In an effort to celebrate neighborhoods, culture, and the intersect of the two, we’re traveling around town to profile small discount stores that are full of character and full of unique products that you can only find in Los Angeles. Seeking to do what Anton Gursky did for the 99 Cent Store, please enjoy The Los Angeles Bodega Tour.
Introduction: There are lots of bodegas in Echo Park. Jumbo Bargain is the one that has a little elephant logo and quarter rides outside of it. The place doesn’t have a specific specialty and is kind of always transitioning as they always seem to have boxes everywhere. One thing is for sure about this place: they sell lots and lots of stuff and the shopkeeper is kind of mean.
Location: Jumbo Bargain is in the little Sunset Blvd and Echo Park Ave corridor of bodegas in Echo Park. It’s directly across from one large bodega and diagonal from another. It’s also the only bodega in the ‘hood to be on Northside of the street.
Price Range And Inventory: Everything is around 99 cents but, as you can expect, exceed that. They have everything from party supplies (as they say) to electronics. The most remarkable things there was the HUGE collection of porcelain and glass figurines. They also had a surprising amount of animal things, from nice food to dog beds to cans with dogs on them. At the back of the store is a surprising amount of bins and containers and tools that seem out of place but are there nevertheless.
Features: One of the best features are the hand painted pictures on the front of the store that share what products they sell. They’re really, really adorable and I wish they were for purchase. Alas: they are not! They also have a surprising amount of nice (“nice”) book bags for purchase, some of them even from eras past. If you want to stock up on nostalgic, ironic things from the nineties and late aughts, check here: they seem to have an abundance!
Tips: Don’t mess with the lady behind the counter. She made us drop off our book bag (not a big deal), kept stink eyeing us (not a big deal), then yelled at us for not buying anything. She and whoever was working there and moving around boxes in the store were having a conversation from one end of the store to the other via yelling. Moral? Don’t mess with the behind the counter lady.