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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Echo Park restaurant owner responds to his critics

Why wouldn’t Echo Park welcome the renovation of a long-shuttered eyesore, the creation of new jobs and a fun new place to eat, drink and hang out?  Many Echo Park residents, however, are not rolling out the welcome mat for  a 216-seat restaurant that businessman Tony Yanow is now building inside the former Studio One theater. They worry about the additional traffic and noise and a shortage of parking the Sunset Boulevard restaurant and other nearby projects will bring to their corner of the neighborhood. They have not been shy about their objections to Yanow’s restaurant – which The Eastsider wrote about in January – and other nearby developments. They have organized like-minded resident,  launched a new blog, Echo Park Life, and lined up opposition to Yanow’ liquor license.

The strong opposition has caught Yanow off guard. The former Internet entrepreneur claims some residents are misrepresenting information about his restaurant, which is going to require  almost all of his life savings to open early next year. He said his restaurant will provide more than enough parking – through a valet service – and has been designed to minimize noise:

The building that I am renovating requires a huge amount of upgrading to meet current building codes and requirements.  I am making a tremendous investment to fix it up, but also keep its charm and character.  Gone are the heaps of trash, rats, and falling down bricks that were there just weeks ago.  The newly revamped building will be in keeping with the vibe and ethic of Echo Park and its residents.  It’ll be an unpretentious and fun place that the whole family can enjoy.”

Yanow’s Click on the link below to read the rest of Yanow’s defense of his restaurant:

First of all the, restaurant (still unnamed) is set to open around the first of the year. It is being built in the old dilapidated eyesore that was once a beautiful theater, but was left to rot unoccupied for about 20 years.  Certainly the residents prefer to have a business of some sort there over a broken down building.  An attractive local spot increases property values, a dump decreases them.  A nice place inhibits crime and undesirable elements, uninhabited buildings foster them.

The building is about 400 feet from one of California’s busiest intersections, Sunset and Alvarado.  This area was designated as an “enterprise zone” long ago to promote commerce in the area.  Sadly, many businesses have failed or moved leaving plenty of vacancies on this once thriving block.

The building that I am renovating requires a huge amount of upgrading to meet current building codes and requirements.  I am making a tremendous investment to fix it up, but also keep its charm and character.  Gone are the heaps of trash, rats, and falling down bricks that were there just weeks ago.  The newly revamped building will be in keeping with the vibe and ethic of Echo Park and its residents.  It’ll be an unpretentious and fun place that the whole family can enjoy.

Some of the misinformation that is swirling includes:

Parking:  I am doing 3 things to mitigate concerns about parking and I have one suggestion for the local residents.  First, I have secured ample parking.  In fact I have dozens more spots than the city is requiring me to have.  They will be valet only, for just $3.00 which is a tiny amount to pay even for a drive in parking lot.  Any business that goes into this space, a movie theater, retail store, cabaret, whatever is going to need parking.  Second, I am installing bike racks to encourage people to use non motorized transportation.  I did the same in Burbank and we attract a ton of cyclists.  Third, a sign will be posted out front asking patrons to please not park in the neighborhood streets and to please keep voice down when leaving after 9PM.
I have spoken to many residents who say the parking problem is already an issue with or without new businesses.  this problem was here before me and it will be here whether this business goes in or not.  I totally understand this problem and I would not want to have trouble parking in front of my house either.  A solution that is easy and inexpensive and works all over Los Angeles is ‘resident only’ parking placards.  I used live in an area that required them and it solved all of our parking issues.

Noise:  Most of this building’s floor is below grade.  There are no windows or doors except those on Sunset.  The current building has holes in the roof and a big opening in the back.  All of the holes are being professionally closed.  All noise will stay within the well insulated building (roof well insulated, being below grade is the best insulation I can think of) or go out onto Sunset where street noise will drown it out.  This is a very busy stretch of Sunset, complete with a fire station.  Residents should not be concerned about noise affecting their homes.

Smoke:  This is an absolute joke.  The Brick oven being installed is the same one used by California Pizza Kitchen and many other flame oven kitchens that you see all over LA.  It will be vented to code and installed professionally.  There is absolutely no reason for anyone to be concerned about smoke.

