Too Many Liquor Stores: Boyle Heights’ High Frequency of Liquor Vendors Causes Concern From Community Groups

A recent analysis by Boyle Heights Beat showed there were 100 liquor vendors in Boyle Heights. A man walks pass the front of Brooklyn Liquor on the corner of Cesar Chavez Avenue and St. Louis Street. Photo by Kris Fortin

As the Boyle Heights Community continues to grapple with a lack of access to healthy foods, the liquor store business continues to thrive. For those trying to improve the charectar and image of Boyle Heights, this needs to change.

Boyle Heights Beat reported last week that the community has more than 31 percent more stores per square mile that sell liquor than Compton, Santa Monica and West Covina. With 100 stores that sell liquor in Boyle Heights, the area has 31 more than Compton and Santa Monica, and 43 more than West Covina.

Researchers contend that stores that sell liquor can contribute to urban decay and draw in crime, creating a risk for youth. Community groups are working to limit and ultimately reduce the number of liquor licensees in Boyle Heights. Boyle Heights Stakeholder Association, Boyle Heights Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community and the Voice Community News hosted a community meeting on Thursday at Resurrection Church to discuss the issue.

“This issue has been around forever in Boyle Heights. That’s how it feels. If you grew up in Boyle Heights, it’s the norm,” (says 26-year-old Denis Quiñonez, director of the Boyle Heights Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community.)

Read the rest of the post at Boyle Heights Beat.

  • Damien Newton

    In front of a Hunger Games advertisement…brilliant!

  • Anonymous

    Since the problem, based on the advertising shown in the pictures, seems to stem from the actions of a Belgian/Brazillian company called ABInBev based in Leuven, Belgium (producers of Budweiser and Bud Light, 50% owners of Grupo Modelo who produce Corona),  maybe the answer is to appeal to the general public in Belgium (and maybe also Brazil) and the shareholders of these companies as to the misery their investments are causing?

  • Anonymous

    Why do I love teh google?  Because in a short time I can find out stuff like this:

    AB InBev (what used to be St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch) is as I posted below Belgian company with mostly Brazilian management:

    They claim to be devoted to a “Better World”:

    Here, read all about it in this report, full of smiling white people:
    (OK, there are some Southeast Asians in the back)

    Remember kids, ABInBev is all for responsible drinking and also Vuvuzela use by Africans!

    From the various annual reports and filings, we learn that 41% of ABInBev…:

    …is owned by something called Stichting AK (Dutch for “The AK Foundation”).

    Google Translation here:

    Hungarians in Ukraine and “Gypsies”.  Huh?

    Then we look at the board of directors:

    None of whom are U.S. Citizens, but one of note seems to have a connection to the U.S. because he is also the chair of the Ivy-League University of Pennsylvania’s (which is NOT a publicly-funded state school) medicine board:

    I wonder if the good doctors (and medical students) at such a prestigious medical school are aware of from whom their “Do no harm” world is getting some of its financial advice?

    Follow the money!

  • Gentrifucation

    There is a reason why the Midnight Ridazz hipsters hit up Ramirez Liquor in Boyle Heights.  Best Liquor Store Ever.

  • If there were no liquor stores, where would the Midnight Ridazzz replenish their refreshments when they go out at night and terrorize drivers trying to get to their graveyard shifts? 

  • “Researchers contend that stores that sell liquor can contribute to urban decay and draw in crime, creating a risk for youth.”

    The liquor stores are more or less a reflection of the city, not the other way around. But I’m not convinced that imbibing this perfectly legal substance is precisely the problem. There are plenty of crimes committed when the perpetrator is perfectly sober. I’m not sure you can effectively aim the gun or hot wire a car when you’re stinking drunk. 

    “Community groups are working to limit and ultimately reduce the number of liquor licensees in Boyle Heights.”

    Limiting opportunity for small business owners, who themselves are not a bunch of fat cats. But before I even read the article, I knew the “solution” was going to be authoritarian. It’s not, “Hey, we might be drinking too much, let’s change our habits.” It’s, “You can’t have the liquor license. You can’t open liquor stores.”

    That only helps the liquor stores that still exist by reducing competition and boosting their profits! The people are still going to get their liquor. Why is personal responsibility such a taboo? 

    Here’s my solution, legalize marijuana and sell it in the liquor stores. At the very least, decriminalize all other drugs. Use the tax proceeds to beautify Boyle Heights. Fewer people, if any, will kill or rob over marijuana or other hard drugs anymore.

  • I was VERY PLEASED to see the comments at the Boyle Heights Beat on this story. While the liberals at StreetsblogLA wring their hands over what must be done about the HORRIBLE ATROCITY of liquor stores in Boyle Heights (you take down that evil beer company, TAPman!), some of the commentators, who probably actually live there, have their heads on straight. Some quotations:

    “I think the letter-writing campaign is also a great idea, however, lets come together as a community and really take a hard look at ourselves too.”

    “I am totally against crimes, as we all are, but we should be looking at the underlying roots of crime, not at vendors.”

    It’s not much, but I love to see this. Hopefully they comment on the campaign in favor of economic freedom and not more authoritarian mandates from liberals who think they can just legislate societal ills away. 

  • Ubrayj02

    If you treat streets like sewers for car-only commerce, you get the lowest common denominator businesses. If Boyle Heights had some of its original pedestrian orientation returned to it, liquor stores wouldn’t be the only places that can hack it in such a tough retail environment.


Streetsies 2014: Livable Streets Friendly Businesses

This year, we’re going to spread out the Streetsie voting over a couple of weeks, with some voting going live ealier, today, and and some next week. Voting will close on Friday, January 2, 2015, at noon. Reader voting accounts for one-half of the scoring this year, with one-quarter going to staff voting, and another […]

A Walking Tour of Boyle Heights with El Random Hero

What started out as a casual conversation over drinks and food turned into me leading a tour of Boyle Heights for my friend’s Spanish class. The tour gave his students, many of whom were visiting BH for the first time, the opportunity to explore the rich diversity the community has to offer. I’ve had the privilege of […]

Pondering Boyle Heights During This Weekend’s Tour de Co-Ops

Bringing together seven different bicycle collectives, the Tour de Co-Ops was a half-day ride that celebrated the “do it yourself” (DIY) spirit of the Los Angeles cycling community. Split up into two separate routes, the ride acted as a fundraiser for the participating volunteer-operated co-operatives. In 2005, Los Angeles didn’t have any store-front bicycle co-ops. The […]