Photo by Martin Cox, July 14, 2007: View from east side of Echo Park Lake of the fire on Alvarado, about 1/8 mile away.
Doors were open at the Downbeat this morning, which led some neighbors to think the wonderful cafe on Avarado was open for business. It is not. The fire Saturday led to extensive damage in both the Downbeat and the shop next door, La Dita, and both are closed. The fire was upstairs, and one person may have been injured. No news on whether the beloved Echo Park Film Center was hurt, too.
Chicken Corner had been planning to applaud Dan, the new Downbeat's owner, who bought the place from Dave several months ago, because Dan kept his word about not making changes. Apparently, he knew a good thing when he saw it. The staff stayed, the room remained what it was, the clientele -- which is quite diverse in terms of age, ethnicity and class -- held steady, the food was great. Dakota, who manages the kitchen, says he doesn't know what will happen now. They are taking stock of the situation. He said he was fine, but he sounded shaken.