Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Echo Park’s Pizza Buona is moving out but who is moving in?


ECHO PARK —  Pizza Buona is closing on December 27 after more than 50 years of serving  pizza from the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado Street.

The neighborhood pizza joint announced the upcoming closure on its Facebook page:

“THANK YOU to all of you that have supported us throughout the years. We would be nothing without you. Please check back for our new location.”

Israel Palacios, whose family owns the pizzeria, said last July that a rent hike was prompting the move. His family has been searching for a new location, preferably close to Echo Park, to continue serving up its sausage pizza, breadsticks, meatball sandwiches and other American-Italian fare. The restaurant has been in operation since 1959.

Who is now poised to move into the Pizza Buona storefront?  Well, the brokers trying to lease the soon-to-close American Apparel store across the street said in their marketing material that Alimento, the Silver Lake Italian restaurant that has won critical praise, “will be opening a new restaurant … in the former Pizza Buona.”

But the folks at Alimento did not have much to say when contacted by The Eastsider about a possible Echo Park outpost. “There is no news to share at this time,” said an email from the restaurant. “We’ll let you know if there is.”

Palacios said the tenant moving into his family’s restaurant has stopped by to have a meal and recently brought in his designer. But Palacios does not know his name.

For now, Palacios is more focused on trying to find a new pizzeria space, which is not easy in era of rising commercial rents. He asks customers to check the Pizza Buona website for updates about a new location. Meanwhile, his family and their employees are prepare for their last day on the Sunday after Christmas.  “On Monday, we start to move out.”

Screenshot 2015-12-10 at 3.10.51 PM

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  1. It’s a wrap, one of the last of the Mohicans ! Echo X Park Ducks, Studio One … It’s over, here comes the mayflower, and it’s entourage. Welcome to Echo~Park, just don’t stick it to us to tough. Maybe you guys can put an affordable winery, so we can all have a drink…
    Good morning, peace out my ninjas /)(;;($&@@”@”..,?!!’mm[]}}###%^^**+•=\€£¥¥•??!’m

  2. T his place holds a lot of very bitter/sweet memories. I have lived in the neighborhood for most of my life. My mom would occasionally order take-out for that surprise meal. As we grew and had our children, we did the same. This place has been a culinary institution in our lives. We would stop here before or after the movie when Mohawk Bend was still The Ramona theatre.. I fell in love in these places. I am sad to see this place go. I will visit it one more time and have another memory.

  3. Oh my…..I love their pizza so much. I want to thank the family for making great pizza all these years. I hope they continue to make it! I’ll visit them! Been eating their pizza for over 20 years. I’ll miss them, but this is the unfortunate truth of not owning the space you create your business in. I know it’s difficult, but there are no guarantees if you don’t own the building your successful business is sitting in.

  4. Never been to this place, but I do remember a news story of a car plowing through the front door.

  5. That was the greasiest nasty pizza , I have tried it several times. The space is the only thing good about it, they were sitting on a gold mine and did not change with the times…..when a demographic emerges and you have a great space , its on the business owner.
    While rising rents can be sad it is the reality of business and if you do not see the rising tide around you you obviously don’t care or shouldn’t be slinging pies.
    LA really has a enormous victimization problem, its always someone else fault.

    • Pizza Buena was an institution! Although I have lived in LA for 30 plus years it seems that LA wipes the slate clean every 10 years or so and that gentrification is really changing this place and not always for the better. I am getting sick of it. It will be interesting if the use is replaced by an overpriced pretentious white table cloth restaurant or if the corner lot is combined with other lots and the buildings raised to make way for a mixed use project with overpriced rental units about crappy generic commercial!

  6. Their pizza was great – especially when eaten hot and fresh in the restaurant. You will be missed, PB.

  7. The explanation for closing Pizza Buona has been couched in familiar, yet ambiguous terms.
    A “steep rent hike” can only be imposed on Pizza Buona if there is no lease or if their lease was set to expire.
    If there no lease is in effect, then the property owner could raise the rent at will by providing a notice 30 days in advance of imposing the new monthly rental rate. That doesn’t seem to be the case here.
    Is the lease set to expire? — because that has never been explicitly stated in the case of Pizza Buona.
    While Pizza Buona is leaving its long time Echo Park location during an era of rising rents, it appears the decision to leave was voluntary and brings some hidden benefit to the owners.
    For example:
    the owners looked forward to retirement and a substantial term was remaining on their existing lease for which the property owner offered a generous sum as a buy-out.
    So why would the owners carry on disengenously about looking for a new location and offer coy talk about having lunch with a new proprietor whose name they don’t know?
    They would like everyone else, especialy long-time employees of Pizza Buona, to believe this is a “hard-luck” situation.
    This will help the owners to avoid an uncomfortable situation where employees call for full disclosure and sharing of benefits in the final days before they are layed-off and locked-out.

    • Wow talk about attacking a local institution. Many of their employees have been working there for years. Hey this is the free market system working including a possibly very greedy landlord looking around at the new development in the area and assuming they can get more rent!

  8. let me guess another coffee shop for the hipstersame or yoga studio

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