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Echo Park’s Jumbo Bargain ringing up last sale

Final sale coming for Jumbo Bargain | Cecillia Padilla-Brill

Final sale coming for Jumbo Bargain | Cecillia Padilla-Brill

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Masa of Echo Park

By CECILIA PADILLA-BRILL

Storefront ReportECHO PARK — With tiny homes selling for more than $700,000 and coffee going for $4 a cup, there are few bargains to be found in Echo Park these days. And it looks like deals are only going to grow more scarce now that Jumbo Bargain, a discount store located at 1555 Sunset Blvd., is scheduled to  shut its doors in April, coin-operated Kermit car and all. The exact closing date is yet to be determined.

The 6,700-square-foot building went up for lease nearly a year ago for more than $11,000 a month. The sales pitch on LoopNet played up the faded pink bulding’s proximity to downtown Los Angeles and Dodger Stadium and its location “within an emerging development corridor with multiple ground up construction projects planned and under way.”

The days are also numbered for another major Echo Park discount store, E-Pack. The Sunset Boulevard building that houses E-Pack building and the former Sunset Snack stand was purchased in 2013 by restauranteur Gareth Kantner. Kantner converted Sunset Snack into  Dinette, a small take-out cafe, and said he plans to eventually build a much larger, restaurant and bar, called Libre, in the adjoining E-Pack store.  Kantner has not said when he plans to open the larger restaurant.

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Photo by Cecillia Padilla-Brill

Cecilia Padilla Brill is a communications writer and journalist. She writes news, health, education and feature stories. Cecilia is currently working on her first novel. She has lived in Echo Park since 1999



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103 comments

  1. Why is it that every time someone writes this kind of article they have to mention a $4 cup of coffee?

  2. Vaya con Dios.

  3. Yay! Why are all the stores on Sunset in this area either overpriced hipster enclaves or disgusting discount stores? I’m looking forward to that middle ground being struck — though I’d rather see a rundown place like this close over a $4-a-cup coffee place.

    • Your ignorance is sad. So many people depended on this place for cheap household items like bathroom supplies and various household items.

      • OMG SO SAD! Where oh where will the locals be able to buy 49 Cent Comet? This is an outrage!

        The complainers are mostly liberals who so badly wanted the economy to be improved during Obama’s term. It certainly has turned for the better in L.A.

        Yet this sad and tired store is leaving and something much better for the block will be built, and yet they complain.

        • Aldo Thee Apache

          @Steve M

          What do you care? They’re all “Illegal Aliens/Dirty Mexicans” to you knuckledragging teabaggers anyway.

          PS here’s what that liberal bastion of thought, Forbes Magazine, had to say about Obama’s economy:
          http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2014/09/05/obama-outperforms-reagan-on-jobs-growth-and-investing/

          Seems like all that those GOP crybabies want so badly is for our country to fail…

          • Aldo, I am not a teabagger, I do not think of poor as dirty Mexicans, and I agreed the economy is doing well in L.A. and no, why would anyone want the economy to fail? You are wrong on all counts. Do you go out of your way to be wrong and presumptuous? Dumpy stres like this will go away because there is something called a “demand” for something else.

          • What “demand”? If that were the case, there wouldn’t be another business going OUT of business every month because of a conspicuous lack of “demand” for overpriced goods and services.

            Get real.

      • Guess those people will have to find their way directly across the street to the other 99¢ store, or the one two blocks up. It’s not like those stores are scarce around these parts.

      • I’m very sad to see Jumbo Bargain go. The owners are wonderful to their customers, great neighbors, and a lot of people have relied on this store for many years. I have always found everything I needed here.

    • Jesse you are a doorknob.
      When I first landed in echo park 15 years ago this place was my savior.
      I bought my pans and a blow dryer there amongst all the normal stuff a person needs to live normal.
      Nice people ran the place and it feels good to give to a neighborhood spot instead of Walgreens for that hood flavor.
      This is why we love Echo Park.
      Go away Jesse. Go far west cuz you just don’t get it and you don’t belong.
      I now make a lot more money and I am not struggling like I was as a new transplant but all these places matter to me and so many who were here way long before you.