Being close to schools and libraries:  This is a restaurant.  I am the father of a 7 year old girl and this is a place that I am excited about bringer her to.  It’s not a biker bar, a stripper club, a rock and roll venue, or anything else.  It’s a restaurant that serves farm fresh California meals grown and raised by local farmers and served with high quality beer wine and spirits if patrons so desire.  We will from time to time have live music, but this is for the enjoyment of our patrons.  We are not permitted to sell tickets to any performance or charge a cover.  I volunteered that stipulation for our Conditional Use Permit.  Music is not a big part of our business plan, it is just a nice thing to add on.  I am not in the music business and I don’t want to be in the music business.

There are a bunch of other nitpicks and negativites that have been written on http://echoparklife.wordpress.com/, but I don’t want to give them any credence as most readers can see right through the motives of the writer and the total lopsided view that she brings.  As you know from meeting me, I speak to residents, I have been to several NC meetings and various other neighborhood gatherings.  I have had nothing but positive feedback until this blog was created to damage the progress and name of the business.  I really want to be embraced by the community and I have shown my commitment in many ways, not the least of which is investing most of my life’s savings I have into an unproven retail area.

In Burbank, I recently took over an old eyesore of a bar and made it into a thriving little neighborhood pub, with thoughtful food, incredible beer and wines exclusively from California, bike racks, dog beds outside etc.  This is a place that most locals would have never entered and now it is bright and fun.  I have never had any conflicts with my neighbors and in fact the mayor of Burbank has even written me a recommendation letter because she is so impressed with how my business has been conducted.

Related Posts:
Development brings popularity an unease to a corner of Echo Park. The Eastsider
Store Front Report: A new role for a former Echo Park movie house. The Eastsider



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62 comments

  1. I can’t tell you how much the opposition to this business development angers me. I want Yarrow to know that there are Echo Park residents (like myself) who not only support but openly welcome business to the area. A fun, vibrant restaurant would be 100 times better than the vacant storefront and anything that brings business to the area will make it more appealing to other developers and residents. (Sidenote: the person behind Echo Park Life deletes any comments that don’t agree with him/her. “Lopsided” indeed.)

  2. I posted a reasoned and non-vitriolic comment in support of Yanow and his business on echoparklife.wordpress.com, and it was deleted by the blog owner. I have no affiliation with the venture whatsoever, I am just in favor of what he is doing with this space (I live only a few blocks away). The author of echoparklife.wordpress.com is clearly incapable of acknowledging the viewpoints of neighborhood residents that disagree with her.

  3. I look forward to this place, I would take a new business over seeing a homeless hangout anyday.

    It was a dump before so why is everyone making such a fuss over it? Its on sunset blvd!!! If you want to complain about parking/noise you can move to the valley where life sucks and there is ample parking 🙂

  4. Yanow has to know that EP residents are going to be split into two groups – a loud minority who scream at any hint of change in their beloved neighborhood and use hipster like its a dirty word and the majority of EP residents who are thrilled that this abandoned building will be filled with people and food and life and jobs for our neighbors and friends.

    Ignore the loud minority. They don’t speak for the community and their protests are about fear, not fact.

  5. NIMBYS are such hypocrits!

  6. I appreciate the new Echo Park Life concern that’s getting people organized, but I wish they would concentrate on the 5 story condo complex that’s opening down the street from this place.

    By ranting and raging against any and all development, they are running the risk of looking like anti-development luddites…

    Of course, I also enjoy pizza and beer and music a lot more than I enjoy 5 story condominium projects.

    So I’m biased, I suppose.

  7. This is ridiculous that an actual resident of Echo Park would ever think of blocking this establishment. It will do nothing but increase the value (and quality) of the neighborhood. I for one am sick of all the recent violence in Echo Park and changing the landscape of our community is exactly what we need. If you prefer homeless people, crime, run-down, empty, boarded up bldgs then you should seriously consider moving to another area. I would like to raise children in Echo Park in a safe environment, not in a dilapidated forgotten area of Los Angeles (which there are way too many already) just because some people claim there will be too much “smoke” or “smell” coming from pizza ovens. We as a community should thank and welcome Tony Yanow for investing in Echo Park.

    Please use your blog to do something positive for the neighborhood instead of such negativity. That’s how Echo Park ended up in the situation it was just a few short years ago when no one wanted to invest or even live here.

