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Wednesday night kicked off Echo Park’s first Hospitality Night, where a handful of participating shops—including Sirens & Sailors, Luxe de Ville, Beauty Box and record store Origami Vinyl—drew a crowd of local neighbors, trendmakers, clubgoers and of course, shoppers. The party went from 6pm-11pm, though it did run slightly later at Warwick boutique, whose owner, Justin Warwick, was the official host of the proceedings. ABC 7 News even made a stop during the night to interview Warwick, just in time to make the 11 o’clock news.
Guests and strollers arrived throughout the night to enjoy beer, nearby street meat, a live set by Echo Park band Whiskey Circus and the abounding discounted duds (Warwick was offering tax-free and 10 percent off). An eclectic crowd, from Grecian sandal-donning ladies with perfect coifs to grungy, bearded East LA gents, chatted easily with one another – including with designer and Warwick vendor Joanna Oster and local graffiti artist Siggi – while thumbing through racks of the latest arrivals like Nooworks’ organic tees, and tube-dresses by local designer Ryder. “It’s like getting to shop and go to a bar at the same place,” remarked one attendee.
With the arrival of the area’s first block party this week, it was the hosts’ hope that this stretch of Sunset will continue to evolve into one of the city’s crowd-puller hubs. As one Whiskey Circus musician put it, "We knew something cool would happen in Echo Park soon and we think that happened here tonight.” Hospitality Nights will be the third Wednesday of each month. In the works for next month's event are an expanded merchandise area at Warwick, an exhibit area for local Echo Park artists, and music performance by DJ Renee Ascencio. For more information, email Justin Warwick.—Sarah McClure