Storefront Report: New owners take over Echo Park’s Chango Coffee

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Chango Coffee is a scruffy Echo Park coffeehouse that has served as a magnet for neighborhood hipsters. Susina Bakery & Cafe is known for its high-end baked goods served out of a glossy Beverly Boulevard storefront.  Now these two very different cafes have merged after the owner of Susina took over Chango at the first of the year, according to an employee working for Susina owner Jenna Turner.  The cafe will soon stay open until 7 p.m. but it’s still too early to say whether the Chango name will remain and how the menu might change, said the employee.

“It’s definitely not going to be Susina II,” he said of the cafe at the corner of Echo Park and Delta avenues. “We are cleaning it up and keeping it funky.”

The opening of Chango about seven years ago brought coffee culture to Echo Park Avenue – where a trio of cafes and bakeries now do business – and came to symbolize for many the gentrification of the  neighborhood.


  1. Props to Chango, I will always love it since it opened sometime in 2004 (actually around October me thinks) because I met my lovely, most beautiful wife, Saveida there!!

    Props to everyone that has worked there, Mary Ann, Aaron, Tupac, Erika, Billie, Robin, the smelly hippie that had the beard before beards were cool again, that nicer taller manager (back in 04ish) that lived in Frogtown, the redheaded guy with the piercings and dog, Camille O (the Traveler! where in the world is she right now??),

    and all the great people that hung out there, Rick (the teacher), Matt the Black Star contractor! the German couple with the awesome accents, the skinny woman that reminded me of Carrie from Sex and the City (hope you found your Mr. Big!!!!) Dave Schnep (vote early vote often),

    and everyone else, but especially the crew there. i know its not like its gone or anything, but the place is special. love it.


  2. @Rahul…..a nicely written tribute. Enjoyed it.

  3. Susina and Jenna rock!
    Looking forward to patronizing her cafe.

  4. maybe now the servers will be friendlier, move faster and not serve up horrible coffee. love to hang out at chango but the attitude and the wait outweighed the positive. happy there’s new ownership – now bring in new, happy, efficient employees!! and the longer hours are a nice change.

  5. Have to agree with Dex. I don’t need happy or even friendly service, I can just do without random hostility and bullshit, which is why I stopped going. Hope the owners improve it. Really wanted to like that place, and the blond tattooed guy was usually pretty cool, but mostly got a really nasty coke vibe whenever I went.

  6. if the new owner reads this, I have some constructive criticism:

    nicer staff (don’t care whether or not they are hipsters). I have kids so I never went there because of the attitude. you may not want families as customers, so I could be way off base.

    better coffee. the stuff they have been serving is awful. always tasted burned or like they didn’t clean the machines. if I want a crappy burnt cup of coffee I would go to the gas station across the street.

    the ice cream was always a nice touch at Chango (and something that made me root for them in the beginning).

    i wish the new owners well.

    • The gas station across the street actually has great coffee.

      • That is because Magic Gas serves LaMill Coffee 🙂

        • i agree, they used to have that good LA Mill coffee, served up by those kids who cared what it tasted like; but now they just burn the hell out of it and throw it in the thermos bottle carafe with a shaker of powdered non-dairy creamer next to it. I actually haven’t seen the LA Mill packages at Magic Gas in years. They can’t even be bothered to restock the crappy Hostess donuts anymore.

  7. DON”T CHANGE THE COFFEE!! I have always liked the taste of it. Thenone day I saw on their board that it was Organic Blue Bottle brand coffee. I understood why they charged a little more for it, but a little less than Intelligentsia. I also like the staff. They always remember my order and have been very friendly to me over the years. That’s why I go there almost every day: Friendliness, lack of pretention and good coffee. If these things change, I will have to find another spot to stop at in the morning.

    • I can never forgive the owners of Chango for removing this artwork. It defined the neighborhood. But I suppose removing it signaled the new breed had arrived.

  8. please- don’t leave it “funky”

  9. I went there once a few years ago when my espresso machine broke. The service was ok at best & the espresso was God awful . The space and location have a lot of potential. Good luck.

  10. So very happy. After FIX mistakenly dropped Susina’s almond croissants from their menu…well I know where I’ll be going for my breakfast. Sorry Mark, it’s simply the best pastries in town.

  11. The Hotel is Important … Can Remember going for Cuban Pastry and Coffee on Sunset Blvd with my Grandmother as a Boy back in The Sixties … Hotel should be made Earthquake Safe. Should provide Subsidized Housing for Low Income Families. Back when they First Opened Patras had the Best Shrimp Box, Steak Sandwich, Pastrami, French Fries ( Opening Day Deal was Buy one Char-Broil Hamburger for .50 get second for Penny ) around. Did`nt even know what a Borek was, till my First Year at L.A.C.C. If they ever tear down Dodger Stadium, they should try creating a Natural Area, and try Inviting back some of the Deer and other Wildlife that used to Live there. The Neighborhood has enough concern for Old Chavez Ravine as it is. Let The Birds and The Bees have It ~

  12. The best thing about Chango’s was that it didnt look or feel like INTELLIGENTSIA or FIX.
    The worst thing about Chango’s was that the Espresso was no where near the quality of INTELLIGENTSIA or FIX.

  13. Yay! I used to work for Jenna at Susina. She will be a great friend to the community. She treats here workers and customers like family and of course, she makes some WICKED bear claws! Can’t wait!

  14. Whatever commplaints anyone may have about afternoons at Changos, mornings were magnificent times. Those early days, doors would open at 5:30 and I would soon be seated with a coffee and toasted bagel with cream cheese. Glorious! Rahul, fond, fond memories too of all those characters that we shared mornings with. I have run across Aaron making coffee at Botega Louie downtown. Mary Ann is my Facebook friend. The red-headed guy with the large earrings taught a special program in my class three years ago. The woman I courted long-distance every morning for a year finally arrived and our second child arrived last week. Yes, I know the warmth you feel. Here’s hoping Changos continues and blossoms. Rick

    • Rick!! How are you buddy. Find me on facebook. I’m gonna find you. I hope everything is great with you!! Congratulations on fatherhood too!! I remember your courting phase!! those were the days. 🙂

  15. conroy the great!

    new owners,
    no more snooty bastards please. We love walking don the street to the neighborhood coffee shop. even willing to be fleeced a little. Just don’t be a-holes in the process.


  16. The last time I went to Chango my latte had rotten milk in it and my bagel (not even put together, mind you, just toasted and some cream cheese and sliced tomato thrust in the bag) took 20 minutes. I’m not exaggerating.

    It wouldn’t take much to make Chango better, but I’m hopeful this change can even make it good. Yay 7:00 close time!

  17. I loved the old days of Chango with Rick and Rahul and the rest of the gang. Stopped going a few years ago because everyone I knew from those days had left for better pastures. Those were great times.

  18. Best of luck! Here’s to hoping for better service and longer hours.

  19. I fully agree. I hope they drop the barista’s with the attitude and hostility. I live right behind Chango and was pretty excited to live so to a coffee shop. After I went in a few times, I never wanted to go back. The employees would be sitting outside talking to their friends rather than behind the counter and when they finally noticed that I had been standing by the counter for over five minutes they would give me nothing but attitude for ruining they’re conversation about which Cocteau Twins record was better. If there were better employee’s I would actually go back again.

  20. This place is so hit or miss depending on what day you go. Shouldn’t slam all the workers. Some of them do actually work and have great customer service. Can’t wait to see what they do with the place.

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