How about this? Developer unveils third design for Echo Park restaurant site

Glendale Boulevard view of new building concept. Courtesy Spacecraft Group.

First building concept with arches.

After returning to the drawing board for the third time, developer Sammy Kahen has come back with a new contemporary-design and new designer for a proposed Echo Park restaurant and commercial building on Glendale Boulevard. In this most recent go-around, Kahen hired high-profile restaurant designer Kristofer Keith of Spacecraft Group to come up with a concept for a small  commercial building he wants to construct on a triangular parcel at Glendale Boulevard and Montana Street.  Spacecraft created the look for another Echo Park restaurant, Mohawk Bend, that has become a neighborhood hot spot.

Despite finding a new restaurant designer, Kahen is still looking for a restaurant and other tenants to fill his yet-to-be-constructed building, according to a spokeswoman for Spacecraft.

Kahen’s two previous architects has envisioned a more conventional-style buildings that did not find many fans or tenants. A second version, which featured a roof top dining terrace, also did not pick up much support. “It’s not inspiring at all,” said one person when Kahen and his previous architect unveiled the second concept last April.

Spacecraft has abandoned the strip mall Spanish look for a “very industrial concept with steel and concrete materials throughout,” according to a company statement.  The concept includes room for an 850-square-foot cafe,  2,100-square-foot restaurant and 2,400-square-foot roof deck. Previous versions have also included space for other shops.

Spacecraft has a track record for creating restaurants that attract attention. Now it remains to be seen if  this design will attract a tenant.

Second concept with rooftop deck.

New concept by Spacecraft



  1. i actually quite like it. where you do park?

    • This is actually a really good question. There would be some street parking except that the curb along Glendale Blvd. there is red for some reason. But even if that were fixed, it would put significant pressure on the immediate neighborhood, possibly impacting nearby residential parking. Either that, or they get a valet and a contract with the Vons supermarket up Montana to use their lot.

    • ugh, really? people in LA need to stop asking that question. Thousands of people live within a half mile of this place – let’s all WALK to it!

      • Well, this place isn’t even targeting ONLY the several blocks that surround it. It is on the biggest thoroughfare around in order to focus on attracting traffic. And we’re talking about traffic from all around since tens of thousands of commuters will be seeing it every day as they go by — those are the people it is targeting. Those people will be parking their cars — no matter your mindless fantasyland thinking that no will drive a car anymore and everyone will walk there.

        This guy’s whole business plan is based on that traffic! He’s not spending that money in hope that just a few people from the neighborhood will walk over there.

        Gee, just look at how the parking lot at Taix overflows — and it isn’t even on Glendale Boulevard, which is even more heavily traveled than Sunset.

        Not even the overwhelming number of people in this area care to leave their cars behind, and they are not going to start caring to. Nor should they. But people in other areas are even far less interested in leaving their cars behind — and those people are being targeted to patronize this place.

        You need to get in touch with reality rather than planning what will be a horror on the area. Tell me, how many customers there do you thing are going to get all dressed up, heels and all, and the go walk over there? Get real!

        • Susan, thank you for your response. I love every word you said!

          • Susan, really your comment is a bit hysterical. What’s the maximum capacity of a place like this? 3000 people? No. 1000? No. Calm down.

        • There are a lot of walkable places which people choose to drive to, because we’re not always coming from home or we are meeting someone and don’t like to walk solo at night or a dozen other reasons. Just look at how quickly the former Magic Gas station has become a parking lot for the businesses on EP Ave and you still can’t find street parking.

          • that’s all of the people who live in the apartments above Chango. roll by that parking lot in the middle of the night and it’s full. clears out as soon as everyone goes to work.

            I agree with your craving for walkable destinations though.

    • One of the earlier iterations turned that little spur of Lake Shore on the east side into a one way and replaced the southbound lane with angled parking. I imagine that’s still the plan.

      • Actually, no, it was not turned into a one-way. It was closed down altogether and that land given for use by the facility FOR FREE. Garcetti is always looking for campaign contributions.

    • In the back of the rendering behind the building there actually appears to be parking all the way along Glendale Blvd

  2. A little bit of West Hollywood right in the heart of Echo Park? Superrr!

    This Sammy Kahen is clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed.

  3. Getting better! This one is closer to the classic brick storefront that we see in Silver Lake and Echo Park. It’s a great idea to keep in character with the neighborhoods. The height and position makes it feel more connected to the pedestrian too. They’ll need a great landscape architect to help with the streetscape and greenspaces!

