An apartment building for the chronically homeless is headed to Alvarado. A restaurant owner is denying allegations of sexual harassment. And we have coffee, bar and bakery news. 

Echo Park Scene

Hanging around Echo Park

If you've been running into more spider webs than usual, you're not alone. Many spiders get busy this time of the year, especially big ones like orb weavers. Thanks to Jaymee Christopherson for her spider shot taken this weekend in Echo Park.

News & Notes

An 81-unit affordable housing complex with social services would replace two single-story commercial buildings at Alvarado and Kent streets, under plans filed with the city. SRO Housing Corporation says the studio apartments in the Alvarado Kent Apartments are to come fully furnished and would be reserved for homeless people with mental illnesses and chronically homeless veterans as well as other low income tenants. The complex -- which, from the renderings, looks about six stories -- would include a community kitchen, community room and other amenities.

Elysian Heights homeowner and restaurateur Gareth Kantner is in the news, and not in a good way. LAist reports that several former employees who worked at Kantner's Cafe Stella in Silver Lake have accused him of inappropriate touching and alleged sexual harassment over the years. His behavior, said one woman, was "wildly sexually inappropriate." Kantner's attorneys have denied the allegations, and the restaurant owner has not been charged with any crimes. The story does not say whether any of the half dozen former employees interviewed ever took legal action against Kantner. In Echo Park, Kantner also owns Dinette and has been working on opening a new store and restaurant next door

A coyote with a large chew toy stuck to its jaw was found dead in a backyard over the weekend, ABC7 reported. The animal died despite efforts to track it down and dislodge the toy. It appeared the large red toy made it difficult for the animal to drink water and eat. 

Police Commissioner Sandra Figueroa-Villa failed to report that her Echo Park-based nonprofit has received millions of dollars from the city, the L.A. Times reported. Figueroa-Villa -- who, the Times also notes, barely speaks at public meetings -- is the executive director of El Centro Del Pueblo, which has received $7.6 million since 2014 through Mayor Eric Garcetti's anti-gang programs and to work with the Rampart and Northeast police divisions on gang issues. Figueroa-Villa said she did not know she needed to disclose the source of her personal income. El Centro Del Pueblo, by the way, is also a key player in an Echo Park controversy over plans for building affordable housing where the nonprofit currently runs a recreation area.

Dodger Stadium has extended netting to protect the fans from fly balls, according to City News Service. The netting behind home plate and above both dugouts was extended an additional 124 feet down the baselines. Two fans at Dodger Stadium have been killed by foul balls - 79-year-old Linda Goldbloom last season and 14-year-old Alan Fish in 1970. This season saw a non-fatal injury last June when a female fan was hit while sitting four rows up from the field along the first base side of the diamond, just beyond the protective netting. 

A large tree fell over next to the Elysian Park Adaptive Recreation Center on Academy Road, causing some of the picnic tables nearby to be off limits during the Labor Day holiday. There were no reports of injuries. It is not known what caused the tree to collapse, but Elysian Park is filled with hundreds of dead and weakened trees in the wake of drought and disease.

If you noticed police gathered near Berkeley Avenue and Mohawk Street last Friday, they were responding to a report of a suspicious package, The Eastsider reported. The bomb squad was reportedly called to the scene but no dangerous devices were found.

What's going on at El Prado? Los Angeleno has an interview with new owner Nick Fisher, a 31-year-old artist who was the bar's doorman only three years ago. One of his first changes as owner was to remove the El Prado sign from the front of the Sunset bar and create a mosaic around the doorway.  “My intentions weren’t to be a pretentious bar with no sign,” Fisher told Los Angeleno. “It’s more about a de-branding, a de-naming than it is any sort of renaming. It can still be El Prado, but it can also be ‘Nicky’s.’ It can also be ‘The Mosaic Lounge.’ It can also be ‘2805 West Sunset.’ It doesn’t matter, it’s not about a name.”

Echo Park's coffee cup runneth over. Yes, more coffee shops are opening across the neighborhood. On the south and relatively decaffeinated end of the neighborhood, Laveta, a "minimalist" coffee shop, has opened in the former Bernie's Teriyaki on Glendale Boulevard south of Temple, reports Eater LA. If you don't like clutter (or chairs), Laveta is for you. Seating consists primarily of a concrete bench -- which matches the concrete floor and concrete-like walls -- and wooden cubes. Meanwhile on Sunset, Cosmic Vinyl plans to carve out space for a "vegan coffee shop," according to post on its Facebook page. Expect coffee to start pouring sometime next year. Laveta is at 311 Glendale Blvd. and Cosmic Vinyl is at 2149 Sunset Blvd.

More carbs, please. Building permits have been issued to convert a former medical office space at 1162 Glendale Blvd. into a bakery. The bakery would be located in the same building as Street Level Cafe and Reservoir Tattoo.


Friday, September 6: Echo Park Farmers' Market

Saturday September 7 - Sunday September 8: Creating Personal Narratives With Family, Footage, Photos and More - workshop

Tuesday, September 10: Teen Fabric Cyanotype Craft

Wednesday, September 11: Fiona Grey

Wednesday, September 11: Familiars in Witchcraft & A Witch's Bestiary


Crimes this week included a robbery near Reservoir and Glendale, an assault with a deadly weapon near Bellevue and Edgeware and a burglary near Scott and Alvarado, according to

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