Change in the works for El Chavo; Block Party’s started in Highland Park; Esqueleto enters Echo Park [updated]



el chavoIt’s been about nine years since restaurateur Melanie Tusquellas took over El Chavo, the long-time Mexican restaurant in Los Feliz.  But now a state Alcohol Beverage Control notice taped to the front window of the Sunset Boulevard restaurant announces that Bel Air-based Omni Equities LLC has applied to take ownership of El Chavo’s liquor licences.  It’s not clear what  Shahram Francois Ravan of Omni Equities has in mind for El Chavo.

Update: Tusquellas said the sale includes include El Chavo and El Chavito Bar & Lounge.

“Operating El Chavo for the last 9 years has been a true labor of love, but my lifestyle is changing , and it was the right time to move on,” Tusquellas said in an email.  “For the next two months or so we will continue to operate as we always have, serving the same margaritas and Mexican classics and celebrating the legacy we’ve created.”

In other Shopper & Diner news:

  • Block Party hits Highland Park’s ever-growing bar scene today, Friday, August 28, owner and cocktail master Jason Eisner announced on his Instagram account. Eater LA also reported that in addition to sipping on select craft beer, folks could order small bites, such as cheese and charcuterie boards with a vegan option or play yard games on the redwood patio outside. Eisner, who gained notoriety for his work as beverage director of Gracias Madre and Café Gratitude, is eager to get the Block Party started, particularly since he’s had it in the works since the beginning of the year. “We love our community and can’t wait to create beautiful lasting memories with you all!” Eisner proclaimed on Instagram. Block Party is located on the 5000 block of York Boulevard.
  • Oakland-based showroom Esqueleto has officially opened its Echo Park outpost, the Los Angeles Times reports. Handcrafted jewelry, art, décor and vintage kilims are some of the items offered at the sun soaked shop located on Sunset Boulevard near Dodger Stadium. Prices range from $50 for a hand-crafted item to $20,000 for an engagement ring. In addition to it wide-ranging prices, Esqueleto showcases designers who are featured in its Oakland outpost as well as emerging designers such as Kaylin Hertel, Jovana Djuric, Peter St. Lawrence, Donegan and Rachel Steiner.
  • Tenants of the Trees branches into Silver Lake with three distinct concepts all under one roof, reports Eater LA. Developed by hospitality team Reza Fahim and Jason Lev, two of the three spaces that are currently open include Tenants, the venue’s signature space equipped with a mid-century cabin bar and a vintage Citroën milk truck that was reincarnated as second bar patio, and Out of Order, an intimate, invitation-only music spot for A-list talent that prohibits cell phone use. Coming in a few weeks is Tenant’s third venue, Concession, a spacious outdoor theatre. Tenants of the Trees is located on the 2800 block of Hyperion Avenue.

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.


  1. Another bar with craft beer…….just what we need. Thanks.

  2. charcuterie boards – is that the same thing as a “cheese platter”? I know what a cheese platter is, those are cool with some wine (or maybe I’m not supposed to know what this is, so it’s code for those cool super educated and refined folks who know what that is?)

    • Similar – it’s cured meats – so hams, sausages, patés, that sort of thing.

    • If you don’t know what it is, look it up. It’s not a code. Is albondigas a super secret code word for meatball? I know what a meatball is…

      • Okay, let me be more blunt since sarcastic comedy is hard to convey in words:

        Charcuterie isn’t an American word. Let’s be more American. You said “Albondigas” – that’s Spanish but because it’s been said in this part of the country since before it was part of the country it’s as American as Hot Dog. Just because you don’t have another “cool” language besides English, you don’t have to adopt another one to be “cool”. People who have been here for generations and don’t speak Spanish fluently know what “Albondigas” mean, just like how they know what “Los Angeles” means.

  3. Does “take over the liquor license” = buy the restaurant? Sorry, I’m ignorant.

  4. Better get my green corn tamales!

  5. My father made that mural on the backside of El Chavo in 1997, painted the sign on the door, and just about the entire place before the current management changed the whole traditional Mexican theme. So much has changed, and to find out that this place got their license bought out, what are they going to possibly change it into now? Another Silver lake bar with craft beers on tap starting at 10.50? I remember when I grew up with all the authenticity of the food they made, watch all the older folks have a good time drinking their handmade margaritas, cherry temples, everything was original. I just hope it stays that way because that’s how it humbly started.

  6. Rest in peace El Chavo! You gave me the best childhood I could ever ask for, my dad, cousin, and brother put in a lot of work for you to stay up!

    • Massive respect to your family for helping to build up such an institution, Sylvana. El Chavo, you will be missed! I for one am not looking forward to seeing what sort of gentrified nonsense will replace it.

  7. UGH just found out that the crazy cult of Scientology bought the El Chavo building! Why are they buying up all the property in that area…its not like they do anything with it. What a waste of space.

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