  4. I hate how Los Angeles is going to make a jump from annoyingly ghetto to annoyingly posh, and there was never a point in between where an appreciable number felt much confidence that they could some day be living in healthy diverse community.

    This damned, disrupting DEMAND, this investor demand (since it is mostly that teenee-weenee minority creating it). Most residents could never afford a home in LA, no matter how many 750,000 homes developers can cram into every congested corner of the city possible. And they get a rubber stamp downtown because they stamp it themselves. Yes, There is a they. A capital ‘T’ They, in fact.

    There are people who’s job it is to be downtown lobbying. Most of us wisely don’t bother getting involved because we would have to take off work to do so. City planners don’t seem to have any discernible vision for the city, not that I’m claiming I’d be enlightened enough to decipher it if they did.

  5. Is it just me or are the Gentrifiers taking over the comments section of this blog lately?

    • Seriously now, that’s your term?

    • We haven’t taken over, but we are working on it.

      • Oh shit. It’s worse than we thought. Give me hipsters over republicans any day.

      • No shit. So when is Lost Knight going to get a real sign on the building? Or are they planning on leaving in 12 months? Also, what’s you’re guys fascination with coffee?

    • We have taken over! Now I order you to have a soy latte with EXTRA FOAM!!! Mwahahahaha!!!!

      • Hey not all gentrifiers are soy latte and kale people. I’m just a normal carnivore. I drink espresso, beer, and would never own a Prius. Voted for Reagan, Bush, Bush 2, McCain, Romney,and I’d do it all over again.

        And for good measure I think most people of those in 90026 who call themselves artists barely qualify as craft-makers. And that is why I love seeing the old SL and EP disappear. My standards for art is pretty high. And I see most murals as common graffiti and blight.

        • Ditto that, very well put. I like you Steve M.

        • Why in the world would you choose to live in this area then (if you even do) if you don’t like the murals? Also, you’re a racist just by association with those idiots you voted for.

          • Gee Mathew, is that what you think? Anyone Republican is a racist? Why I would even want to respond to your idiocy is beyond me.

            And as far as murals, I try not to notice them. Luckily I live just west of Silver Lake. And if things keep changing in SL and EP, I might move there, and maybe you and I will be neighbors. You are into the diversity-of-thought kinda thing, right?

      • We’ve moved on to almond milk. Soy is bad for you.

    • Srslynw, it’s not just you. Apparently a lot of leisure time among these compulsive and useless consumers and as you can see, they circle the wagons as soon as they’re exposed for their vapid lifestyles and unprincipled sense of community.

      • OUR vapid lifestyles Proper Dos? You’re right, we should join gangs, shoot at fellow neighbors and graffiti walls to to appease YOUR sense of community.

        • “Thanks”(?) for the comprehensive list of all your prejudices NOT what you are personally familiar with. Btw, if you’re so against graffiti, join me in urging the city to paint over the eyesore-wall above Riverside Drive. It’s like a leftover subway car from the movie “Warriors”. A flick glorifying east-coast gang members 2,700 miles distant from L.A.

  6. OH NO! Whatsoever shall we do?

  7. anyone know who the new tenant is?

  8. STEVE M
    What a tool!

  9. A place I used to call home is now being turned into a place I don’t even recognize. All I see when I’m driving down sunset is bars, pubs, hipster restraunts. Nobody came to echo park before they thought it was ghetto they thought they’d get shot & now that all these new people are moving in they’re takeing over our homes & turning it into a place we can no longer live in. These new comers don’t care about anybody but themselves. All these stores have been here for many years to walk down sunset & not recognize my own home town is very sad.

    • I agree. All the people who can’t afford to live on the west side are moving to the east side. They don’t care who they push out.

    • And to wonder what the residents of Echo Park who resided there in the mid 1920’s to 1960 would say when you decided to call it home. I bet they would say “A place I used to call home is now being turned into a place I don’t even recognize. What a shithole”.

      • Haha! It’s true! Especially since it doesn’t even look that great now.

      • You mean the poor okies, hippies, bikers, and working-class immigrants that my extended family encountered when they first arrived to NELA between the 40s, and 60s? You ignoramasses need to learn your history before exposing yourself as clueless when it comes to describing OUR history.

