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SPOTLIGHT: Peoples Sausage Company

As the daughter of an entrepreneur and now a business owner myself, I love hearing stories of how people start and sustain their businesses. Since our family business didn’t survive beyond my father’s retirement due to other career interests of me and my siblings, I especially love hearing how these types of businesses successfully pass the torch to the next generation.

When I first met Brian Bianchetti and his sister Sara, I was drawn into their booth at an artisan fair by the bold branding of the family’s handcrafted People’s Choice Beef Jerky with the statement of “Locally Made. Family Owned.” The product was simple, and it stood out: it’s an old-fashioned style jerky handcrafted in a range of flavor profiles through spices and marinades that have been updated for the contemporary palette.

When chatting with Brian, I discovered that he recently returned after a stint working in advertising to help refresh the family’s marketing, and that his family had run their business in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) for nearly 90 years. I also found out that he is an Arts District resident. Intrigued for all of the reasons stated above and more, I asked if I could come visit him and his father Mark so I could talk more and see for myself how jerky was made.

Here’s a live unedited podcast of my visit, followed below by images and more information about Peoples Sausage Company:

When I arrive at Peoples Sausage Company, I instantly recognized the mural on the exterior that I had often passed during my treks through DTLA near the historic Coca Cola building. I discovered that the large-scale artwork was by Bill Lagattuta, a Los Angeles-based artist and former “48 Hours” news correspondent and television anchorman. In 2008, Bill approached Mark to see if he could paint the mural timed for completion when his latest art show was on view. The imagery is similar to a work by the artist called “The Executives.”

Once I entered the Peoples Sausage Company offices, I got a tour of their onsite production facility where I watched each step in the process of creating beef jerky: slicing, marinating, laying, and cooking. I also learned about the family’s rich history of making quality meat products. In 1929, Brian’s great-grandfather John Bianchetti founded what was then named Peoples Old Market. He started with nothing more than a few dollars and an indomitable will to succeed. His vision was to build a neighborhood meat shop that sold high-quality products with honesty and hard work. He proved the validity of that vision in 1939 when he moved his growing business into its current location at 1132 E. Pico Blvd. and changed the name to Peoples Sausage Company, solidifying their legacy in the specialty meat space. His grandfather Paul joined the company in 1955 and while described as “old school” in most ways, he was best known for his innovation overall. He set the mark for the company’s continuing reinvention of its products based on changing market trends while still retaining a strong identity and keeping true to its handmade simplicity. His father Mark took over in the 1970s and remains at the helm today.

Brian says, “I think a lot about tradition, history, and heritage. Whether it’s the boldness of my great-grandfather, work ethic of my grandfather, or foresight and vision of my dad, I can usually find inspiration for the future by looking to the past.”

People’s Choice Beef Jerky is the specialty meat company’s most popular brand, and it comes in a variety of flavors. Its Old Fashioned line comes in Original and Hot & Spicy. The Classic Style is available in Original, Teriyaki, and Hot & Spicy. Carne Seca flavors include Limon, Limon Con Chile, and Machaca. The Tasting Kitchen line currently comes in Sriracha (tangy and sweet with a kick of heat) and Garlic Ginger. Brian and Mark are always searching for new flavors and spices from around the world, so they also offer limited-edition, small batches of new varieties exclusively to their online customers.

To buy People’s Choice Beef Jerky, you can visit their location in person or buy online at www.PeoplesChoiceBeefJerky.com.

Peoples Sausage Company
1132 E. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021<
(213) 627-8633 • info@peopleschoicebeefjerky.com
http://peopleschoicebeefjerky.com

MEET ME THERE … THIS WEEKEND in DTLA Arts District

Check out FREE events this weekend at Hughes Estate Sales, Arts District Dog Park, Arts District Co-Op, Black Milk Clothing, and Artists & Fleas in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles … MEET ME THERE!


