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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Councilman Garcetti joins opposition against Elysian Heights alcohol permit

Councilman Eric Garcetti has joined school board president  Monica Garcia in opposing  a request by Fix Coffee to serve beer and wine across the street from Elysian Heights Elementary School.  Garcia  had requested that Garcetti oppose Fix Coffee’s alcohol permit because the corner coffee house  is too close to the school at Echo Park Avenue and Baxter Street.  Julie Wong, a spokeswoman for Council District 13, issued this statement:

After listening to community members on both sides and giving the issue careful consideration, Council President Garcetti decided to oppose the permit because he feels it is not quite right for the location at this time.

Garcia’s unexpected opposition was made public Wednesday morning  during a  hearing before a city Zoning Administrator over Fix’s request to obtain a beer and wine permit. The Zoning Administrator is expected to issue a recommendation in the following weeks.

Plans by Fix Coffee owner Marc Gallucci to expand his Echo Park Avenue cafe and serve beer and wine in a primarily residential neighborhood has generated mixed reaction from nearby residents.  His permit request was approved by the Echo Park neighborhood council.



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74 comments

  1. I see we have another candidate for office weighing in on the issue, when the entire time they were a resident of the neighborhood you never heard a word from them in regards to any of the neighborhood issues. Garcetti is pro-business, but only when it suits him. Go push another condo development through Mr. Garcetti.

  2. Not surprising, Garcetti only comes down from his ivory tower on Sunset and Vine to close a medical pot clinic or somthing that will get him headlines. You never see him doing anything that will actually help our community. Just take a walk down sunset blvd. if you can without tripping over the homeless encampment at Sunset and Fountain on the sidewalk. He cant seem to do anything about that.

  3. A resounding boo to Garcetti – how about dealing with the REAL issues in Echo Park?

  4. Why don’t Ms Garcia and Mr. Garcetti worry about providing these kids with a
    decent education and let the community decide what they what in their neighborhood . Garcetti is always talking about community and grassroots involvement but the bottom line is he is just doing what he thinks is the most benificial to his political career

  5. Hey folks, here’s a thought. If you’re really that upset why don’t you actually tell him instead of just complaining on a blog???

    Agree with him or not (and there are plenty of things he does I disagree with), it seems pretty clear that he changed his position because he heard enough complaints about it.

    Really. At the end of the day we all have the politicians we deserve, representing the views of those who demand the loudest to be listened to (where it’s by $$ of by volume of voices).

  6. …and this guy wants to be mayor. I have no desire to vote for someone who buys these warmed over slippery scope, “think of the children”arguments. I like Eric but he seems too quick to fold to the will of developers and NIMBYs at the expense of the broader community and small business.

    I would have expected him to be smart enough to see though the contrived school excuse and recognize it is just a ploy by those who have unhinged fears about Fix becoming a Hooters.

    Eric will find that he is firmly against popular and sensible opinion on this. It just lends credence to those who say that Garcetti is in thrall to developers. If Marc had wanted to build a traffic generating condo here it would have ben no problem.

    I live in the area and have a childwho will attend the school so I do have some understanding of the situation. What can I do to help Marc and register my disgust this callous gesture?

  7. RAGER @ FIX YA'LL!

    Im still gonna sit outside and drink….like they do at the liquor store down the street from my house that Garcetti doesnt seem to care about.

  8. @Robin Patton-
    Actually, Garcetti’s office is not an ivory tower on Sunset & Vine, but a walk up office on Western Avenue across from a porno shop.

    @GitItOn-
    I agree, when there is a community issue you have strong feelings about then voice your opinion to your local Neighborhood Council AND your City Council Member. An elected official does what the majority of voters request, Garcetti is simply acting in accordance with the voices who spoke up to his office. B*tching about it after the fact on a blog does not accomplish anything.

  9. I can see Garcetti’s concern, Fix Coffee is so much like the liquor store down the street. The gang activity is so rampant in their establishment. (Note the complete sarcasm, because so many drunks and gangsters go get their chai from Fix)

  10. Am I the only one who feels that this corner is kind of sketchy at night?? Having a business open into the evening would be great. How absurd.