        • Working class Italians kept up the neighborhood much better. Swedes would have never let it get run down. You seem to know everything…… and live everywhere in NELA.

          http://historicechopark.org/id37.html

        • ignoring your ridiculous generalization for the sake of argument…huh, so you’re saying that YOUR family was so much better than the NELA inhabitants they “encountered” when they moved here (very recently, historically speaking) that it was totally cool to displace them?

          hmm…sounds an awful lot like the same sort of BS you accuse the “newcomers” of on a daily basis. get over your self-important, “mine is the only history that matters” CRAP already.

          • ” . . . you’re saying that YOUR family was so much better than the NELA inhabitants they ‘encountered’ when they moved here (very recently, historically speaking) that it was totally cool to displace them?” Not “displaced” but EVICTED for non-payment of rent. True story NOT one of your prejudiced fables.

        • Martin Arredondo

          You mean your transplant invader family. Your roots don’t even go back that far in LA you non native.

        • ” . . . you’re saying that YOUR family was so much better than the NELA inhabitants they ‘encountered’ when they moved here (very recently, historically speaking) that it was totally cool to displace them?” Not “displaced” but EVICTED for non-payment of rent. True story NOT one of your prejudiced fables.”

          ah, i see…you’ve taken your family’s singular, anecdotal experience and applied it as a generalization to every non-brown person living in NELA at the time. thanks for clarifying, i thought that’s what you meant. it’s entirely predictable that you feel it’s perfectly fine for you do so, while at the same time constantly accusing others of doing the same. it fits perfectly with the rest of your narrative.

    • Way to generalize Elisa! I’m sorry that things are changing in your neighborhood and also sorry that you only see the things you don’t like.

      “These new comers don’t care about anybody but themselves.”

      Try a little bit harder to embrace what’s happening now., you might actually enjoy some of the positive changes in your home town.

      • No I won’t embrace this change. Being pushed out by others because they want to create new restauunts & bars go somewhere else! Echo Park doesn’t need more trendy restaurants or bars so they can be closed down in the next months because they can’t make profit. Leading them to push out tenants & people who lived there before. I’ve lived here for the past 30 years & Echo Park has not changed for the better.

        • you clearly have no clue whatsoever as to what is driving the change in “your” neighborhood. your blame is very sadly misplaced.

        • Martin Arredondo

          You obviously don’t own a home. Do you really want to go back to the days when certain people were only allowed to live in certain neighborhoods?

          • That’s exactly what’s happening right now in Echo Park. Only if you earn a certain amount of money you’re able to live in this nebighorhood.

          • Elisa, so describe your situation, if you please. Are you actually being pushed out? Displaced? Don’t like the new park? etc. ?

      • I see a lot of newcomers with fancy running gear, or fancy strollers who completely fail to make eye contact or return a greeting when they pass within a foot of you of you on the sidewalk. To be sure, not all are like that, but some newcomers to Echo Park are pretty easy to spot by their attitudes.

        • Hey dude, don’t take it personally. Everyone is distracted these days with devices, phones etc. It does’t always mean what you think it does…….

        • Maybe they’ve read the nasty comments about “newcomers”, “invaders”, “colonialists” on sites like this and think all the old timers hate them. Maybe that’s why they don’t make eye contact.

          Have you tried being friendly and be the first one to say hello with a smile on your face?

        • @toucan sam. I agree. The sarcasm and lack of empathy, not to mention the classism and sometimes overt racism in the comment section of these articles only adds credibility to the belief that in many ways, Echo Park is not changing for the better. Being forced to leave your home, your community, can be a traumatic event, especially if you lack financial resources. If you are lucky to have those resources, you probably have no idea what kind of impact that kind of disruption has on a person’s life. Studies have shown a link between wealth and the lack of empathy, and it doesn’t appear to be a healthy relationship:

          “In California, you’re supposed to stop for a pedestrian at a crosswalk. And, in a recent study, some 90 percent of drivers did, except for those driving luxury cars, like this BMW. They were almost as likely to run the intersection as wait for the person to cross the street . . . University of California, Berkeley: Drivers of those BMWs, those Porsches, those Mercedes were anywhere from three to four times more likely to break the law, than drivers of less expensive, low-status cars.” http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business-jan-june13-makingsense_06-21/

          Every other car on my street is now a bmw, mercedes, audi or lexus. Walking to school, my son and I have to be extremely careful because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen cars run the stop sign in an intersection where there is both an elementary school and nursery school. And Elisa is right – does every new business need to be a bar, restaurant or overpriced boutique? Several years back, new comers (according to EP standards) were starting things like the Echo Park Time Bank, Machine Project and the Echo Country Outpost, organizations that actually contribute(d) to the community.