  8. My blog comment was directed towards echoparklife, not eastsiderla. I am glad there are blogs like eastsiderla and echoparknow w/ out agendas other than to further enhance the growth and life in Echo Park. Thank you!

  9. I welcome this restaurant to our neighborhood and can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t. Protesting this place is saying you want that block to languish. As a property owner I ask, “fix it up that old dump? Help revitalize our area? Bring more quality food and drinks to Sunset and Alvarado? So, what’s the problem here?”

    Good luck to ownership. If you do half the things you say you will, this place will be a hit and EP will be better for it.

    You have my total support.

  10. i also posted something to ‘echo park life’. as a 15 year resident of this neighborhood, i can’t tell you how excited i am that tony is bringing this to echo park. this is something the neighborhood needs, and i feel will bring folks to the hood and be nothing but a positive. i will be there on wednesday to support tony and do whatever i can.

  11. Tony Yanow: Thank you for the information. The majority of the residents of Echo Park are with you 100% and are very much looking forward to your restaurant opening.

    As an urban planner, I’m very aware that ongoing investment in a community reduces crime, increases property values, and raises the quality of life. Projects like yours are what I looked had hoped to see when I to moved to Echo Park. The current spate of violence in EP is a reminder that we still have a ways to go, and investment through new businesses is as important as ever.

    The arguments put forth by the people opposed to your restaurant are the standard NIMBYisms. “Save the neighborhood!” “Stop all development!” “Won’t somebody think of the children?” You’d think your restaurant was planned for some sleepy hamlet and not the busiest intersection on the busiest boulevard in a neighborhood directly adjacent to Downtown Los Angeles. Echo Park is a scenic place and with a lot of interesting topography and greenery, maybe that’s what’s throwing people off. The fact remains that its a dense neighborhood at the very heart of LA.

    One last point for readers who are on the fence about this restaurant: this is the kind of development we WANT. This isn’t another 99 cent store or a Save-A-Lot opening up. Its an upscale restaurant adaptively reusing a beautiful movie theater in a creative way. This is the kind of stuff a lot of us in Echo Park have been hoping for. And its not planned for some residential neighborhood up in the hills north of Sunset. Its planned for SUNSET AND ALVARDO. Enough said.

    To the Eastsider: Thank you for letting Yanow be heard. Echo Park Life is not allowing dissenting comments on their “blog”.

  12. Does anyone know which group is hosting the August 18 meeting at Barlow Hospital mentioned on Echo Park Life? I can’t find it on any of the neighborhood groups’ calendars and it seems that some of us in support of the project should be there — lest it be full of detractors and give the appearance that everyone in the neighborhood is opposed.

  13. @Ash if you find out please post the information here. I’ll be sure to tweet the hell out of it too.

  14. EP needs a face lift, and this is an excellent start. how long can we expect to wait before it’s open for business?

  15. Great post. Tony and his crew are kind people that have only brought good to neighborhoods. Take a look at what they’ve done in Burbank and it’s very clear.

  16. The echoparklife website is completely anonymous, hosted on an anonymous blogging service, with an anonymous email address. No names, address, phone, contact information of any kind. There is nothing to indicate the person who put up that site is even in Echo Park, or California for that matter. There is no reason to trust such a site, and there is absolutely no reason to assume that such a site represents any meaningful local constituency.

    Though I appreciate the theeastsiderla posting the response of Tony Yanow, this website was responsible for promoting “echoparklife” in the first place. The only possible reason for suggesting a brand new anonymous blog is represents an organized populist critique is if you are trying to promote fake controversy. And sadly, this is most definitely what the eastsider is all about.

  17. Tony, I live in Echo Park and I think that ANY development to this eyesore of a building is a good thing. Especially when it is in the hands of someone like you who obviously cares about doing something special and unique like what you are planning. I think if anything you will be significantly increasing the property value and aesthetic value of the neighborhood. Thank you for your contribution.

  18. I have no dog in this fight; I live over 3 miles away. But I do live just off Sunset Blvd in the Sunset Junction community so I do understand were the neighbors fear comes from. I would suggest the both sides, neighbors and the owners of the proposed restaurant, start talking and listing to each other. I am sure the City Council person would be happy to set up such a meeting at the local library.