  11. Well well well, Mr. Garcetti is just full of himself, his office staff and deputies make their own back room deals to suit themselves, they are totally useless. I am glad that other see through him. To many time I have seen comments from Councilman Garcetti where he states that he met with the community and this is what they want. Well I am the Community and I know for a fact that he has no community outreach . Mr. Wantabe next Mayor is just looking for the next photo opp. and what will look good on his resume.

  12. Mr. Wannabe has moved to Silverlake & has no further interest in us. He’s termed out here, you see. However, (if by chance, he doesn’t get elected mayor) he can keep his City Council seat by running in Silverlake. Or so I’ve heard.

  13. I like the idea of a Hooters…

  14. @Barbara-

    Your information is 100% incorrect. Echo Park and Silver Lake are in the same City Council District 13. So annoying when people like Babs don’t even check their facts before opining on blog comments pages. Sheesh.

    In this time of limited City funds, having the President of the LA City Council representing us means CD 13 has received a good amount of improvement money – the Echo Park Lake cleanup, the upcoming street improvements to the Sunset Junction (with bicycle lanes & a total remodel of the Jiffy Lube triangle area) and the community garden in Glassell Park where the Drew Street gang used to hold sway are just a few examples.

    Yes, I like Garcetti – he is the kind of progressive leader I think LA needs. And his focus on creating more green space in CD 13 (and LA) is a cause I support 100% – the Silver Lake reservoir meadow is fantastic.

  15. Attention Miss Libertad October 6, 2011 at 10:41 am
    Western Avenue across from a porno shop, you go girl ! Heart warming to see you know where your local pornooo shop is. You are just full of surprizes.

  16. too stupid for words… how about logan street elementary school? around the corner from house of spirits and AYC! are the kids turning to drink, in droves? get real.

  17. This is getting absurd.

    When is the next community meeting/hearing on this? I’d love to go and show Garcia and Garcetti a map of my Silver Lake neighborhood; there are two medical marijuana clinics, three liquor stores and a handful of restaurants that serve alcohol within a 0.25 mile radius of the middle school I live next to. They don’t seem too concerned about that, now do they?

  18. Thats because 0.25 miles, would be over 1,125 ft. They only have to be 1,000 ft. away. Please do not go and make a fool of yourself at the meeting.

  19. I wonder if all the passionate pro-permit people will actually have more than one drink if Fix is approved. I like the place, the staff and area, but will I make it my bar hangout???… umm.. probably not…. and from whatI remember, drinks won’t really compliment the menu items. Will Fix update their menu?

    Que dicen yooz guys?

  20. @ Libertad

    Yes the SL meadows are a great addition to the reservoir and enhances its beauty.

  21. @E – I think the key word in the above comment is “within”, as in many or at least some are closer than .25 miles.

    Come one, we all know this is ridiculous. If you don’t want your bucolic little paradise to be shattered by the deafening sounds of yuppies drinking $9 pinot while they type on their MacBooks fine, but don’t pretend its about the kids – that’s just insulting.

  22. Dear EastsiderLA Readers,

    A few of you have asked for a copy of the letter from the neighborhood council supporting the application submitted by FIX.

    Here is what was submitted to the Zoning Administrator.

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

    October 3, 2011

    Ms. Maya E. Zaitzevsky, Associate Zoning Administrator
    Office of Zoning Administration
    200 North Spring Street, 7th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Re: Case No. ZA 2011-2029 (CUB)

    Dear Ms. Zaitzevsky,

    I am writing on behalf of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council (GEPENC) Board of Governors to express our SUPPORT for Fix Coffee LLC. in their request of a Conditional Use Permit (CUB) to permit the sale and dispensing of beer and wine sales for on-site consumption, in conjunction with a 653 square-foot addition to an existing 806 square-foot café and 459 square-foot patio for new total of 1,918 square-feet with hours of operation from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm, Sunday through Wednesday and 7:00 a, to 11:00 pm Thursday through Saturday with beer and wine sales limited from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm Monday through Friday and 10:00 am to 10:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. The project is located within the [Q]C2-VL Zone.

