One of Echo Park’s oldest coffeehouses closed this week, as Chango Coffee has ceased operations along Echo Park Avenue. The cafe opened 17 years ago, and now becomes just the latest Los Angeles dining casualty amidst closures attributed to high rents, competition, and increased business costs.
The Eastsider visited Chango yesterday, only to find paper lining the glass doors and windows on the 1,000 square foot shop. Co-owners Jenna Turner and Marc Galluci left the following note for customers:
“We have made the very difficult decision to cease operations. We had been in negotiations to sell Chango, but negotiations were complicated and unfortunately the deal fell through. As business owners, we recognize that tough decisions need to be made and sometimes, abruptly to minimize all-around damage. 7 years ago, we were on the forefront of the coffee shop experience in a neighborhood on the brink of gentrification.
The coffee scene, along with the neighborhood, has experienced explosive growth creating a dynamic competitive marketplace. We are honored to have been a part of this community and neighborhood and will miss our loyal and dedicated customer base. In addition we would like to publicly thank our fantastic management team and staff members for making Chango all that is was. They created a culture of community, stability, familiarity and caring and for that we are forever grateful.”
In 2001, Chango was the first modern cafe to open on the mostly residential area of Echo Park Avenue. Though the caffeine and people-watching outdoor seating was a draw, the cafe also pumped out sandwiches and burritos from its very small kitchen.
Turner and Gallucci took over Chango in 2012, and put the cafe up for sale in 2016. Turner owns Habitat Coffee, and Gallucci owned Chango’s neighboring and now-shuttered Fix Coffee. Not that the Echo Park’s coffee scene is hurting; fairly-recent newcomers Triniti Coffee, Eightfold Coffee, and Australian cafe Pollen are all still alive and well. There is no word on Chango’s replacement.