  19. That place has been a run down homeless camp for years. Its great that Yanow is willing to risk so much to bring that space and stretch of Sunset back to life. Don’t worry about the squeaky NIMBYS and as others have said already they get worked up about anything and everything. I’m not 100% the concept will work but I and everybody else I’ve mentioned it to is supportive. As a 15 year resident of EP (a matter of blocks from the theater) a business owner in EP and a real estate owner in EP I commend and respect your project. Be attentive to the needs of the neighborhood but avoid defensiveness and just do what’s right. I hope you have a successful venture and bring even more vitality to area. The best of luck.

  20. I live in neighboring Silver Lake, but regularly travel past the theatre, often wondering when someone would restore it. I’m excited about Tony’s venture, mainly just for the fact that someone is going to revive this neighborhood landmark, giving it new purpose, allowing the neighborhood to enjoy it again and boosting the local economy with more business.

  21. I, too, am encouraged to see a business opening in a building that has been an Echo Park eyesore and firetrap for far too long. Parking is a problem just about anywhere here in LA where there is a modicum of vibrancy and commerce. To use this, along with a host of other erroneous excuses, in an effort to stymie business development and job creation is inexcusable. I am heartened by the fact that we’ll soon be enjoying an independently owned restaurant with a stress on California-based foodstuffs, as opposed to an impersonal chain eatery, something equally generic or worse. Personally, I’d rather see the former theater renovated into a new one, so our neighborhood would have a proper place to checkout flicks, but I’m thrilled to see Tony Yanow investing in our community. If he does it right, his restaurant will be here for years to come.

  22. “arking is a problem just about anywhere here in LA where there is a modicum of vibrancy and commerce. To use this, along with a host of other erroneous excuses, in an effort to stymie business development and job creation is inexcusable.”

    ^ This. Traffic and lack of parking is actually a pretty good metric of vitality and commerce. According to Shoup’s views in “The High Cost of Free Parking”, the best thing to do where parking is becoming an issue is to raise the rates just enough that some of the would-be parkers walk, bike, bus, or cab it to the destination instead. Ideally you have 20-25% parking vacancy at any given time.

    Whether you agree with Shoup or not, I think we can all agree is that the right answer *isn’t* to try to prevent new investment in a neighborhood that needs it.

  23. I can’t wait for this place to open. Been meaning to see you in Burbank, but from long beach it’s a heck of a drive. I’m excited to support your new business and can’t wait for it to open! As far as the detractors go, ignore them.

    People are funny, complaining about parking… maybe they should stop owning cars (cars as in plural!), or get a bike. It’s a urban neighborhood, not the ‘burbs.

    “Oh my precious street parking!”

    Get a grip, it’s THE TAXPAYERS OF CALIFORNIA who own the roads. It’s OUR parking, not yours…

  24. I can’t wait to eat at this new place! Yes, bring it on! We need more makeovers!!

  25. 90% of the stories on this blog are about shootings and crime in the neighborhood and some anon. blogger has a hardon for Tony’s new restaurant? someone ain’t smellin’ the cordite. Tony’s in Burbank is amazing, and probably a threat to high-end joints tryin’ to do the same beer-n-dogs business. Where else are you gonna get a pint of craft IPA for 5$ and a plate of farm-fresh food for another 7$? Affordable beer and food, 3$ valet and bike parking is another sign that Tony is trying to hit a price-point that fits the wallets of the community. What does Elf (resto next door to the theater) and the wineshop across the street think about all this? How about Echoplex and the rest of the ‘new’ Echo Park food and drink emporiums just a few blocks away? Didn’t the Echoplex team, and many others, try to secure the theater space years ago? Not pointing fingers but seems like there’s some bitter ‘tudes hiding behind anon. weblogging to stir up a controversy – obviously from the comments here a new, clean, affordable, welcoming business is desired over a derelict abandoned structure any day.

  26. Throw my hat into the go Tony camp – Previous comments sum it up well…

  27. The meeting on Wednesday is the Echo Park Improvement Association (EPIA) Neighborhood Issues committee. The agenda is expected to be posted on the website (epia-echopark.org) tomorrow night. See you there!

  28. I say the place would’ve been better off restored and reopened something similar to the vista theatre up Sunset Blvd. Something we no longer have in the area. Instead of all these new look alike crappy cafes and restaurants. Not exciting news at all.