    The neighborhood council at its regular monthly meeting held on September 27th, 2011, placed this item on the agenda for discussion, review and public comment. After a presentation by the Applicant, a number of comments from the public and discussion and deliberation by the Board of Governors, we voted to Support the request of Fix Coffee LLC located at 2106 Echo park Avenue.

    At the meeting, as a condition of our support, we encouraged the Applicant to: 1) limit the sale of beer and wine on Saturdays to one hour after any school event at Elysian Heights Elementary given proper and timely notification is provided to the applicant and 2) to not provide any amplified music. The Applicant agreed to include these recommendations as Voluntary conditions.

    We acknowledge the Applicant’s extraordinary effort to reach out to the many community organizations and members and the thoroughness and thought put into the preparation of his application.

    We are confident that the applicant has a genuine understanding of the concerns raised by the community and we believe he will be attentive, respectful and responsive to them.

    We urge your every consideration in granting the Applicant his request. 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

  23. Vecino – you are literally clueless. The permit isn’t about turning Fix into a bar, it’s about turning it into a restaurant. They are going to serve a dinner menu and stay open later at night. They can’t afford to stay open to serve dinner unless they can make money from serving drinks with the food, it’s restaurant business 101.

  24. The issue with this location is the combination of the school and the residential nature. It is a “commercial island” to quote Marcs expediter.
    There were valid arguments on both sides of the issue and weather you agree or disagree with the decision of Garcetti and Garcia I know they were not easy ones. Those who disagree with his decision have expressed extreme judgement and seem to be very good at name calling. I thought this was a community that is supposed to embrace different opinions and ideas.
    Fix is a great asset to the neighborhood and Marc has every right to stay open till 11:00pm if he desires. His license already allows this. Although I personally wish he would not. To say that he can only do it with the service of alcohol is not a valid argument. Most restaurants in Echo Park have started without alcohol service and ask for it at a later date.

  25. I say we all bring beer or wine and stage a drink in… To show that this will not shred the fabric of the neighborhood. Who is with me?

  26. Gacetti’s putting his input into a meaningless cause.
    So unlike a useless LA politician! Looks like an LA mayor to me
    Hey what about the protected oaks on Allesandro?
    which his community fought to save. WHAT A TOOL!

  27. All comments are anti Garcetti. He better rethink his strategy. And if you
    complain to his office it does no good!

  28. I wonder about the Sunset Pacific/Bates Motel that sits abandoned for the last 15 plus years that sits directly across the street from a pre-school.
    http://la.curbed.com/uploads/2010.09.sunsetbates.jpg
    It is a homeless camp ground. By the way there is a liquor store just down the street. Stop hiding behind the children issue Garcetti, you know you dont really care. An yes I have called his office many times. I get to talk to one of his flunkies who tells me how much they cant do.

  29. Sadly this is Eric’s M.O.

    He meets with folks offers them perfunctory support, then, abruptly changes his tune and either backs off supporting, opposing or fighting for something. Site 9A. Classic Eric. folded to Union pressure to approve a street vacation to demolish a community to built a school everyone knew was not needed. Now in 2011 it went up for bid to outside operators because? It was not needed. Thanks for taking a stand Eric. But the Unions and contractors got what they wanted and they will dump beaucoup dinero into his run for Mayor. That is how it works. Sunset Flats ( the former community garden. He met with neighbors, promised to support their bid to move the project off of residential Elsinore, then folded, when lobby pressures to “encourage development” wore him down. It’s so boring i don’t even want to go on, though i could. OK. One more–the hideous, offensive, tower of evangelism going up at Glendale and Park Ave. Gee. Thanks Eric. A 7 story parking structure was not insult enough.

    Eric, sadly, nice guy, but not strong of conviction, as this latest 11th hour default proves.

    So disappointing, but, they are politicians for a reason, not activists or philanthropists.

    cp

  30. one thing i’d like to point out in the “for the kids” argument…seems like ivanhoe and other thriving elementary schools have A LOT of business sponsorship to pay for things like, you know, librarians once a week…
    could someone at least be open-minded enough to look ahead at the possibility of a successful EP business that could contribute to the school’s success because they worked together instead of categorically opposed it’s expansion?
    Feel free to let them know you’d like them to take care of some real issues (fill in the blank with any one of 50 quality of life and safety issues around EP) [email protected]

  31. Sigala STFU get real… when are you going to step up and do your real duties instead of takeing money and actually protect our community. Theres no bigger sell out then you and I am appauled that you would support this know the affects of liquor and how people arent responsilble enough until the problem actually happens…like when they run over a kid playing near by, Then what are you going to say? oh I guess it doesnt matter cuz you would have already made your money… U amaze me man.

