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Echo Park's Brite Spot Gets Overhaul With a Patio, Remodel, And New Menu

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Dana Hollister has become a fixture in the Eastside/Downtown nightlife scene. The interior designer has owned and renovated countless properties in the area, such as the 4100 Bar, One Eyed Gypsy, Cliff's Edge, and Villain's Tavern. Her next project is to bring the Brite Spot back to its brighter days.

The space on the corner of Sunset and Park Avenue was originally a roadside stand from 1919-1930, and then opened as a full-service restaurant in 1949. It has always served as a central Echo Park meet-up, but more recently its image has been shadowed by dated diner food. That's fine for folks stumbling out of a show at the Echo, but Hollister, who has lived on the Eastside since 1984, is hoping to brighten things up by building a 40-seater patio, freshening up the interior, and adding an updated comfort food menu.

Construction on the patio, which will be hemmed in from Sunset Boulevard by acacia trees, will begin later this week. It will be built on the triangle of the parking lot nearest to Sunset along the West-facing wall of the restaurant.

The new menu is currently being rolled out with an official launch on July 4. It's being overseen Darby Aldaco, who counts Animal, San Francisco's Absinthe, and Hollister's One Eyed Gypsy as some of his former employers. (Click through the gallery above for a virtual tasting.)

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Their kitchen is also being gutted and redone, and bike racks will be added to the exterior in order to cater to the Eastside cycling culture. These touches are all part of what Hollister hopes will bring the Brite Spot into the 21st century while keeping the original spirit of the neighborhood in mind.

"For me it's always so personal. I come over here and obsess over things as an interior designer. Once we see how the patio defines the outside, it'll just happen," she says. "I want to make sure I don't scare everyone away, especially the people who come here every day. It's a local place, not a just a hipster place. It has to embrace everybody."

Hollister was previously only a partial owner of the Echo Park diner, but only recently took full ownership. Eventually she'll be updating the interior too, but she wants that to happen more organically.

She can take her sweet time for all we care, as long as the pastry cases stay stocked with Aldaco's new chocolate caramel banana cream pie. Keep Smiling indeed.