If you’ve gone past York
Boulevard on the frequently bustling block between Avenue 50 and 51, you might
have noticed some energetic construction activity underway inside the former
Verdugo Pet Shop, an iconic business that has been lying vacant since the death of its owner in early 2011.
Although a sign outside the 5022 York Blvd. store has the contact details of a leasing agent, good luck trying to get anyone on the phone—or to call you back—to satisfy your curiosity about who might be moving into the space.
The construction crews aren’t much help either. Rest-o-rant intoned one sweaty, red-faced crewmember when I queried him what would be replacing the pet shop. As to what kind of restaurant, he hadn’t a clue.
So I asked Katherine Ferwerda, the storefront’s immediate neighbor, who owns K York Studio on 5028-1/2 York Blvd. After a brief discussion of what a disgusting mess the Verdugo Pet Shop had left behind—and which the crews are now cleaning up—Ferwerda told me that the chef who owns Recess Eatery, a four-year-old café in Glendale, might be taking over the space because she saw him and some of his people recently taking a tour of the place.
Ferwerda is correct—almost. Patch called Recess and asked to speak with its chef and owner, Sevan Azarian, who trained at Patina Group, the well-known catering company, and once cooked for Hollywood comic Adam Sandler.
Although Azarian wasn’t around, his wife Tamar was. And she confirmed that Recess is indeed planning to move into the former pet store. Although the company hasn’t signed a lease yet, she said, it’s in the process of negotiating one with the landlord while he cleans up the place and brings it up to code, as required by law.
If Recess does replace Verdugo Pet Shop, it would be further proof—if proof were needed—that York Boulevard is the hottest café and restaurant destination in Northeast L.A.