Proposed American bistro restaurant in Echo Park seeks full alcohol license

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A new, proposed restaurant in Echo Park is asking the Los Angeles Department of City Planning for a Conditional Use Permit to sell a full line of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption.

A Conditional Use Permit (also known as a special use permit) is written government permission to operate a business on land not zoned for certain specific purposes. Rather than a permanent zone change, which would change the way a certain area is zoned moving forward, a Conditional Use Permit is a temporary exception to the current zoning regulations in a particular parcel of land.

The land of the new restaurant, located at 1525 West Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA, is currently permitted to sell beer and wine for on-site consumption.

Some people may remember this location as the home of La Botana, a Mexican-Salvadorean restaurant and pupuseria that has now been closed for 3 years. Previously, it was known as Nuvia’s Restaurant and Pupuseria.

La Botana Restaurant Echo Park
1525 W. Sunset Blvd, location of new proposed restaurant in Echo Park

The new restaurant asks the City of Los Angeles to upgrade its current permit from the sale of beer and wine for on-site consumption to the sale and dispensing of a full line of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption.

The request is paired by the restaurant’s plan, which details the opening of a 1,379 square-foot restaurant with a  300 square-foot outdoor patio (located in the back on private property).

The new restaurant aims to offer 49 interior and 20 exterior seats, with proposed hours of operation being 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 8.am. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. The patio’s hours would be from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

The City of Los Angeles invites all interested persons to attend a public hearing regarding this matter where they can listen, ask questions, or present testimony regarding the restaurant.

The request is made by Boite, LLC, a downtown Los Angeles based company that is categorized under restaurants/eating places/delicatessens.

Jaime Turrey, chef and owner of Monsieur Egg, has come out as the owner of the proposed restaurant. Monsieur Egg is a push cart that operates out of downtown Los Angeles. They serve eggs, crab cakes, scones, croissants, pastries, coffee and more for the on-the-go downtown consumer.

On a Facebook post, Jaime Turrey, who also goes by M. Egg or Monsieur Egg himself, explained the restaurant in his own words, “A small 49 seat American bistro [with] beautiful decor, wood-fired grill, late night menu–a true neighborhood spot on Sunset Blvd.”

In the post, he asks current M. Egg fans to support his request to the city:

We have an existing beer and wine permit and are trying to gain entitlement to carry a full line of alcohol. We have been met with a vocal minority opposition citing public drunkenness, nuisance and permit saturation as grounds to dismiss our request. We are very aware of the concerns of the neighborhood, and being residents of and investors in, we will do everything in our power to ensure that our operation does not present an intensification of the issues that are driving the opposition. We are a restaurant, not a bar. And while we would like a full line of liquor, it is for the benefit of a discerning clientele who have come to expect a craft cocktail menu in their dining establishments.

Prior to Monsieur Egg, Jaime Turrey was Executive Chef at Village Kitchen, a cafe and program that provided culinary training for homeless women near downtown Los Angeles.

Jaime Turrey American Bistro Echo Park
Proposed location of new restaurant. Also shown is Villainy General Store, now closed. Photo credit: Monsieur Egg.

The hearing will be held at the Office of Zoning Administration on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Room 1020, Los Angeles, CA 90012. The actual time of the meeting may depend on the day’s agenda.

The case number is ZA 2014-0120(CUB). The zoning administrator that has been assigned this case is Michael Sin, who can be contacted at 213-978-1345 or by email at michael.sin@lacity.org.

According to the city, issues involved in the evaluation for the Conditional Use Permit include compatibility with surrounding land uses; conditions to ensure compatibility; land suitability and physical constraints; project design; availability of adequate access, public services, and facilities to serve the development; and potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures.

The Greater Echo Park-Elysian Neighborhood Council is also expected to review the special use permit by Jaime Turrey, who is expected to make an appearance before the Echo Park Board of Governors. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the Sandra Cisneros Learning Academy, where the meetings are usually held.

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