          • @Toucan. I rarely come across a person smiling and making eye contanct ANYWHERE in LA. Common courtesy is a rare thing around these parts. How many “locals” have greeted me with a smile and a “hola” since I’ve lived here? ZERO….and I have a perma-smile half the time. Everyone hates everyone apparently.

            @KIM. Well a Prius is an unexpensive car and I almost get hit by one of those every time I’m on the road. The thing is, even if someone is driving a POS, everyone in this town thinks they are the center of the universe… So you get BMW mentality out of Toyota drivers

    • @Elisa – you’re lucky you had the experience that you had – to live in an urban neighborhood that you could call your own for what sounds like a nice, long time.

      America is a country where lots of people have to move several times throughout their lives in order to get decent jobs and find places where they can afford to live.,

      Sorry things have changed and that you’re unhappy about it – but you should consider yourself lucky, a lot of people never get the experience that you’ve had.

    • @Elisa, I totally agree with you our neighborhoods are losing their eclecticism and diversity. I never believed it would happen but it’s been in the wind since the ’90’s -since City Walk – there have been urban planning students affecting this change. I lament with you that we are becoming a society of useless shops ( selling nothing new), high priced restaurants and pubs.
      I remember the diversity from EP to HP to York Now it’s all generic like one big HomeDepot or Lowes.
      Sad

      • So I guess seeing a couple new white people around (still way way way the minority in most of LA hoods) isn’t adding to diversity because white people don’t count? And all of the locally owned shops selling quality, handmade goods (at prices that are justifiably higher) that have opened up equate to nothing more special than the big box stores?

    • This is all making me sad… Elisa I am on your side.
      .

    • You sound like how the white folks of Echo Park must have sounded about 50-60 years ago. But it’s OK for you, right? Live and let live and enjoy how the ‘hood evolves. An’ if you dont like it, move. This is America, we have the freedom to get duck out of fodge.

  10. Man, this neighborhood was white, Jewish, and bohemian before it was Mexican. Do a little research, people!

    • This entire city was 100% Mexican before all the rest and Mexicans have been a presence in EVERY L.A. neighborhood ever since including NELA, which wasn’t even developed until the 1930s. I have pix from the teens and 20s and the entire area was a virtual forest with orchards along the river. There’s YOUR history lesson. Read it, learn it, live it.

      • Just digging into this a little on Wikipedia… The Los Angeles pueblo was founded by Portuguese in 1781, and Mexico wasn’t independent from Spain until 1821. So, when you say LA was “100% Mexican before all the rest,” do you really just mean it was non-white before white people showed up? And as for your argument that Mexicans have been a presence in “EVERY L.A. neighborhood,” I hate to bring up dark history, but what about neighborhoods that were developed with bans on blacks, Mexicans, and Jews? For example, Hancock Park? There may be Mexicans (and black and Jews) living there now, but there certainly weren’t 60 years ago. I recommend to you this great book, which discusses Edendale in the teens, 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s: http://www.amazon.com/Bohemian-Los-Angeles-Making-Politics-ebook/dp/B0032Z83B8/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426801904&sr=1-1&keywords=bohemian+los+angeles

        • Poopy Retardos thinks he’s a Tongvan Indian

          • That’s rich GAROL, and sad at the same time because it’s true. PD likes to brag about being a “big, dark chicano” so maybe he is native? IMO Spanish and Portuguese are European/Mediterranean which mostly equals white… so get over it PD!

        • “The Los Angeles pueblo was founded by” by spanish-speaking Catholic settlers from Mexico’s interior. At which point is it safe to call them “Mexican”? You can split-hairs all you want but you can’t rewrite documented Mexican or L.A. history.

