Echo Park — Chango, one of the neighborhood’s first coffee houses, has closed its doors for good, with the owners blaming the closure on rising operating expenses, increased competition and the need to make costly repairs.
The windows of the Echo Park Avenue cafe, which opened more than a decade ago as neighborhood gentrification was shifting into higher gear, were papered over this morning.
“We have made the very difficult decision to cease operations,” said co owners Jenna Turner and Marc Gallucci in statement. “We had been in negotiations to sell Chango, but negotiations were complicated and unfortunately the deal fell through.”
They added:“As business owners, we recognize that tough decisions need to be made and sometimes, abruptly to minimize all-around damage. 7 years ago, we were on the forefront of the coffee shop experience in a neighborhood on the brink of gentrification. The coffee scene, along with the neighborhood has experienced explosive growth creating a dynamic competitive marketplace. We are honored to have been a part of this community and neighborhood and will miss our loyal and dedicated customer base. In addition we would like to publicly thank our fantastic management team and staff members for making Chango all that is was. They created a culture of community, stability, familiarity and caring and for that we are forever grateful.”
Turner is also the owner of Habitat cafe in Glassell Park. Gallucci was the owner of the former Fix Coffee, which operated several blocks north of Chango in Elysian Heights before it closed last year.
It’s not know what will replace Chango. But, said Turner, “it will be a feeding frenzy for that space for sure.”
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