Sunset Junction Fallout, Part II: Local Businesses Got Screwed
Many Silver Lake businesses expected to take a financial hit when Sunset Junction got cancelled. Well, it turned out they did.
"It was very painful," says Steven Edelson, owner of famed Silver Lake restaurant and nightclub El Cid. "We lost about $80,000 this weekend that we would've made during Sunset Junction."
The venue was to host the festival's new "Locals Only" stage, and Edelson had hoped to go on with their show even without the festival. "We invited all the bands to still play with us, but they weren't interested without the draw of Sunset Junction. I don't blame them." Instead the venue had a quieter weekend, with only a DJ and a couple of bands, and thus suffered financially.
Many in the Silver Lake and Echo Park community were able to quickly organize events to fill the void of the festival's absence, which softened the blow for some. These events helped some proprietors make more money than they would on a normal weekend, but nearly everyone we talked to said they lost money compared to last year.
David Granger, the manager of Silver Lake's Good Luck Bar, estimated the establishment's losses at about 20%. "All the places that are usually really busy during the day [at Sunset Junction] were empty. It was kind of sad," he says. He adds that the bar also had to cut down on staff for the weekend, which folks "weren't happy about."
Good Microwbrew and Grill -- located in the heart of things near Sunset Blvd. and Hyperion Ave. -- suffered a similar fate. A server there says the eatery drew 3-400 customers for the weekend, a far cry from the thousands they were accustomed to seeing during Sunset Junction.
"Business was steady on Saturday, but on Sunday we were so disappointed," says Omar Diaz, a server at Good for 11 years. "We definitely lost a lot of money."
At Mexican eatery Malo, another popular stop for festival-goers, business was "definitely down compared what we would've had for Sunset Junction," says manager Jonathan Kakacek. "That was frustrating."
Home décor shop ReForm School helped organize one of the fill-in community events over the weekend, called the "No Function Junction," which featured performances by the Ukulele Orchestra of the Western Hemisphere and others.