Books and coffee… done! That’s all we need. We were in literary heaven inside Echo Park’s new and used bookstore/cafe while shooting our latest Fall Collection we introduced last week. We sat down to chat with Liz Garo, who co-owns the store with Claudia Colodro. Here’s the backstory on Stories:
Hi, Liz, so what’s Stories Books & Cafe all about?
Stories Books & Cafe, we hope, is about good books, coffee, a comfortable community space. We sell new and used books, gift items, cards, coffee, baked goods, sandwiches, and have readings and music out on the patio. Hopefully, we’re a place that people want to be.
What inspired you start this shop?
Both Claudia and I have experience working in book stores. She had the idea to do a store and through a mutual friend we were introduced. I had always wanted to do a cafe and a store of some kind. Claudia had more of the plan and I sort of pushed myself on her to be part of it.
Why did you choose Echo Park?
I book the Echo and Echoplex clubs and could see the change in the neighborhood; and selfishly, it was easier for me because it’s close to the club. But both Claudia and I have lived in the Silver Lake, Atwater, Echo Park areas and knew we wanted to be over here.
Echo Park has wonderful neighborhood charm and history and it just felt right. We originally were going to be in Silver Lake and then when that space fell through we just kept looking at everything along Sunset Blvd. going towards downtown.
What your favorite thing about the neighborhood?
Personally, I love walking around the hilly residential areas and looking at the different houses; love the old commercial buildings, it has a lot of character but is very subtle; really excellent people watching and how everyone interacts with each other.
What is the most satisfying thing about being part of the Echo Park Community?
The neighborhood has been very supportive to us; l like that we get a mix of everyone that is part of Echo Park – residents who have lived here for years, the Latino families, the hipster kids, college students — it’s a really good mix. People have embraced the store and that means a lot; they seem very happy that we are here and it’s just a good sense of feeling like you’re contributing .. even it’s just creating a place where people can meet for coffee. That can be a real purpose.
Hang out at Stories Books & Cafe (free WiFi too!). Check them out at storiesla.com.