After more than 60 years at the same Olvera Street location, the Casa de Sousa coffee shop and gift store is getting the heave-ho by the city for falling behind in rent payments. According to the Downtown News' Richard Guzman, the family owned business will only be the second to be evicted from the heavily touristed location, after a Superior Court judge last week affirmed the eviction. The Sousas' connection with Olvera Street dates back to 1932, but the family had become six months in arrears to El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, the city department that administers Olvera Street. Unfortunately for the Casa, this comes when the city is re-evaluating its less than profitable relations with the monument's merchants, many of whom, like the Sousas, hold 55-year leases. The city has discovered the merchants are paying well-below market rates and, with several more business behind in rents, the closure of Casa de Sousa may be a sign of things to come.
Meanwhile, Blog Downtown's Ed Fuentes hints that Olvera Street's future makeover look may be glimpsed by its newest tenant, a coffee house run by Camacho's Inc., whose “eatery portfolio includes Downtown's Liberty Grill and providing menu items at Staples Center and Dodger Stadium, as well as leasing space at LAX.”