          Weak try . . .

      • Aldo Thee Apache

        ARgghh! Me Krog! Me here before all of you! Me get pushed out of cave by Homo Sapiens with their fancy “fire” and “wheel”. Krog had to close stone tool store to make way for upscale mammoth firepit. Krog tired of these upright walkers!

  11. No one is focusing on what’s important here… What will happen to the coin-operated Kermit car?

  12. bathing at baxter

    So we have this again. NFL Football in Chavez Ravine?
    “Could Dodgers Owners Swoop in With NFL Stadium Proposal?” http://la.curbed.com/archives/2015/03/dodgers_nfl_stadium_chavez_ravine.php

  13. Meanwhile, over on facebook…

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/137949276291885/

    Noted local bigot Luiza Mavroopoli is not happy!
    Also, anyone notice a lot of gang members posting about violence on that page? (scroll down) WTF?

    • Gang members are cowards. Call out the EXP! Yeah, right……

    • Folks should just wear their GoPros everywhere. Then, when some cockroach gangbanger decides to get silly, it will make it that much easier to get them sent away. If they stick their necks out, it will make it much easier to catch them and clean things up.

      • Cameras on all our heads to fight gangs?? Please pass the pipe.

        The concentration of wealth in the U.S. is a large part of the creation of a growing superfluous working age population. Some are in jail, Some are deployed, some (not all) are criminals. Either way, there are responsible ways of dealing with them, if that’s what we are interested in. I don’t think anyone committed to libertarian principles would be content to send them to prison where we can all pay for them. No. A commitment to our ideals would require us to help create opportunities for them instead of making them someone else’s problem.

        When considering that they are a necessary byproduct of the same dysfunction which creates un-spendable reserves of wealth elsewhere, “Send them away” becomes something not unlike that term I see so much around here; nimbyism, is it?

    • The comments on that FB page are laughable and sad.

    • Disgusting comments. Advocating gang violence to help keep Echo Park hispanic “….not that easy but necessary if we want to keep echo park Hispanic”. Another example of a double-standard.

      Not one person on that thread spoke out against his comments. Cowards. Or, it’s perhaps they agree with it. Likely the latter.

  14. Not Jumbos Clown Room!
    What:? Jumbos bargain? Well, not as bad. I hope something happens with the elephant sign and car.

  15. And what exactly is an “E-pack” ” I lived near that place for years and always wondered. A package full of “E’s” ?
    A bra size? A Scientology thing? Do you need an E-pack with your E-meter? Alas, we’ll never know!

  16. I go this spot all the time. I remember when the property was up for sale and it was posted on the Eastsider, I went in and told the shop owners who called their landlord immediately. When the “going out of business” sign went up, I gave the wife a hug and bought a whole bunch of stuff. They raised their daughter on the living they made here, and she said she was exhausted and needed a vacation anyway, The only day this place was closed was on Christmas….one day I’ll actually have to shop at Target but not until all the discount stores close….also $4 coffee is mentioned because this type of article addresses issues of gentrification which is symbolized by the $4 coffee that only people with lots of disposable income can afford on a scale that keeps all these coffee shops in business. I don’t drink coffee

    • Aldo Thee Apache

      While you’re somewhat correct about the $4 coffee issue being symbolic, it is also loaded with hyperbole, divisiveness and false dilemma.
      First off it presents a misleading worst case senario, as $4 is the going rate for esspresso, not drip. It’s akin to saying all cars cost 33k because that’s the going rate of an Acura, versus being able to by a Hyundai at 20k.
      There’s always a luxury version out there. So really you’re comparing sirloin to flank, Air Jordans to Cortez.

