Echo Park: L.A.'s New Drink Destination?

Xoia EatsFood and drink go hand in hand, as Echo Park restaurateurs seem to be discovering. With a proliferation of new alcohol permits, the neighborhood maybe become a new nightlife destination for the urbane crowd.

When Mohawk Bend announced its plans last year to take over an empty theater on Sunset Boulevard, the news was met mainly with rejoicing, though a few persistent opponents did make the permitting process a bigger headache than usual for owner Tony Yanow. Now that the enormous (for the neighborhood) restaurant has opened, it's packed nightly with customers clamoring for craft cocktails, California wine, and the dozens of beers on tap (frankly, the food is currently a bit of an afterthought).

It would seem that Mohawk's success, and the way the neighborhood has embraced it, encouraged Sunset Beer Company to install a store and lounge down the street. Xoia Eats, the Vietnamese-Mexican restaurant, and Red Hill, the upcoming American-ish restaurant on Echo Park Avenue, recently passed the first step toward a beer and wine license: a recommendation from the neighborhood council.

Because these four spots are solidly within commercial areas, the squeaks of disapproval have been rare and easily ignored. But Fix Coffee, further up Echo Park Avenue and across the street from an elementary school, has been enraging some locals with its application for a beer and wine license. The idea being that such a thing will contribute to the delinquency of children, and make them susceptible to drunk drivers. The neighborhood council has recommended that they refrain from selling beer and wine until one hour after school activities have ended.

What do you think, Angelenos? Is it inappropriate to sell alcohol near elementary schools? And regardless of your feelings on that - will you be spending more evenings in Echo Park?

Fix Coffee
2100 Echo Park Ave.
LA, CA 90026
213-284-8962

Red Hill
1325 Echo Park Ave.
LA, CA 90026
No phone

Mohawk Bend
2141 Sunset Blvd.
LA, CA 90026
213-483-2337

Sunset Beer Company
1498 Sunset Blvd. #3
LA, CA 90026
213-481-2337

Xoia Eats
1801 Sunset Blvd.
LA, CA 90026
213-413-3232


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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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Echo Park is a lot of things - an artistic and activist hub for instance - and we've seen Echo Park grow over the years. There is certainly some incredible food and beverages to explore, so if Echo Park is now being defined by the craft beers/bevs and nightlife - well, so be it! (Though the food is underestimated as exemplified by AYC and The Park Restaurant.)

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I love the Fix and all, but I there is nothing more annoying than a coffeeshop that closes at sundown.

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In this economy (a tired phrase, but a true one), I'm in support of nearly anything that increases commerce. Bring on the drinks!