocktails and have eliminated the Wesnesday night riff raff who used to go in by hiring a different DJ.

  9. i hope the place is a success and becomes a fixture in our neighborhood. As for all the bashing of the neighborhood newbies : I was born here and welcome anyone who is kind and respects the rights of others. Parking in our little town os really tough, so if there are more places we can walk or bike to its really a plus. From farm to table on foot . LOCAL !!!

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