  4. You had my curiosity gentlemen. Now you have my attention. Good for him going back to the drawing board! It might have been smart to include space for a retail tenant or two but maybe its not a great retail spot. This would make an unbelievable bar though! One thing we dont have around here is a great rooftop spot. Hope someone bites

  5. One hamburger with a side of fumes please

  6. I like the roof top design. Gives the drive by shooter a better target.

  7. Looks pretty good, but it would probably be much more pleasant if it opened up to Lake Shore and offered outdoor seating there, since traffic on Glendale Boulevard is usually pretty horrible and eating with all that noise would not be too enjoyable.

  8. This is MUCH better.

  9. Nice(r). I started to object to the cyclist on the sidewalk in that first illustration but then I remembered what it’s like to ride on Glendale Boulevard and really can’t blame the silhouette for opting off the road. Someone should sit his ass down in the saddle though before he crashes into any pedestrian or dog silhouettes that might be rendered nearby.

    • You beat me to it, Will. But I’ll add in the observation that he’s also going the wrong way – the leading cause of bike silhouette/car accidents. All things considered, I’ll take my chances on the street (as I know you will too).

  10. So now it’s a beer/ sausage place? Quess that’s what’s trendy now.

  11. Count me as a fan. A solid improvement over the earlier design and vastly better than the empty lot there now. Maybe it will shame the Vons into refurbishing its store (but enhance, not alter the old Marina-style Safeway building shell!)

  12. Wow, that’s really beautiful. Spacecraft can apparently do no wrong.

  13. Looks amazing. Just please oh please don’t sell “fabricated tacos” in the land of authentic tacos.

  14. Thumbs up. I really like this design and would welcome it to the neighborhood. Let’s hope a yummy Indian food restaurant goes in there.

  15. Call it “Underground Plume”.

  16. There will be parking in the back of the restaurant. Please feel free to ask us any questions. Thank you all : )


    • Welcome to the neighborhood and thanks for cleaning up this blighted eyesore and replacing it with something great.

  17. much better.

    now – mediterranean restaurant, please. or a bevmo. =)


    • I dislike both riding on the sidewalk and dodging them when I’m on foot, but until they outlaw and enforce it, there’s not much you can do.

  19. And Sammy Kahen is still getting a chunk of free land from the city, right? (Land that will cut into Lake Shore Avenue, the one-way direction of which will be reversed from north to south — which, since one would then have to go northbound on Glendale Boulevard, would have no practical purpose for anyone other than those who want to park at the site.)

    Once again, Garcetti, like so many in Los Angeles city government, favors developers at the expense of residents.

  20. This is great! Please built it as soon as possible!

  21. I really hope this sparks more renovation on Glendale Blvd up until the freeway! That would be super!!!

    • me too. Glendale is a complete bummer. nothing appealing at all. they could build an annex to the Americana that ran all the way from Scott to the freeway and I’d be okay with it.

  22. SpaceCraft has got to be the only design/build firm staffed in its entirety by aerobics instructors. Check it out: http://www.spacecraftgroup.com/about_profiles.html

  23. This is a modernist mess the building is a great disappointment!

    “First building concept with arches” was a better design at least it looked like it belongs in Echo Park…

    What a happened? All you had to do was to put a garden top on the original idea and play up the Pacific Electric trolly stop idea and you would have something we could all live with.

    This is the same bad design trick used again and again… the designer is so offended they come back with something much worse then where they started.

    The Stakeholders need better design not computer generated 3D renderings of something so ugly it belongs somewhere other then here, Echo Park/Edendale, the birthplace of the film industry deserves better!

  24. There is a L.A. City Planning Department meeting scheduled for August 13, 2013 at 9:30am at 200 North Spring Street Rm 1020 regarding this proposed business. Please come and voice your opinion on this matter.

    They are asking for the following:

    Case # ZA 2012-0454(CUB)(CU)(ZV)
    permit the sale and dispensing of a full line of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption, in
    conjunction with a proposed, approximately 3,171 square-foot restaurant, seating total of 122 patrons
    (74 interior and 48 upon a rooftop dining area) also having live entertainment, with hours of operation
    from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily
    a) permit hours of operation from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily in lieu of the otherwise permitted 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. for the proposed restaurant, hours of operation from 6 am to 12 midnight for the proposed café
    B) not provide the required 5-foot landscape buffer along Lakeshore Avenue or Montana Street,
    c) not provide the required trash storage area,
    d) not provide the required recycling area and
    e) not povide the required bicycle parking,
    allow zero on-site parking spaces in lieu of the required 8 spaces

    Full text here:

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