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Hoover is Happening: The Silver Lake street is attracting new shops and energy to the south end of the neighborhood

New apartment building rising over a new shop and mural

Have you been on Hoover Street lately?  New shops, cafes and a yoga studio have opened amid the auto body shops, long-time stores and bungalows. Jacqueline Fernandez takes a closer look at what’s going on.

By JACQUELINE FERNANDEZ

Silver Lake   — When Joe Keeper decided it was time to move his Sunset Junction barware shop, he wanted to stay nearby but in a more affordable space where street parking was easier to find. That’s why he signed a lease for a storefront in the 600 block of N. Hoover Street, joining several new businesses that are generating more activity and buzz in a sleepy corner of the neighborhood.

The new businesses are popping up in a short strip of one-story storefronts and commercial buildings in what is primarily a residential area. It’s a few blocks south of Sunset Junction — the hub of Silver Lake’s shopping and dining scene — and two blocks east of Virgil Avenue, which has attracted a lot of attention and millenials thanks primarily to Sqirl cafe.

While Hoover remains relatively sleepy, the street’s profile began to rise when Cafecito Organico opened a coffee house at the corner of Hoover and Bellevue Avenue in 2010

“The changes I’m seeing in the commercial area of Hoover are good ones,” said Angel Orozo, co-owner of Cafecito. “The new businesses haven’t been negative to the community. They still [offer] services used by the community. No one is trying to displace anyone, unlike an area like Abbott Kinney [in Venice], the businesses are still affordable to the locals.”

Cafecito Organico is the anchor of the strip

Silver Lake real estate broker Clint Lukens, who has leased storefronts on Hoover, said rents on the street tend to be lower than on Sunset Boulevard even as traffic counts have increased. Being near Virgil Avenue has also helped.

“In the last couple years the 600 [north] block of Hoover has exploded with available space and popularity as locations in Silver Lake/East Hollywood [become] more and more attractive,” he said.

This stretch of Hoover certainly doesn’t have the foot traffic or name recognition of Sunset Junction.  But all that foot traffic and visibility was not paying off for Keeper, whose Sunset Junction shop offers glassware, spirits, bitters and vintage barware.

After conducting a study of his customers,  Keeper discovered that walk-ins weren’t spending any money at his store and that moving to Hoover wasn’t going to stop bartenders and destination shoppers from coming to Bar Keeper’s new home.

“Gentrification has occurred and parking also is a burden down at the Junction,” said Keeper, who plans to move to 614 N. Hoover St. this summer.

Bar Keeper is moving next door to Vinovore, a wine shop opened by Coly Den Haan last year. In addition to her wine shop, Den Haan also opened Hot Hot Food cafe — now a mostly vegan restaurant named Jewel – up the block on Hoover.

She is aware that gentrification is an issue in Silver Lake. But Den Haan said she has not received any push back from the neighbors.

The customers who patronize the street seem “to be divided [between] the people who have lived here for a long time and are really excited to see new things happening and people who are just moving in to the neighborhood,” said Den Haan.

A mix of shops — for now — on Hoover

At the corner of of Hoover and Lucile Avenue, Roam Yoga moved into their space last April. Owners Jennifer Perry and Chad Dennis fell in love with the triangular shaped building.

“It’s really unique shape and location … felt like it would be an awesome anchor for the neighborhood community center,” Perry said.

Bronwen Tawse is another business owner who is looking to set up shop on Hoover. Tawse was one of the co-founders of the Spice Station,  the acclaimed Sunset Boulevard purveyor of fine and unique spices and spice blends that closed early last year.  Now, Tawse is now crowdsourcing funds to open a spice shop on Hoover instead of Sunset.

“With Bar Keeper going there this summer and Vinovore being there already, I think it will be a destination soon enough,” Tawse said of Hoover.

 

The street is lined with a mix of shops, homes and garden sculptures!

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17 comments

  1. Another street that could really use a reconfiguration of utility poles. Such an eyesore!

    • The biggest eyesore there is that tower of a building way out of character with everything lse in the area that you see in the top photo point his story. It towers over the rest of the street, and it is incredibly narrow! This puts over-development on steroids. That thing is as ugly as can be, and I don’t see how it can be very livable being as narrow as it is, squeezed in like sardines.

      • Dude.. it’s literally 5 stories, 55 ft is not a tower, it’s a ladder taller than a new 2 story single family home.

        And how are you judging the look of the building when it’s under construction?? It’s completely surrounded in scaffolding.

        “This chicken cordon bleu is awful!” – Tom: yelling at a rooster pecking around Silver Lake…

  2. The only problem is parking is difficult in that neighborhood now. Probably could benefit from some meters. It used to also be the best way to escape Sunset Junction, now it’s often backed up probably cause of Waze. Good to see Bar Keeper isn’t moving too far away!

    • Meters. That will make it a lot worse. Cars will only park on the residential streets instead!

