Echo Park’s Magic Gas pulls a disappearing act

Sep 29, 2012

Most neighborhood gas stations are just that, places where you fill up your tank, buy a candy bar or Lotto ticket and then go on your way. But not Echo Fuels, aka Magic Gas, the Echo Park gas station that has been in recent years a more consistent source of intrigue, drama and ownership changes than regular unleaded. The most recent chapter in the Magic Gas saga began on Thursday night when police arrived at the station at the corner of Echo Park and Morton avenues as a small bulldozer was being used to rip out the pumps, according to residents. The police left and soon the pumps were gone. By Friday morning all that was left were holes in the ground where the pumps stood and a ribbon of yellow “CAUTION CUIDADO” tape. Inside, Echo Fuels, which had been long known as Magic Gas until it changed hands only about six months ago, looked like it had been ransacked.

It’s not clear what happened to the station, leaving many to wonder why the gas station can’t seem to attract stable, longtime owners. “I don’t get it,” said one man today as he walked by the abandoned station. “It’s such a perfect corner.”

What’s next for Magic Gas? A 24-hour  7-Eleven with pumps topped by TVs? A veggie diesel, vegan drive-thru? Stay tuned.

* Correction: A previous version of this story said the station was called Magic Fuels. That’s wrong. The correct name was Echo Fuels. (Though it was briefly called Magic Fuel by a previous owner)

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