Change in store(s) for Echo Park Avenue


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Storefront ReportECHO PARK — Echo Park Avenue’s relatively small retail scene is in the midst of change, with the recent closure of a designer shoe shop, the upcoming departure of a pet supply store and a possible replacement for the shuttered Red Hill restaurant. Here’s the run down:

The now empoty Beatrice Valenuela shop

The now empoty Beatrice Valenzuela shop

Shoe and jewelery designer Beatice Valenzuela has closed her Echo Park Avenue store that featured her line of shoes as well as handcrafted items created by other designers and artisans. Valenzuela, who founded the Echo Park Craft Fair, hosted a closing party at the end of February but did not explain why the store was closing after operating for 18 months or if she plans to open in a new location.

The closure of Valenzuela’s store now means that there are two vacant storefronts in what is now called The Grafton Lofts, a three-story brick building at Echo Park and Delta avenues. The owner recently cut the asking rent on the former El Batey No. 2 market space, which has remained vacant since the store closed last summer.


Echo Park Avenue pet store moving a few blocks away


A few doors down from the former Beatrice Valenzuela shop, pet supply store Blue Collar Working Dog is preparing to leave behind its shed-like building for a new space a few block away off Glendale Boulevard. A posting on Blue Collar’s Facebook page say the store will be moving in a few months.

The Blue Collar building at the corner of Echo Park and Grafton Avenues was part of a $9.275 million property sale in late 2012 that included the Grafton Lofts and the adjacent parking lot.  New owner M West Holdings has not said what it wants to do with the Blue Collar space.

New concept in the works for the former Red Hill restaurant

New concept in the works for the former Red Hill restaurant

The windows have been papered over and the doors locked at Red Hill restaurant since the end of December. Now, comes word that Red Hill’s owners are working on a new concept that will be opening soon, perhaps later this month.


  1. Like I said before the landlords rely on an endless steam of suckers lured by the promise of being in a hip neighborhood to pay prices the traffic can’t sustain.

    • Sad but true. EP ave is not a good location for high end luxury goods. Cookbook works because it’s food. But we don’t need pricy shoes and dresses. We need basic local services. How about a deli?

      I’m glad Blue Collar is moving to a bigger and better space locally.

      M West is going to kill all their retail if they continue to sucker/push tenants they want, but that the neighborhood won’t support.

  2. I’m happy Blue Collar is staying in the neighborhood, but I’ll miss being able to walk there. Honestly, I agree that the best stores for this strip are those selling essential items. Personally, and admittedly self-serving, I’d welcome a reasonably priced Italian bistro or pizza—maybe Maximilianos Echo Park version. Any takers?

    • The new site is a short WALK away.

      • Um no need to yell. You’re assuming I live super close to Blue Collar, which I don’t, although it’s really none of your business.

    • The new site is a short WALK away.

    • Random commenter

      The new Blue Collar will be at Glendale Blvd and Lake Shore Ave, near that weird little triangular lot at Glendale & Montana. It’s really quite close to the old BC.

      (anyone know what’s going on with that triangle? It’s been cleared out and bulldozed, the palm tree was removed)

      • They’re gonna build a restaurant at the vacant triangle. Have received multiple letters saying they were denied a liquor license but will sell beer and wine. At least they’re developing it into something useful.

        • Does anyone know what is going on with the Arco gas station on Glendale and Berkeley?

        • “Useful” will depend on whether it’s simultaneously plentiful, delicious,m and reasonably priced. If it’s frou-frou, high-priced finger food, it’s quite rightly doomed.

          What is needed is something like delicious Indian takeout. More gourmet-ghetto, “curated menu” crap is exactly what that corner does not need or want.

  3. wow – so sad to see this happening! guess its less of a blow after closing my store a couple years ago… it was fun while it lasted…

  4. i just learnt about a million things in the comments section alone!

    • 9.275 million for a brick building in echo park. $4.00 a square ft retail with no parking on echo park blvd

      bring on the earthquake and we will see what happens

      i hope sooner than later

  5. I think red hill is done. Trevor, the chef, has become the executive chef at Cooks County.

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