  29. Way to go, Tony! I look forward to being a regular customer.

  30. @IamJacksLiver: if i recall correctly, this theater was actually gutted entirely and the floor was leveled back in the 90s, so there wasn’t much of a chance of a real restoration.

  31. WOW what an outbreak of common sense. I will be outside your restaurant DAY 1 sir. I love that people who live outside a busy intersection and a firestation are claiming an indoor restaurant will make noise. It is a shame the eastsider and echo park now blogs have even linked to the hole filled bullshit posted on “Echo Park Life” a blog not only set up SPECIFICALLY to attack this development but also a place that removes ANY comment that is even slightly against there weird vendetta.

  32. YAY!!!! finally someone has decided to do something with that place, As a kid i use to watch every movie with my family, so it’s nice to see it come alive once again 🙂

  33. I too am excited at someone re-inventing this long-empty space. Especially, something family friendly. I say if someone wants to complain about traffic + parking in Echo Park, call the Dodgers…

  34. Hello Eastsider LA Readers,

    I wanted to share with you a letter approved by the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council back in January of 2010 on the this project.

    Mr. Yanow paid very close attention to the concerns of the community and addressed them to the satisfaction of the neighborhood council.

    I think this new restaurant will add to the growth of the Echo Park Business sector. I look forward to visiting it when it opens up.

    JOSE SIGALA

    *******************************************

    GEPENC
    Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council
    PO Box 261039
    Los Angeles, CA 90026

    April 6, 2010

    Ms. Christina Toy Lee
    City of Los Angeles, Planning Department
    Expedited Processing Section
    200 N. Spring Street, Room 721
    Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Re: ZA 2009-4042-CUB, 2139 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026

    Dear Ms. Toy Lee,

    I am writing on behalf of the Board of Governors of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council (GEPENC) to inform you that that Board at its regularly scheduled meeting of January 26, 2010 voted to SUPPORT the request as presented by Mr. Tony Yanow, the Applicant for the property located at 2139 Sunset Boulevard.

    The GEPENC recommends that the Conditional Use Beverage (CUB) request, ZA 2009-4042-CUB be approved as requested with the following conditions:

    • That alcohol will only be available when the restaurant is serving food;
    • That the hours of operation be limited to: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. (Brunch) to 1 a.m. on Sunday;
    • That valet service for 30 cars be provided from 5:30 p.m. until closing, 7 days a week;
    • That other normal CUB conditions – not contradicting the aforementioned conditions – should apply.

    The owner of the EI Camino has demonstrated a willingness to work with the community and has made a commitment to be part of the community through organizations such as the
    Chamber of Commerce.

    The addition of the El Camino will bring a unique dining option to the community with its California sourced food, beer and wine, and will bring much needed economic activity to the western portion of the Downtown Echo Park area.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 213-308-2826.

    Sincerely

    JOSE SIGALA
    Board President
    Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council

  35. Gone to the movies

    I remember going to Studio 1 way back in the day and I was somewhat disappointed when it closed down…OVER 10 YEARS AGO!!!
    Something needed to take it’s place. I’d still prefer a movie theatre (keeps the kids busy) instead of another restaurant, there’s enough between Alvarado and Mohawk but then I’m not the one with the money! Good luck!

  36. It seems like nearly 100% of the commenters here are in favor of the project. I wonder if we’d see something similar at the Echo Park Life “blog” if they actually allowed comments?

  37. Who is behind this blog that is doing all of this finger pointing? echoparklife? I’ve lived here 10 years and I never heard of them before. I left comments on their page but they seem to only publish what suits them. A community blog that sensors?!? Not very Echo Park of them. Their title reads “Seeking To Preserve The Charm Of Echo Park One Building At A Time”. Do they think the broken down theater littered with trash was charming? I walk by that theater everyday. I’ve never seen it open and it is usually heaped with trash, homeless people, pigeons etc. A couple of weeks ago I noticed the construction walls go up and suddenly, it already looks 100% better. If echoparklife really wants to help the neighborhood, support this project and all of us that feel it is a great addition to Sunset and Mohawk. If they don’t they are a FRAUD!
    I don’t know who’s behind that, but I know a lot of people around here and we are all ready to welcome this business with open arms. For the few people who live right behind it, be thankful that someone is finally bringing something decent to this part of our neighborhood.