SAT 2/21 & SUN 2/22 @ 10 AM to 4 PM :: HUGHES ESTATE SALES MONTHLY EVENT @ 458 S. Alameda St., Los Angeles 90013 Starting on the third Friday of every month, this three-day sale offers a curated selection of items gleaned from about a dozen or more estates. Return often for the best deals. Free admission. => DETAILS • RSVP on FB


SAT 2/21 @ 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM :: HAPPY HEALTHY DOG DAY at Arts District Dog Park @ 1004 E. 4th Pl., Los Angeles 90013 An afternoon of dog health and behavior with special guest Councilmember Jose Huizar, his family, and his best friend Beau the Frenchie! Microchipping $15! Free Rabies Vacs! Dog Massages! Dog Licensing! Pupsicles! Goodie Bags! Raffles! => RSVP on FB


SAT 2/21 @ 10 AM to 3 PM :: SELL YOUR Sh#t DTLA at Arts District Co-Op @ 453 Colyton St., Los Angeles 90013 This community sale is for those who live in DTLA and do not have a garage! Come and see what fellow residents are selling, or bring your own items (to sell, please email sellyourshitdtla@gmail.com). Free admission. => RSVP on FB


SAT 2/21 @ 10 AM to 5 PM :: OPENING OF BLACK MILK CLOTHING CONCEPT STORE @ 2020 E. 7th St, Los Angeles 90021 Meet the designer, enjoy exclusive discounts, watch an in-store photoshoot, get garment alterations, and more.  Free admission. => RSVP on FB


SAT 2/21 & SUN 2/22 @ 11 AM to 5 PM :: ARTISTS & FLEAS MONTHLY MARKET @ 647 Mateo St., Los Angeles 90021 Every 3rd weekend, enjoy this free open-air market across from Urban Radish. This month’s market features colorful yarn-wrapped horseshoe wall decor by our friends at Marley and AlfieFree admission. => RSVP on FB


CONTACT ME! Got something to share about the Arts District? Send me an email at mrb@downtownmuse.com. Also, ask about integrated marketing opportunities for your business through my blog. And hey, BUY MY MUSE-ings BOOK by clicking HERE. Follow @DowntownMuse on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, too!

ANNOUNCING: First Illustrated Contemporary Arts District Map Released as Limited-Edition Serigraph

Allan Finamore of Epilogue (here with Melissa Richardson Banks) purchased one of the first prints.

Allan Finamore of Arts District-based Epilogue (here at Hammer and Spear with Melissa Richardson Banks) purchased one of the first prints.

At last … my long-awaited map of my neighborhood is complete — the very FIRST illustrated contemporary Arts District map to be released as a limited-edition serigraph is available today and promises to be instantly collectible.

Artist Ohara Hale (who lived in the Arts District during 2005-2007 and is also a musician with a new album!) was commissioned by me to hand-illustrate my design using her distinctive style. Arts District-based artist and Big Squeeze Press master printer Patricia R. Mitchell hand-printed the five-color 22″x15″ serigraphs using hand-mixed, water-based inks on Stonehenge 100% cotton, acid-free paper made in America. The black ink used on each print was infused with metallic ink to give the illustration added depth and richness.

This inaugural edition features only 50 signed and numbered serigraphs; each accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. TONIGHT! Get a sneak peak of the map and snag one of the first of only 10 to be available for sale EXCLUSIVELY at Hammer and Spear during their 1 Year Anniversary Party on Thursday, May 1, 2014 from 7 PM to 10 PM (RSVP required by clicking HERE).

INQUIRIES: (213) 537-4483 or email

Arts District Map redone by Patricia for WebDowntown Muse Arts District Illustrated Map
by Melissa Richardson Banks in collaboration with Ohara Hale and Patricia R. Mitchell of Big Squeeze Press 
hand-pulled serigraph, signed and numbered, edition of 50
22 x 15 inches, 100% cotton Stonehenge fine art paper
$250 unframed (22 x 15 inches); $450 (float mounted in a black frame sized 26 x 19 inches)

A-MUSE-ing Video of Me by The Skinny Gorillas!

Happy to share this “a-MUSE-ing” video by The Skinny Gorillas of me talking about my photography.

This video was produced for my exhibition as the “February 2014 Featured Artist” for the Los Angeles Downtown Art WalkSpecial thanks to Qathryn Brehm and Jeremy Quant of the Los Angeles Downtown Art Walk plus my new friends from The Skinny Gorillas: Rashid Belt, Wiola Marek, Tom Colley and talk show host Ashley Iola!

GO: Spring Over to Chinatown

If you’ve been to Chinatown in Downtown Los Angeles, you’ve probably attended an art opening on Chung King Road near Hill or eaten “slippery shrimp” at Yang Chow on Broadway. However, if you haven’t trekked beyond these, you’re missing what’s emerging on the neighborhood’s south side.

