Waiting for the booze and customers to start flowing again at an Echo Park restaurant

A fan of Echo Park’s new The Park cafe sent out an S.O.S. to residents after finding only three of the restaurant’s tables occupied on what should have been a busy Saturday night. The new cafe and its owners were apparently feeling the fallout after being forced to abandon their BYOB and no corkage fee policy early last month.

“It seems that when they got ‘outed’ for their BYOB policy, their clientele fell horribly,” wrote Lynn Cohen on the Echo Elysian Forum. “We can do a couple of things: Go eat there!! Also, call Ed Reyes’s office (213) 473-7001 and ask them to expedite the issuance of the Park’s liquor license.”

Dropping the BYOB policy has hurt but it’s one of several challenges facing The Park and other restaurants, said manager Ruth Kim in an email. “Restaurants are typically slow after the holiday season and in the current economic climate eating out is one of the first things to go, throw in the no BYO and those are tough odds for any restaurant. Although our sales are down we are by no means out.”

In addition to seeking the alcohol licenses and permits, Kim mentioned that the restaurant began opening Tuesday nights with a $15, three-course deal and plans to soon start serving lunch.

“We are looking forward to being able to continue to be a gathering place for this community and hopefully we will all be able to lift a glass and [give] cheers to that sooner than later.”

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