An ABC7 TV news crew descended upon Echo Park on Friday to shoot scenes for a story on city tax breaks for new businesses. With close up images of Sunset Boulevard storefronts flashing on the screen, reporter John North is heard to say: “The lousy economy has turned this into a common sight: padlocked or boarded up businesses with no new tenants in line.” But anyone trying to move into those so-called “padlocked or boarded up businesses” will probably meet resistance from the current occupants, Lot 1 Cafe and the Echo Curio. Both businesses on Sunset Boulevard near Laveta Terrace were apparently closed when the news crew took shots of their gates and padlocks (no store signs were shown). The rainbow-colored Echo Curio storefront hosted a performance on Saturday night, and Eileen Leslie, owner of a Lot 1, said she will soon expand her hours late into the evening.
As for the new tax break, Leslie notes that it won’t help her or any other of the neighboring merchants since it’s only for new businesses that generate more than $500,000 a year in sales.