Glassell Park — The last time Verdugo Plaza attracted much attention was six years ago when a fire destroyed the most prominent tenant, the Verdugo Rancho Supermarket.
Now, the same small shopping center is attracting attention with a bold new color scheme. It’s part of a makeover that involves a high-profile architect and a bid to attract new tenants to a gentrifying neighborhood.
The three-building shopping center at the corner of Verdugo Road and Arthur Street had already been undergoing an evolution in the gentrifying neighborhood before it was recently painted in bold shades of yellow and white.
Lemon Poppy Kitchen opened a few years ago and has become a popular neighborhood staple, drawing big crowds on weekend mornings. Meanwhile, a new martial arts studio also set up shop while a large coin-operated laundry continues to attract customers to Verdugo Plaza.
The pace of change began to pick up last year after the real estate investment firm Coda Equities purchased the half empty property for $6.2 million. The firm has a reputation for buying commercial properties, renovating them and finding new tenants.
“This center serves as a destination for millennials, artists, writers, musicians, hipsters and working class of the Glassell Park community,” said CBRE broker Karol Le, who represented Coda in the deal. “It’s irreplaceable and fills an important role in this neighborhood.”
The owners are now in the process of seeking new tenants to fill the remaining empty spaces.
In addition to the bold new color scheme, the firm of Silver Lake architect Barbara Bestor has been hired to redo the former corner market, according to marketing materials. Bestor’s work has included new housing developments in Echo Park, stores for the Intelligentsia coffee chain and the renovation of Silver Lake’s landmark Silvertop house.
“The scope of work includes opening up the corner building to the surrounding neighborhood and updating the signage, color, and landscape for the other two buildings in the plaza,” said a marketing brochure.
No word on when the renovations will be completed.
The NYC import finally arrives, two years after announcing they would come to L.A.
Barcade—New York’s best-known arcade bar—finally opens in L.A., making good on an announcement they first made in 2017. The arcade bar concept will open to the public on May 6.
“We have been considering expanding to Los Angeles for a few years, but it took a while to find the right space,” Barcade CEO and co-founder Paul Kermizian said when the lease was first signed. “We considered a number of neighborhoods, but ultimately decided we liked the vibe and community in Highland Park, and felt this was an area in which we could contribute positively and thrive.”
Barcade’s new home was previously occupied for 53 years by the family-run El Arco Iris Mexican restaurant, the first business of the Cocinas y Calaveras group which has grown over the decades to include the Mercado locations and Yxta Cocina in downtown L.A.
Barcade New York
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF BARCADE
Several bar-arcades are already open around L.A. Just down the street from the new Barcade is Walt’s Bar in Eagle Rock, which specializes in pinball machines. Elsewhere, Angelenos can mix nostalgic childhood amusements with adults-only beverages at EightyTwo in the Arts District, Button Mash in Echo Park, and Mission Control in Santa Ana. (Just don’t call any of those places a “barcade”—since a 2007 legal dispute, only Barcade can use that trademarked term, and they’re quick to defend it.)