Echo Park – The bright pink of the former Out-of-the-Closet store at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Lemoyne Street has been painted jet black as the Shoe Palace athletic shoe store chain prepares to open its latest outlet.

A crew was busy stocking shelves and racks over the weekend in the newly renovated interior. Shoe Palace officials have not responded to emails and phone calls seeking more information about the new store. But the store could open as soon as early this week, said one worker at the Echo Park location.

The chain, owned and operated by the Mershos family, has grown to about 100 stores since it was founded in San Jose 25 years ago.

Out of the Closet, a charity thrift store, closed earlier this year after failing to reach a deal with the landlord for the building, a former Woolworth’s store. The landlord had been asking about $30,000 a month in rent. for the building, which includes  which includes nearly 6,000-square-feet of ground floor space plus a large basement and mezzanine.

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