Through the Looking Glass

February 3, 2009 at 7:59 am 1 comment

I must admit, I have a fetish for watching new stores open in my neighborhood.  Whether it be a restaurant, bar, coffee shop, furniture store, clothing store, co-working space, flower shop, hair salon, or whatever one tends to come across in most urban environments, I find the opening of a new commercial endeavor to be a fascinating look into the fabric of a particular community.  A successful commercial space provides somewhat of a snapshot of the immediate and neighboring residents of the neighborhood in which the store lies.  More so, a young, yet quickly successful shop can act as a looking glass into the future of a community.

The reason why this theory rests so far at the front of my mind at this moment is the fault of two spaces I have been frequenting as of late: City Sip and K9 Loft, both in Echo Park.  These commercial spots happen to be on the same block in Echo Park.  Both lie on the south side of the street on Sunset, just west of Alvarado.  City Sip ( is an understatedly hip wine bar that sells wine by the glass and the bottle, as well as charcuterie, small bites and cheese plates.  Having only opened in the early fall of 2008, this bar has drawn a consistent crowd into its tiny, yet comfortable quarters every time I have visited (which has now been a handful of times in the last few weeks).  City Sip adds a new level of sophistication to the nighttime activity of a block that also houses a burrito stand, a 7-Eleven and a pizza joint. 

According to its website, “K9 Loft is Echo Park’s premiere five-star dog daycare facility… Our mission is to offer dog owners a new higher level of care for their precious companions.”  The choice of words strongly relays the image that K9 Loft ( has chosen to portray not only on their website, but also through the interior and exterior of their retail space.  I can’t recall exactly when this pet-friendly store opened its doors, but it had to be somewhere between late 2006 and the summer of 2007.  Regardless, the large remodeled space on the corner of Sunset and Rosemont offered new life to the physical bleakness that had come to brand this stretch of Sunset for quite some time.  The plethora of doggies, and people, coming in and out of the loft from morning to night adds to the diversity of the block.

While I have no vested interest in seeing this neighborhood morph into something completely different from what it was before I started patronizing these two commercial spaces, I am quite curious if the seeming success of these shops will translate into the opening of more “premiere” commercial sites along this block.  If the above-theory holds true, we may just see a vegan restaurant open next.  But whether or not that time ever comes, I will continue to take my precious companion Shadow to K9 Loft for his monthly grooming and journey on to City Sip for a relaxing glass of Sauvignon Blanc.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jeffrey E.  |  February 4, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    why does shadow get mention but I don’t? You take him to K9 and me to city sip


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