Over the years, I’ve frequented many establishments in Chinatown and most recently, have found myself on North Spring Street near Cesar Chavez Avenue for the following places:

  • Authentic Thai Cuisine – I say it’s the best Thai food in DTLA – love their tofu Pad Thai, brown rice, and delivery service to the Arts District!
  • Spring Street Smokehouse – great barbecue and selection of craft beers!
  • Spaahbulous – $20 for a one-hour massage of your feet and more!
  • Caveman Vintage Music – cool guitars and vinyl that I discovered during the “first annual” Springfest on April 15, 2012, which sadly has not repeated 🙁

[As an aside, just around the corner is where I often print banners for my clients: Sam’s Signs, which offers inexpensive prices and fast service.]

643-North_ColorIn addition to Roy Choi’s Chego in Far East Plaza on Broadway, 643 North is my latest reason to head outside of the Arts District and over to the south side of Chinatown. Just steps away from the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles on Olvera Street, this contemporary Italian gastropub quietly made its debut in September. In addition to a full bar, it offers a reasonably priced – and very tasty – menu featuring seasonal small and larger bites, pizza, sandwiches, and bowls (salads and soups). The atmosphere with a cool vibe stands out against the area’s otherwise dingy and dark options — the clean industrial design by Los Angeles-based Raveled Studio is welcoming and light in comparison.

643 North’s bar includes 12 rotating craft beers on tap (a flight of four is only $12), seasonal and signature cocktails, artisanal wines, and “Build Your Manhattan” and “Build Your Martini” options: choose your spirit (gin; vodka – potato, wheat, rye; bourbon or rye whiskey); choose your vermouth (dry white, sweet red, aromatic); choose your bitters; and choose your garnish (ask bartender Adam Acuff for his favorite concoctions!). In addition, it is stocked with a unique selection of aperitifs and digestifs, available separately or in flights. After-dinner coffee cocktails are mixed using freshly ground, freshly brewed beans from Demitasse Roasters in Little Tokyo (a place that I also love); of course, 643 North’s regular drip coffee uses the same beans.

My friend Edgar Varela and I visited recently to sample the menu. We tried several menu items – all of which were very good:

  • Roasted mushroom medley (shitake, oyster, lobster and crimini) topped with goat cheese and shredded arugula
  • Braised spicy suckling pig served in a bowl with pickled onions and habanero peppers accompanied by in-house baked ciabatta
  • White pizza topped with roasted Brussels sprouts, applewood bacon, crème béchamel, sharp provolone cheese, and white truffle oil
  • Scottish salmon pizza topped with wild-caught salmon, pesto oil, goat cheese, arugula, red onions, capers, and crème fraiche
  • Ossobuco ravioli stuffed with braised veal, heirloom tomatoes and broccolini served in Parmesan broth and topped with grated cheese

We also sampled some of 643 North’s signature cocktails: the smoky Red Hot Cherry Pepper includes mescal, sweet vermouth, and cherry liqueur. Currently, the seasonal cocktail menu includes Smokey the Pear (High West Campfire whiskey blend and St. Germain) and Go Figure Self.  For more details on 643 North’s cocktails and bar menu, read Edgar’s post at www.edgarvarela.com.

The BEST part about 643 North? In addition to chef Oz Ramuco’s menu accompanied by 1980s music (love!), there is an outdoor bar (rare in DTLA)! Upcoming is a planned outdoor beer garden on the south side of the building (location of the 2012 Springfest). The staff is great, too. In addition to Ramuco and Acuff, the 643 North team includes restaurateur Michael J. Ourieff (who also runs Michael J’s Catering Kitchen) and manager Jessica Hasslinger.

Both Edgar and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND 643 North. Run – don’t walk – there today (or ride your bikes, like we did – if you must drive, there is parking on the street and several nearby lots, too).

P.S. Socialize with 643 North on Facebook and Twitter, too!

643 North
643 N. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 687-8888
www.643north.com

(Photo Credit: All photos below are by Melissa Richardson Banks of Downtown Muse (www.downtownmuse.com) unless otherwise noted. Please credit accordingly)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALSO RECOMMENDED: North Spring Street & Chinatown

Authentic Thai Cuisine
637 N. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 613-1115
www.authenticthaila.com

Spring Street Smokehouse
640 N. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-0535
www.sssmokehouse.com

Caveman Vintage Music
650 N. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 625-9999
www.caveman-vintage.com/instruments/

Spaahbulous
668 N. Spring St., Ste. 223
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 596-7421
www.spanmore.com

Chego
Far East Plaza at 727 N. Broadway St., Ste. 117
Los Angeles, CA 90012
www.eatchego.com

Sam’s Signs
701 N. Main St. Ste. 101
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 680-2669
www.signmerchant.com

LOS ANGELES: L.A. Conservancy Selects Arts District for Annual Fall Tour

The Los Angeles Conservancy has selected the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles as the featured neighborhood of its annual one-time-only fall tour on Sunday, November 10, 10 AM to 4 PM. This year’s history and architecture tour will also include an first-ever bicycling component curated by Melissa Richardson Banks aka Downtown Muse to supplement the traditional walking format.