    Parking in this neighborhood has always been a problem. I have a driveway and already have problems when friends come over. I don’t think this restaurant can have much of an impact because it can’t get that much worse. They are putting in valet for $3, hell for that price my friends can just park there.

    I just joined their Twitter @2139sunset and can’t wait to hear about the opening. This project has my full support.

  38. Very excited to see all the neighborhood concern here for both sides of the story. Lets hope some of these people get involved and help make positive change for other Echo Park Community issues.

  39. def. looking fwd to a new place to eat in the park….ive been here since the 90’s and was always wondering why nobody has done anything with the place! I know that the owners of spaceland/echo a few years ago were gonna open a new place there – but then it never happened….anyways new food is always good! as long as its….good….

  40. About 2 blocks away from this is the strip of sunset that is metered, just past the 711 going downhill. I never see cars there. Parking problem solved! Can’t wait to check the place out.

  41. I live in Burbank and visit Tony’s Darts Away, on average, once every week or two. It’s the best new eatery/drinkery to come along in our town in the twelve years that I’ve lived there. I also happen to work in Silver Lake, just up the street apiece from where Tony’s new place is going in. Suffice to say, I can’t believe my luck, and right-thinking Echo Parkians will feel the same way once the place is up and running. Go Tony!

  42. As a child of the ’50s I went to the movies every weekend in this theater, which at that time was called the Ramona (ticket price: 25 cents). It disheartens me every time I pass by and see the total disrepair that’s taken hold for so many years. The plans for the restaurant sound terrific. I back this project 100 percent. Bon appetit!

  43. I am 100% in favor of this plan. Not only do I think the dilapidated theater is an eyesore and totally shady, but I am a big fan of what Yanow has done in Burbank. For over a year I worked two blocks from a little shady, dive bar… and then one day there was this bright, warm, inviting spot in it’s place. Local and other CA brews on draft, a real dart board, pool table, board games, yummy & nutritious food offerings… AND he puts a dog bed outside for anyone who happens to bring rover around – never rowdy, just a great place to enjoy life with friends. 🙂 His vision is purely in line with an “Echo Park vibe” and I foresee the Mohawk being wonderful! We should be praising Yanow for restoring an eyesore (and not knocking it down)!

  44. Well I hope the place is all its hyped up to be or at least suffices my belly when I walk down the hill with a nice buzz. I’ll give it a try.

  45. Tony’s place in Burbank is a gem. Tony is a nice guy trying to bring something good to this area. I used to live a few blocks from this intersection and it’s a disaster, both traffic and development-wise. It’s sad to see him getting treated like this.

  46. I support this renovation and the introduction of this new neighborhood restaurant. I am walking distance from it and can’t wait to try it when it opens.

  47. Hats off to Yanow for taking this on and doubly so for his decision to keep as much of the original architecture intact as possible. Sadly,I can’t remember a time when that spot wasn’t a eyesore.
    Ignore the neighborhood naysayers, they’re never happy with renovation unless it’s a 99¢ store, a check cashing / payday scammer or a shitty fast food restaurant.

  48. Here’s a shot of the place I took almost 20 years ago:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr-rollers/4376669384/in/set-72157610767192508/

    As you can see, the “New nagment” never did much with it. I’ve been to Tony’s fine place in Burbank and I’m looking forward to him making this place an asset to the neighborhood. I’ll walk or bike there.

  49. Could someone clarify – is there any relationship between the anonymous authors of theeastsiderla and the anonymous authors of echoparklife? Are any of the same people writing for both websites?

    Without the theeastsiderla’s vigorous attempts to promote the “many Echo Park residents” represented by echoparklife, that website would have been unknown and completely ignored. And since NO ONE is publicly associated with that website, how does the eastslder know there’s “many” residents involved, as opposed to a single random crank, who may or may not even be a resident?

    • @ Jason. Sorry but my Blackberry was on the blink and could not respond sooner. No anonymous authors here. Just click on the About link on the home page. I’m not connected with the group behind Echo Park Life. We happen to live in the same neighborhood. I used the word “many” based on my conversations with the persons involved with the group and talks with others who live in that area and share the same concerns. I don’t link to blogs based on how big or popular they are – or if I agree or disagree with their point of view.