      What’s also irritating is that perenially indignant commenters here act as though the ONLY coffee available now in Echo Park is the “$4″ coffee, which is clearly beyond bullsh*t.
      There ARE options, plenty of them, as Ms Donuts, Vons, Patras and the millions of other places you can get coffee in Echo Park etc. would attest.
      No one is forcing you to buy a “$4” coffee. If it exists that means there’s a market for it. But there will always be plentiful 99¢ watered down bulk coffee, so calm the f*ck down.(or at least switch to decaf)

      What I find fascinating is that the anti-whatever crowd is getting their Dickies in a twist over small coffee businesses opening up (which ironically enough used to be called “Mom and Pop” stores). Meanwhile Starbucks, the ur-$4 coffee, has been here in Echo Park all along. Where is the outrage? Where was the outrage over a non-local giant corporate behemoth moving in with the exact expensive coffee that everyone is bitching about? There is none. This is the reason why most people are suspect of their supposed unique plight. If a local wants to open up, say a restaurant, that features better quality food for the community (which does unfortunately costs more at the source) and employs locals they get crucified on these boards. However when other mom and pop places here shutter and get replaced by Mc Donald’s, a global conglomerate who knowingly serve diabetes and obesity-inducing garbage to the community and treat their workers like sh*t, there’s total silence.

      So stripped of all that BS, the symbolism’s focus becomes a whole lot clearer. The “$4” coffee joins “hipsters” and all the other thinly veiled bigoted and divisive euphemisms on this site.

      I love you Eastsider, but you’re bringing me down.

  17. The discount dollar store directly across the street, between the Lost Knight and the Gold Room, is definitely my preferred dollar store. It seems better maintained than the departing Jumbo across the street. I can’t imagine these places bring in the big bucks so it’s actually impressive that they’ve stayed open as long as they have. I mean three massive dollar stores in the space of a quarter mile would seem like tough competition, no?

  18. Aldo Thee Apache

    While you’re somewhat correct about the $4 coffee issue being symbolic, it is also loaded with hyperbole, divisiveness and false dilemma.
    First off it presents a misleading worst case senario, as $4 is the going rate for esspresso, not drip. It’s akin to saying all cars cost 33k because that’s the going rate of an Acura, versus being able to by a Hyundai at 20k.
    There’s always a luxury version out there. So really you’re comparing sirloin to flank, Air Jordans to Cortez.

    What’s also irritating is that perenially indignant commenters here act as though the ONLY coffee available now in Echo Park is the “$4″ coffee, which is clearly beyond bullsh*t.
    There ARE options, plenty of them, as Ms Donuts, Vons, Patras and the millions of other places you can get coffee in Echo Park etc. would attest.
    No one is forcing you to buy a “$4” coffee. If it exists that means there’s a market for it. But there will always be plentiful 99¢ watered down bulk coffee, so calm the f*ck down.(or at least switch to decaf)

    What I find fascinating is that the anti-whatever crowd is getting their Dickies in a twist over small coffee businesses opening up (which ironically enough used to be called “Mom and Pop” stores). Meanwhile Starbucks, the ur-$4 coffee, has been here in Echo Park all along. Where is the outrage? Where was the outrage over a non-local giant corporate behemoth moving in with the exact expensive coffee that everyone here is b*tching about? There is none. This is the reason why most people are suspect of their supposed unique plight. If a local wants to open up, say a restaurant, that features better quality food for the community (which does unfortunately costs more at the source) and employs locals they get crucified on these boards. However when other mom and pop places here shutter and get replaced by Mc Donald’s, a global conglomerate who knowingly serve diabetes and obesity-inducing garbage to the community and treat their workers like sh*t, there’s total silence.

    So stripped of all that BS, the symbolism’s focus becomes a whole lot clearer. The “$4” coffee joins “hipsters” and all the other thinly veiled bigoted and divisive euphemisms on this site.

    I love you Eastsider, but you’re bringing me down.

  19. I hope they open up an Urban Outfitters or Gap or some Santa Monica Promenade type place to finally put a fork in Echo Park which has completely lost its flavor.

    • News Update: Jumbos Clown Room South is taking over the Jumbo Discount Store Location.
      Please welcome the Lovely Jumbos Strippers to the neighborhood!

  20. Reading these comments disgusts me. Grown adults losing respect for others on a local news outlet, and arguing like idiots. The whole point of having a lease is it expires…time changes, things come and go. You will all have come and gone too. Calling names and other people “newbs” is immature and outright disgusting. Go take a history lesson, take advantage of the education available to you in america. There are people with no homes or families in echo park too. Can’t we all just get along? It’s already unpleasant here with the changes, why must the people suck the life out of this place too.

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