Citizens-Warehouse,-2013

Citizens Warehouse, 2013. © Photo: Melissa Richardson Banks www.downtownmuse.com

One of the city’s most popular neighborhoods, the Arts District offers unique industrial architecture, and because of its artistic identity, allows tour goers the chance to see artists in their creative spaces. (NOTE: Artists A.S. Ashley and David Hollen in the 810 E. 3rd St. loft building are among those whose studios will be open for the tour. Stay tuned here for updates! If you are an artist who lives and works in the Arts District, click HERE to send me an email if your studio is open that day.)

According to Sarah Weber, the Conservancy’s Director of Education, the focus of the event is to highlight the history of the neighborhood and its current transformation today, demonstrating the way industrial buildings have been re-used and adapted to meet changing needs over time. Recently, the Conservancy has been working in the Arts District in its advocacy efforts with James K. Pickle Works Building (also known as the Citizens Warehouse), the exterior of which is included in the tour.

The tour is ticketed, includes volunteers and docents to help interpret designated buildings, and offers scripted tour booklets, self-guided walking guides, and of course, the bicycling option curated by Downtown Muse.

Sunday, November 10
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Tickets go on sale the week of October 7.
$30 Conservancy Members :: $35 General Public
$15 Students :: $10 Children 12 and under

For updates and to buy tickets (after October 7), visit the Los Angeles Conservancy website.

TOUR SITES (subject to change)

HOW THE TOUR WORKS

Like most of the Conservancy’s one-time-only spring and fall tours, the tour is self-paced. Attendees can visit as many of the tour sites as they’d like (or can) during the designated hours. At certain sites, Conservancy docents will be on hand to provide interpretation and mini-tours. Along the way, tour goers can explore shops, galleries, and eateries in the area on their own. The event is a collection of docent-led tours, not a bus tour. Attendees park and check in at one of two pre-designated locations, then walk (or bike) to the tour sites nearby. Cars may have to be re-parked once during the tour. Seeing all sites will take about 4-5 hours. Photography may be limited in some interiors. The Arts District is a bike-friendly neighborhood (and encompasses a 52-block area), so attendees are encouraged to ride bicycles!

~ COVER PHOTO: Purple tree and street art on 2nd St. near Challenge Creamery building © Melissa Richardson Banks www.downtownmuse.com

RECAP: dtla/AD in the News

Just in time for weekend reading: a collection of stories about Arts District and by or featuring its residents and businesses — some old, some new. Got anything to share? ~ #MRB


Lowe Enterprises and Megatoys Start Construction of Apartment Development in Los Angeles’ Arts District
by Market Watch, The Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2013

” … The property will have a wealth of amenity spaces and outdoor common areas. Four courtyards, three on the western side of the property, landscaped with native and drought tolerant plants, will provide relaxing spaces for reading or recreation and great views of downtown. One will be dedicated solely for the pets in the community. The fourth and largest courtyard will be on the eastern side with a resort-style pool, spa and sundeck with grilling areas, fire pits and an outdoor lounge. The adjacent club room will be available for parties with a warming kitchen, cozy seating and a separate game room. Interiors are designed with an eclectic mix of vintage and modern elements to mirror the authenticity of the Arts District. In addition, a rooftop deck will offer a vast and comfortable area to enjoy expansive views of Los Angeles. Residents will have on-site, below grade parking and a large bicycle storage area and maintenance workshop …”


Two vacant L.A. warehouses to be replaced with mixed-use complex
by Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2013

… The Megatoys property on Garey Street in the arts district will be demolished to make way for two five-story buildings with 320 apartments, shops and restaurants …


Apliiq Challenges Mass Produced Fashion with Customizable Headwear that’s Made Just for You
by Digital Journal, September 23, 2013

… Nestled in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles there’s a bustling workshop churning out customized apparel with hundreds of unique fabrics sourced from all over the globe … Apliiq.com has sold custom hoodies, tees, dresses, jackets and bags since 2008 and the company has just expanded its offering to include custom 5 panel camper and traditional snapback caps …