    Jakey you nailed it girl thats been one of my points for the longest time. what about the old pheonix bakery is also applying for a liquor license. Is garcetti going to approve that one…He’s such a joke.

    I”m done with this issue

  32. This is all about “Mayor” Garcetti….He opposes it by saying” may not be right at this time”….Would those neighbors prefer that Fix closes, and this corner turns into the gang hub it once was…I’m sure the school children would be safer then…

  33. Oh my god!…..Blair’s Wine Bar in Silverlake is across the street from an elementary school…..Eric you have to pull their licence…

  34. @A.R. – step off Fix’s frankfurter

  35. @Rhodes-

    Blair’s is a restaurant, not a wine bar.

  36. Let FIX serve wine and beer. Being across the street from a school does not endanger kids. BAD PARENTING AND NEGLIGENCE DOES. BTW have you seen how nice FIX is? It is a nicely presented location and they should have the ability to do business with local ADULTS who would like to eat and have glass of something nearby in their own neighborhood instead of having to all the way down to Sunset Blvd or over the Silver Lake. PARENTS of these school kids, teach YOUR children well!

  37. There were actually quite a few neighborhood residents who voiced their strong opposition to FIX’s beer and wine application, me being one of them. And we addressed our opposition directly to Councilman Garcetti, who seems to have weighed the issue carefully. All the cynical comments about Mr. Garcetti’s political ambitions conveniently dismiss the fact that there were two sides to the issue and that Mr. Garcetti was also listening to the part of his constituency who were NOT in favor of the license.

  38. Thank you to Eric’s Office and Staff for all the hard you put into this! Thank you for listening to the immediate neighbors, parents & organizations who were against this license.

    Monica from LAUSD is also to be greatly appreciated for putting her children’s needs and safety above all else.

    I am reading a lot of these comments and it seems that many of the people who are speaking their mind, aren’t fully briefed on the situation. For example, proposed renderings do not involve a stove, an oven or a hood. How can you be a “restaurant” without these elements…sounds more like a bar. Also, alcohol has always been proposed to be served starting at 4pm…many of you are under the impression that is was going to start at 7pm. LA’s Best has about 50 – 70 kids enrolled at any given time and does not end until 6pm. This would mean that alcohol WOULD be served during school hours.

    At the end of the day, Fix Coffee is a GREAT addition to the neighborhood. I am confidant that Marc will continue to grow his business without serving alcohol.

  39. @ Jose Sigala:
    Taxpayers paid for a neighborhood council phone system….why don’t you refer to that number instead of your own?

  40. I second the thanks to Mr. Garcetti’s office for listening to the neighbors, parents and organizations on this issue! Thank you for giving careful consideration to both sides and making what I’m sure was a difficult decision.

  41. So are they going to start revoking licenses of establishments that are by schools all over the city now? If not, this really doesn’t make sense.

  42. The good news is that if he is refused a permit based on the reasons given above he can sue the city for being arbitrary and get his permit that way.

    Hasta la victoria!

  43. Unless the city has a regulation stating that alcohol can’t be served near a school they would have a hard time explaining their refusal. Political calculus and pressure by far right puritans would not be enough. This is a nation of laws.

  44. Rite Aid is a far worse problem than Fix. every time I go in there, I encounter groups of thugs buying suitcases of beer and aggressively cutting in line. This is okay?

    I had to deal with a drunk guy getting in my face in the Walgreens parking lot the other day while with my children. When I complained to Walgreens, they really didn’t care. The drunk in the parking lot was holding a can of Budweiser while he freaked out on me. You guys are okay with that?

    I am not against alcohol, I am against people who think they live in the 20’s and are trying to bring back prohibition for no good reason. There are 3 gang houses across the street from the school (not one). there have been shootings, swat raids, etc… That needs to be addressed before the Fix issue.

