In this issue: Coronavirus fears grip the neighborhood -- and businesses are first to suffer. Dodger season may not start til summer. And how did Echo Park handle the influenza epidemic of 1918? 

Read on!!

Echo Park Scene

pasta echo park vons.jpg

Shoppers at the Echo Park Vons left the pasta shelves bare as pandemic panic-shopping spread.

News & Notes

Guisados closed. Workers at El Compadre have been busy deep-cleaning. And Taix is upping its takeout game. These and other restaurants and bars have been struggling to adapt and survive under government orders designed to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, reports The Eastsider. The pandemic precautions are proving to be tough medicine. "I can’t make enough to pay my employees, pay my rent," said Guisados owner Armando de la Torre Sr.

Dodger fans will have to wait until late May at the earliest for the start of the regular season after public health officials called on all major events to be delayed for eight weeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus, The Eastsider reported. The Dodgers had been scheduled to play the San Francisco Giants in the home opener on March 26.

A new facility for the homeless to store their belongings has opened in a public parking lot about a block north of Echo Park Lake, Councilman Mitch O'Farrell announced. The Bin Echo Park Safe Storage at 1146 N. Glendale is composed of two large shipping containers where homeless people can keep their personal items in oversized bins normally used for trash collection. The storage center will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Echo Park United Methodist Church suspended worship services until Easter Sunday, April 12. The announcement came after the church streamed a Sunday service on Facebook for the very first time in an attempt to remain open during the pandemic, The Eastsider said.

Many of the neighborhood's cultural destinations are dark in the wake of the pandemic. That includes the Echo Park and Edendale libraries (which host numerous events), The Echo and Echoplex nightclubs, Echo Park Film Center, Stories Books (which remains open online) Shepard Fairey's Subliminal Projects gallery and the Materials and Applications storefront space. We look forward to the day when we can report their reopening.

What neighborhood restaurants are serving takeout or offering delivery? What shops are selling merchandise online? What are the new store hours at the market. Please check The Eastsider's guide to riding out the pandemic in Echo Park with a list of shops and services. 

We've been through this before. The deadly influenza pandemic of 1918 -- sometimes referred to as the Spanish Flu -- swept through Los Angeles, prompting the closure businesses and churches and sparking debates over the merits of face masks. (Sound familiar?) Some influenza patients ended up at Barlow Sanitorium (now Barlow Respiratory Hospital), which had been set up by Dr. Jarvis Barlow almost 20 years earlier to treat tuberculosis patients in a compound next to Elysian Park. 

"The Barlow Story," the book that chronicled the history of the hospital, offers a peek into the century-old pandemic:

"Already stretched to the edges of its capacity, the Sanatorium was suddenly hit hard by the influenza epidemic. At one time there were 26 cases down in bed, 14 of them with pneumonia. 'This caused great concern and gave much extra work to our staff,' said Dr. Barlow. 'Not having accomodation for so many (extra) bed patients, many emergencies had to be met, and doctors and nurses were taxed to the limit'

In the end, only patient at the hospital succumbed to the epidemic, the book said.


Friday, March 20: Echo Park Farmers' Market

Events throughout the neighborhood have been canceled or postponed through the end of the month - including at the Echoplex, the Echo Park Film Center, Bootleg Theater, and Stories Books & Cafe. All Los Angeles Public Library locations are also closed through March 31.


Over the last seven days, crimes in Echo Park included a robbery in the 2100 block of Sunset, brandishing of a weapon near Sunset and Lemoyne and an assault with a deadly weapon in the 1900 block of Clinton, according to

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