Sunday Farmers Market Coming to Arts District
by Downtown News, September 20, 2013

… The Sunset Silverlake Charitable Foundation is opening an Arts District Farmers Market. Organization director Micheal McKinley, who has run the Silver Lake Farmers Market for 14 years, will debut the Arts District market on Sunday, Oct. 6, on Garey between Second and Third streets …


Article connects homeless street comic with long-lost photos
by Los Angeles Times, September 9, 2013

… [reporter Catherine] Saillant wrote last week about Fernando Anglero, who lives on the streets in downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District … after her article was published, she received an email from a stockbroker in the Fairfax District who had his own story about Anglero … [who] had left a photo album behind, and the stockbroker had kept it all these years, hoping to be able to return it. …


Homeless man markets himself as street comic using social media
by Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2013

… Fernando Anglero is known for his off-color, funny signs. To promote his ‘cardboard comedy,’ he has a website, a Facebook page and a personal hashtag …


Unique LA’s Founder to Open Massive Creative Space in DTLA
by Racked LA, September 9, 2013

… After spending over a year hunting for the perfect location, The Unique Space is slated to open in a 100-year-old, two-story, 18,000 square foot building at 1275 6th Street next month. Rasula needs your help completing renovations on what’s set to become LA’s premiere think tank for art stars, designers and overall game-changers …


L’Shana Tova: It’s a New Year…Ready to Build a New Los Angeles?
by City Watch, September 6, 2013

… An excellent article by new LA Times transportation writer Laura Nelson describes the problems with a lack of parking and access to American Apparel and the up-and-coming Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles …


Parking, transit fail to keep pace with up-and-coming Arts District
by Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2013

… Metro’s downtown regional connector, due to open in 2020, will have a stop at 1st Street and Central Avenue. Residents say the neighborhood needs something closer, and sooner. Some have suggested a bus line along a north-south backbone, such as Santa Fe Avenue or Alameda. Under a policy that encourages growth in less-developed areas, many Arts district businesses aren’t required to provide parking …


A New Café, With a Changing Urban Canvas, Coming to Arts District
by Downtown News, August 30, 2013

… Zinc Café will feature a graffiti wall and full bar. Owner John Secretan plans to open by January 2014 …


In Arts District, Two Groups Battle to Replace Disbanded Business Improvement District
by Downtown News, August 20, 2013

… two opposing factions of property owners and developers are racing to create a successor to the BID. One group, Arts District Los Angeles, touts “Bring Back Blue” as its motto, indicating the importance of returning the bicycle safety patrols to the neighborhood, said Dilip Bhavnani, a member of the group’s steering committee. Members of the rival effort, the Arts District Community Council Los Angeles, agree that “clean and safe” are top priorities for the area loosely bordered by Alameda, First and Seventh streets and the Los Angeles River …


SUBMIT A STORY or PHOTO
Got a story or photo that might be of interest to Arts District residents neighbors, businesses, and visitors? Submit it here for possible inclusion in future posts or eblasts.

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SUBMIT AN EVENT

Click HERE to submit an event that may be of interest to residents and visitors of the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. All events must be accompanied by an image or photograph, and will be reviewed for possible inclusion.


ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS

Click HERE to enter information about your business or organization so it can be listed in the Arts District Community Directory. Annual fees may apply and rates vary by type of industry. We also offer other types of advertising through multiple online channels associated with Downtown Muse. Questions? Contact me via email or call me at (213) 537-4483.

© Photo by Melissa Richardson Banks | Downtown Muse: Goodbye, Megatoys. Hello, Megadevelopment.

COMING SOON: EightyTwo Classic Arcade Bar

EightyTwo founders Scott Davids and Noah Sutcliffe at Missile Command. © Photo by Melissa Richardson Banks www.downtownmuse.com

The Arts District will soon be the home to a classic arcade bar with a contemporary flair founded by Downtown residents and native Angelenos Scott Davids and Noah Sutcliffe. Expected to open later this year, EightyTwo will feature a curated selection of over 40 fully restored (and playable) arcade and pinball machines from the 1960s to the 1990s (many rare and unique – SEE FULL LIST BELOW). Paying homage to the gaming culture of decades past, EightyTwo celebrates the “Golden Age of the Arcade.”

