ECHO 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:
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.
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.
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.