First Fridays: A coming out party for Virgil Village

Virgil and Melrose

East Hollywood — Virgil Village has reached a milestone of sorts in its emergence as a shopping and dining destination with the launch of a monthly tradition this week: First Fridays.

“Businesses along both Hoover and Virgil are being encouraged to open their doors to the public, both literally and figuratively, bringing their proverbial wares to the street,” said David Andreone, one of the event organizers and co-owner of Melody restaurant, which opened on Virgil Avenue late last year.

So far, Shaken Vanity Salon on Hoover is offering free haircuts for Lockwood Elementary kids  while LSH CoLab on Virgil is holding an art opening with refreshments,  Andreone  said. Meanwhile, the new Spice Station on Hoover is having an opening party, ROAM has discounted yoga classes, Maker’s Mess has crafts and Melody, of course, has free food.

Businesses are encouraged to donate some sales proceeds to a support group dedicated to Lockwood Avenue Elementary School. Sqirl, the cafe which has been credited for igniting growth in this area, is donating a percentage of sales to the group, Andreone said.

The idea started with Virgil Village residents Glen Phillips and Susan Suhar as a way to bring the diverse elements of the neighborhood together, Andreone said.

“Virgil Village is changing in many ways — not all good, not all bad,” Andreone said. “While a street festival can’t put a cap on rents or property values, it can certainly showcase and celebrate the rich culture of the neighborhood, and in doing so, help to preserve it.”

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