  50. eastsider isn’t anonymous…

  51. hell yes.. bring this restaurant on!
    Living two blocks away, I can tell you… it is NEEDED! Our food options are garbage here and there are almost no ‘nice’ places to have a glass of wine at. I welcome Tony!

  52. Jason, go to the The Eastsider’s home page, to the bottom, you can click on a link that takes you to a bio of the gentleman who runs the site. It’s far from anonymous.

  53. I love the Tony fan club on these comments. More Burbank/Glendale people to drive over and come to the new place in Echo Park. Hooray. Have fun parking at the valet. This is a joke.

  54. Thank you for clarifying that, The Eastsider. I was careless with describing this post as anonymous, since it is presumably written by one of the five listed writers.

    Since the comments on here have been 100% in favor of this new restaurant, I’d be curious to know more about the un-named group behind the echoparklife website you’ve been promoting.

  55. @Kate

    Why would be need to use the valet? Most of the people responding here sound like they live in the neighborhood. So we’ll be walking over to enjoy our pizza and pints, thank you very much!

  56. Aldo Thee Apache

    @ Chris L

    Haters gotta hate. Sounds like Kate is just grasping for straws.

  57. There is not a better businessman in all of Los Angeles!!! Mr. Yanow goes above and beyond when it comes to renovating and opening businesses in Los Angeles neighborhoods, considering the impact to inhabitants and future patrons. You only need to go as far as Burbank to see the success of his new establishment, Tony’s Darts Away, and what a tremendous, positive impact it has already had on the neighborhood. Educate yourselves, and don’t allow the misinformed opinions of others to taint your views!

  58. I can not believe that residents of a neighborhood would rather see a shut down building with who knows what inside and keeping other businesses at bay. I guess as they say, misery does love company. I can see if this restaurant was taking the place of some park, or a library.. but an old decaying building that has been closed for years and is nothing buy an eyesore!!!????? Come on…. you live in LA, parking, driving and anything else to do with our car culture is a mess here. This restaurant will not make it worse for anyone. Oh and by the way, I am a resident of Silverlake, I will gladly go here, and just like the patrons of the restaurants around my house do, I will park where is permitted.

  59. This is absolutely preposterous. I have been to Tony’s restaurant in Burbank and you could not have a better run establishment that is incredibly respectful of the neighborhood. Once visit and it’s obvious that the neighborhood has embraced his restaurant as a result. Though I don’t live in Echo Park, I of course have passed by that area many times. This isn’t a wild life preserve with endangered animals that must be preserved at all costs. This is an extremely busy chunk of concrete in the middle of LA. What are these residents thinking? Tony is making their neighborhood more desirable and will bring a positive element to their community. I personally live in a very densely populated and utilized neighborhood in West Hollywood. I always find it humorous when a new business owner tries to come into the neighborhood and there’s some misguided resident(s) talking about the neighborhood like it’s Yosemite or something. You live in a city, get over yourselves!

  60. I went to the EPIA meeting last night and was really impressed by the presentation and discussion. I think the owner missed a major point made by one of the local residents. Mia was basically asking Tony to do some outreach to Spanish speakers and his response was to throw it back, saying SHE should organize something. Why does being a concerned resident have to end up being a part-time job?! Tony, the proper response would have been: you’re right, maybe I should send out someone or at least some materials to engage our diverse community.

    I can’t wait for Tony’s new restaurant, but hope with all the nice organic food, the price tag will not make my wallet bleed.

    And about parking, what about the under-utilized parking lots of Von’s and Rite-Aid. Can’t we do something to get them turned into nice “public parking” instead of the eyesores they are?

  61. you know whats a good example of a great restaurant that both the EP newbies and long-time residents enjoy…MASA. the food is delicious, affordable for a nice dinner, the owners engage the community, and the people who work there are awesome. I agree with EP lover, Tony should totally make an effort to engage the spanish speaking community, its a changing place, it not Burbank. I love that someone is finally using that place (altho i it wish is was opened as a movie theater like the Vista), but it is not enough to go a community like Echo Park and put some paint on the walls, it takes some human to human engagement. Fancy food ain’t gonna change anything.

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