    And Genevieve, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. When you opened up your shop, the community welcomed you with open arms (despite the repercussions of living with a popular coffee shop/bakery right next door). Afraid of a little competition?

  45. Your Friend, Your Neighbor, You

    Wait a second – it’s that Genevieve who is making all the noise against Fix? Wow. Not OK.

  46. i could be totally in the wrong. I’m merely making an assumption based on her knowledge of rendering and kitchen requirements.

  47. It would seem that yes, Eric Garcetti listened to a lot of us who are opposed to the Fix license application. I thank him for that. Being an immediate neighbor of Fix I have a big problem with the proposed 2nd story addition to the building as well as selling alcohol starting at 4pm when LA’s Best is still going on at Elysian Heights Elementary. I would also hear the additional late night noise from Fix.

  48. I have to address Derek’s comments as well. It’s hard to teach kids that they may be in danger of someone pulling out of Fix after 2 or 3 glasses of wine at 5 or 6pm drunk. Don’t be so naive that you think it’s only bad parenting that endangers kids.

  49. Eric Garcetti has been a excellent advocate for our community, sad and pathetic to read people lashing out at him over a liqueur license thats just pitiful. Great Job Councilmember Garcetti and LAUSB President Garcia for the support!

  50. @ Joe: thanks for letting me know that although I am entitled to an opinion, at best it is only “sad and pathetic.” how progressive of you.

  51. using the school as an excuse is like using the race card..

  52. I don’t get it. Why would Marc buy a spot for his “dream” restaurant way up on Echo Park Blvd? I’m a homeowner behind Fix and we did not buy our house with the hope we would be living behind a restaurant with live music and drinking until 11pm. Marc claims that the community has come to him wanting the spot but at other times says that having a restaurant/bar has always been his dream. As a small business owner, I understand and applaud him having a dream but why on a small corner lot, across from TWO schools with almost no street traffic and parking? He wants to build a second floor and lose most of his only parking. Fix will also be seating the majority of people outside. It just doesn’t make sense.

  53. Misintentioned...

    I wish that all these folks claiming to be concerned for the kids at Elysian Heights did one darn thing to help out at this neighborhood public school instead of pouring energy into something as silly as this imagined crisis. Seriously, if you are so worried about the kids…
    Ps. @Joe, great – Garcetti has your vote it seems, but nothing sad and pathetic about the disillusionment some of us folks in CD 13 are feeling and expressing.

  54. Dear parents of elementary school children who have fake IDs:

    You have waaaay bigger problems than small cafes serving wine with dinner.

    Best of luck!
    – Everybody

  55. “DJ Flip House” – you are a complete hypocrite. Funny that in this other thread you are screaming classism about someone else’s remark (here it is below in case you forgot), yet what would you call your veiled threats above? I’d say that’s a lot worse than simple classism.

    “Ahh. The real reason comes out at last. It’s not gangs, or parking, or making the world safe for the ear-piercing screams of that horrible horrible parrot. It’s that “you all” don’t fit in at “our” parties.”

  56. There are so many wonderful “what if this happens” stories in these comments, but if we knew the future we’d all be rich!! Let’s stick with learning from the past… How many shooting and deaths have occurred within a 1000 ft radius of this corner?

    What do responsible owners do to their immediate surroundings?
    Improve it.

    With regard to not having a hood in a kitchen, it actually is a healthier and less carcinogenic way of eating. Elf has been doing it for years!

    I hate the fact that fix has no phone reception, but would definitely enjoy a nice glass of wine and an appetizer in a sweet location. Especially on a beautiful day like today.

  57. @bh

    I stand by every word I said about the nightmarish screams that vile parrot. But I didn’t say anything about class — sounds like you might have a personal issue?

    And if you see the comment about children with fake IDs as a “veiled threat,” then you and your heavy-drinking schoolchild need to get professional help as soon as possible.