      Still, this is not for attracting people from all over to come to this location, this is for the neighborhood around it, just walk a block or two to these kind of shops. This is NOT an acceptable location for businesses to attract people to come from all over.

      • Tom, let’s try to be more welcoming of improvements and renewed interest in neighborhood streets. They aren’t made to be enjoyed only by the few that you selected, we all live here, we all want a safer, cleaner more livable city.

        The “Mine only” mentality might be appropriate in Orange Country, but it’s a terrible outlook for a city of more than 4 million people.

        • Improvement and renewed interest? There was always interest in these shops by the locals and they were well served. This is gentrification. It won’t stop, it won’t be reversed but don’t spin it as some sort of restoration. It’s price hikes forcing out long term businesses and residents. Plain and simple. It’s happened all over this 4 million peopled city. It’s never kind, it’s never considerate and it’s rarely restoration it’s usually to attract and comfort residents willing to pay higher prices and to reshape the neighborhood to their standards. Honestly makes it easier to make peace with. Always rather a punch in the face, than a stab in the back.

          • Yes, improvements and renewed interest. That’s what “investment” is… New construction worth millions of dollars, rehabbing buildings, people spending lots of TIME and MONEY, making things NICER

            Don’t pretend like this area was all rainbows and sunshine, I lived on Imogen for 3 years back in the aughts and there wasn’t a shop on Hoover that had any sort of regular patronage. There was a friendly restaurant where Cafecito Organico now lives, but the food was very mediocre and the place was dingy as all hell.

            I don’t understand complaints like yours… I remember growing up in Echo Park and playing in the basement when the sun went down and bullets started flying, staying inside after dark, bars on the windows. Yes, it’s changes a lot, yes it’s more expensive, but DAMN it’s better living, and I would never go back.

          • I’ve lived on Hoover for 19 years. Was even robbed at gunpoint down where these new shops are being built. I’ll go to Cafecito but I haven’t stepped foot in any of these other places. They got priced out of the Junction so now they’re over here because their landlords conveniently booted out the stores that were previously there. Do I want to be robbed at gunpont? Nope. But I and so many other neighbors would like change that doesn’t force out the mom and pop stores that made this community what it is. I hope these places do well but seriously, just look at what has happened in NYC with the hypergentrification there — or with Chango in Echo Park. Pretty soon only chains can afford the rents.

  3. Hmm what’s that, a narrow road with a decent street wall is improving?? Weird that yet another “pedestrian-oriented” corridor is seeing value rise as people in LA discover the pleasantry of walkable environs.

    Next up, Sunset Blvd through East Hollywood! That temple of asphalt, big box retailers and parking lots is a gentrifiers dream…

  4. Don’t go reporting that this has happened without running longtime businesses out! That entire row of shops you even post a picture of between Lucille and Clinton were all run out, and many of the storefronts were vacant for a long time, and some of them still are — done by a new owner of the entire row kicking them out! Those businesses that were run out had been there for decades, lost their livelihood. My hair cutter was there, she was now well into her 50s, she can’t start over again and build a clientele some place else where no one has ever heard of her — she is ruined in her retirement!

    Small businesses that lease are all being run out by big rent hikes, and that has to be the same for all these other shops you are reporting have come in there, its not like the businesses that were there all got up and left at the same time because they wanted to.

    • Fail to keep up with the times and your business will fail, simple as that

    • I’ve lived here for 6 years. I recall the small strip being a storefront Iglesia, a neighborhood market, with barely any healthy food, and an eclectic antique/furniture/resale shop (that I loved, actually) The new retailers are a much welcome change. Real, useful goods and sevices in my pedestrian friendly hood. Zero argument from me. A salon of some kind would be a nice addition.

    • Tom you are 100% correct but unfortunately most do not care to look at it that way….mostly you receive replies like The Real Monty which is arrogant and flippant (and I’m choosing the kindest words I can).

    • Exactly this. This is what’s so sad about this. Same happened on Virgil before that Flounce Vintage and Twig and Twine moved in with their silly $40 candles.

  5. The LAST DYI block in all of Silver Lake.
    5 years from now it will be unaffordable

    • umm 5 years from now? Have you seen the price of a 2-bed in Silverlake? I agree 100% with Tom, we should all be familiar with the pink-shirted, gated-community-living developer/real estate guy (aka Clint). He pushed out our ONLY mom and pop grocery store on Bellevue, so now there’s going to be ANOTHER wine shop, because we don’t have enough wine around, and a salon, 2 blocks from the more recently opened Floyds on Sunset and 3 other salons all at Sunset/Silverlake Blvd. Let’s see who goes to these shops and buys their vintage clothes because honestly, I have barely heard or seen of anyone frequenting these new shops. I like the vegan place, quiet, good food, nice. Other than that, meh, they won’t last. We need a GROCERY STORE, replace what you have destroyed, give us options for living, not overpriced vintage clothing! Sunset is the new Melrose, bleh.

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