Fence installed in front of House of Spirits in Echo Park

The fire damaged and fenced off House of Spirits

Echo Park -- It's looking less likely that the House of Spirits will be reopening.

The Echo Park Avenue liquor store has been closed since last December after it was heavily damaged by a fire that broke out during a rain storm.

Now, the 6,840-square-foot building topped by an iconic neon sign is up for sale at an undisclosed price, according to a listing on LoopNet.

The listing describes the property, wedged between The Holloway bar and the Los Burritos stand, as a "rare redevelopment opportunity in the heart of Echo Park." Since the property is near major bus lines, it's possible for new owners to take advantage of city incentives to build a development with housing that would be much larger than would normally be allowed.

Meanwhile, the House of Spirits'  liquor license has been "surrendered" to state authorities, according to the Alcoholic Beverage Control. But that doesn't mean the owner has permanently closed, said an agency spokesman. It could just mean they have suspended operations temporarily, he said.

The store in the 1300 block of Echo Park just north of Sunset Boulevard was a convenient spot for residents to stop by to pick up some booze, soda or a $15 million Lotto ticket on the way home.  

But even those who never set foot in the store were familiar with the store's whimsical signs, which, when they worked, depicted puffs of smoke rising from the chimney of a tiny cottage.

So, what will happen to that sign? Stay tuned. We've asked the listing broker for details. 

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