  58. well well i live 1 block away from the fix. Not once have they come to my house and ask if its OK if hipsters can pee all over my block . Their is no bathroom people. I cant believe you people can compare this place to silverlake it might be in the same district but totally different vibe . Once the booze comes then its the random cop patrols for the people fornicating on the street. You don’t believe me really look at past occurrences on silvelake, meth house blows up across from home . I see condoms on the floor all over the the place. more and more random car jackings , which has happen to me because of fix. NO parking and as for the only responsible ADULTS bull .

  59. Wtf was up with that last comment?

  60. You see? You see??? THIS is what happens if you live on the same block as that damn parrot!

    At first you may think, ” wow that bird is really annoying.” After a few months, you might become reclusive and suspicious. And after a few years of its endless screams, you start seeing exploding houses and cops having having sex in the street. You start ranting about condoms and car jackings because they all drank too much coffee and there is no bathroom people.

    Oh sure. We can laugh at the poor wreck that is OOPS. But be warned! No one is safe. It can happen to you too.

    So let’s move beyond this petty issue of a conditional beer/wine license for a small neighborhood cafe, and focus on the *real* threat to or community. Before it’s too late. Before you or your loved ones end up like OOPS.

    Let’s do something about that goddamn parrot.

  61. @OOPS. they have a bathroom. wait, are you being sarcastic? get’s harder and harder to tell on this blog.

  62. recall garcetti..oh wait, he’s not mayor yet…

  63. Cant wait for the hipsters to leave, This neighborhood needs to be degentrifyed , liked it better when chumps were getting Domed out ,place sucks now, needs more drive bys and thugery.

  64. Honestly the fact that the school is right there!!! Is kinda overwhelming, as well as the fact that there have been wayyy too many shootings in the area. I like the owner Marc Gallucci idea to expand his cafe and serve beer and wine. But what sucks is the location… seriously I think that is what kills it. Thee only thing…

  65. There have been 4 murders on this corner in the last 2 years, over 40 random bullets sprayed into homes on this corner, a knifing in teh alley on this corner, fist fights over parking, drunks assaulting women at the bus stop and drunken parties bringing the cops once or twice week. All this with 4 schools within 1 block in either direction of Fix. The last thing we need to add to the mix is alcohol. I love our little neighborhood and want to make it better…this is a step in the wrong direction. And it won’t be the only bar, just the first if it is allowed. There will be more and more once it starts.

  66. sorry…2 murders, 4 shootings.

  67. Avon St. resident

    Initially I supported the permit, but really it isn’t fair to the community. Even if the school wasn’t there, I wouldn’t support it. Think of the folks next door. Would you like it if your next-door neighbor turned his home into a bar?

    Denying the permit will of course increase the risk that Marc will decide to close shop – his profit margins would be higher serving beer and wine…

  68. @ J: that is exactly why you want to encourage quality business in that area. and do you realize how ludicrous your argument sounds? i’ll summarize: “there are gang members across the street who create problems in the neighborhood. let’s come down on the coffee shop.”

  69. I live up the street from FIX, and I have to admit that it’s a nice establishment, but I’ve always I’ve always found its gentrifying presence in my neighborhood off-putting. I think it’s vibe, it’s services, are out of step with the neighborhood and the residents in its immediate surroundings. Marc is a nice guy, but his intention was never to engage all the residents in the community–the working class latinos, the cholos, the owners of the really annoying parrot, etc. I’m happy for his success, but I think his approach has been pretty crappy and grossly entitled (hipster-ish, actually), and I think the neighborhood residents reserve the right to set boundaries with him. As far as I’m concerned, FIX has not proved its worth in my neighborhood.

  70. i kinda welcome the idea of strolling down the street to get a drink, now and again. what scares me is that if their coffee business is any indication, I will have to endure some pouty slow person, who makes a big show outta nothin, pouring me a lukewarm beer through some unnecessary contraption and charging me $12 for the pleasure, when what I really want to do is slap them.

  71. Vato on Curran

    You nailed it buddy!!! thanks for pointing out the elephant in the room

  72. Vato on curran. While I respect your view, I find it tinged with racism.

  73. Fix has a bathroom. It’s in the back right corner. Open eyes > open mouth.

  74. Vato on curran has a huge sense of entitlement. He its basically saying that fix should run their decisions by him and that his opinion should be law. Fix has to prove its worth to him, lol. Is he the mayor now?

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