Reflections of a neighborhood - past, present, future - from window of forthcoming EightyTwo. © Photo by Melissa Richardson Banks www.downtownmuse.com

Reflections of a neighborhood – past, present, future – from window of forthcoming EightyTwo. © Photo by Melissa Richardson Banks www.downtownmuse.com

Read more

SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion with New Fence Banners Near Completion

Arts District resident Scot Ezzell snapped the featured photo above of the new SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion, which is near completion and is now surrounded by fence banners touting “SCI-Arc turns 40 (1973-2013).”

Designed and built by faculty Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich of Los Angeles-based firm P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S (through funding from ArtPlace), the new 1,200-seat outdoor pavilion is named “League of Shadows” and was the duo’s winning entry from an architectural design competition last year.

The pavilion will be used for SCI-Arc graduation ceremonies, lectures, and symposia as well as selected neighborhood concerts and public events through 2017. Its first public use occurs at the school’s graduation ceremonies on Sunday, September 8 at 5:00 PM.

For details, click P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S website HERE or visit SCI-Arc’s website HERE.

Rendering of the competition-winning SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion "League of Shadows" by P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S (Image: P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S)

Rendering of the competition-winning SCI-Arc Graduation Pavilion “League of Shadows” by P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S (Image: P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S)

ADDITIONAL LINKS
Bustler Article: “SCI-Arc Pavilion ‘League of Shadows’ by P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S” posted October 10, 2012
Archinect Article: “SCI-Arc Pavilion ‘League of Shadows’ by P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S” posted October 10, 2012

Share Your Memories of Historic Atomic & Troy Cafés

Featured Photo: Atomic Nancy (dublab)

Senor Fish - Atomic Cafe

TOP: Atomic Cafe (1982) William Reagh. Courtesy of LAPL and BOTTOM: Senor Fish (2005) @viewfromlaoft

The corner of 1st and Alameda streets in Downtown Los Angeles is an important place in local history — one rich in the L.A. cultural and music scene that should not be forgotten. Currently home to Señor Fish Cocina and Cantina, the Atomic Café was a Little Tokyo noodle shop owned and operated by Minoru and Ito Matoba from 1946 to 1989.

During the late 1970s to mid-1980s, their daughter, Nancy Sekizawa (known as “Atomic Nancy”) quickly transformed the quiet neighborhood bar/cafe in to one of L.A.’s most popular hangouts for local punk rockers, politicians, artists, and others. On any given night, you could see (and hear) the likes of Blondie, The Go-Go’s, Devo, X, and David Bowie sitting down having a bowl of noodles in the company of artists like Andy Warhol and old Japanese men with full-body tattoos. Troy sign_FBThe legendary jukebox played everything from The Germs to Shinichi Mori until 4:00 in the morning as crazed waitresses would be jumping on top of tables trying to serve food.

Months after the Atomic closed its doors on November 23, 1989, Sean Carrillo and Bibbe Hansen opened the Troy Café, a coffee shop that provided a welcoming and nurturing space for young Chicano artists — musicians, visual artists, and spoken word performers — to share and hone their talents. Among many others, Grammy-Award-winning Quetzal played their first gig at the Troy [EDITOR’S NOTE: Quetzal is the headline act at the FREE Target Feria de la Familia at Plaza de la Raza on Sunday, September 22, 2013 @ 12 noon to 6 PM – Quetzal plays at 5:15 PM.]. Other performers at the Troy included BeckCulture ClashMaceo “Demon Drummer” Hernandez, Illegal Interns (Flavio Morales & Richard Estrada), Chicano Secret Service (artist, cartoonist, and writer Lalo Alcaraz was a member), Y Que Mas (female spoken word group), Boca de Sandia, and Cholita.

This corner will soon be transformed into a new light rail station as part of Metro Regional Connector Transit Project. This means that the historic single-story brick building will be permanently removed. The Little Tokyo Service Center, in conjunction with a number of community stakeholders, is working to ensure this story is preserved and represented in a permanent public art piece at the future Metro station.

Want to learn more? Visit Facebook HERE and share your stories about the Atomic and Troy Cafés. Follow the project on Instagram!

~ Contributed by Remy De La Peza, Sr. Planner and Policy Counsel, Little Tokyo Service Center (213) 473-3030, ext. 164

~ Edited and supplemented by Melissa Richardson Banks of Downtown Muse

ADDITIONAL LINKS
“Atomic Show” by Depth of Sense: More Than Meets the Ear
“Atomic Nancy: Atomic Show ‘Fuck That’ music session” by dublab, January 17, 2009