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Echo Park Paint Store Mixes Up Dodger Blue

Confidentiality, color matching and multi-generational relationships are all in a day's work at PAR Paint.

Some stores are in business so long, we assume they will always be there.

So what happened to PAR Paint Company with its austere signage at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Lemoyne Street?

It's stilll in business, but off the busy Sunset Boulevard loop where it was for decades.

It's a Family Affair

PAR Paint is the story of two families running a business that continues to offer personalized service to the community.

Founded in 1949 by brothers Paul and Rubin Mandel (the store gets its name from their initials), the store was a local landmark. In 1985, following the death of Ruben Mandel, Sam Farooqi bought the store.

From Generation to Generation

Sam Farooqi never met the Mandel brothers, but holds a great respect for the men who founded PAR Paint.  "They built a great business and we were able to continue that legacy and start our own."  His son Cyrus Farooqi runs the store today. 

"As we are, our customers are multigenerational." says Cyrus.  "Clients include many fathers to son artisans, tradesmen, painters, and contractors. It’s great to see skills that are passed from generation to generation. "

An L.A. Dodgers Secret

Servicing profesionals includes a level of confidentiality.  Take Dodger Light Blue for example.

PAR Paints Company has been a paint supplier to the Los Angeles Dodgers since 1986. Dodger Light Blue was a color used throughout the stadium for decades.

"We will never reveal how we make it nor ever make it for other than the Dodgers. We continually have fans, competitors, baseball enthusiasts and general contractors ask for it.   It's a client supplier trust that we uphold,'" says Cyrus.

Signature Colors of Echo Park

PAR paint has mixed colors for any number of Echo Park businesses.

According to Cyrus,  "We supplied the mauve metallic for the exterior of the The Echo. We don't like to drop client names, but many of the fine businesses, restaurants, and landmarks of Echo Park are color from us."

After Sunset

Some time during the mid 2000s, the building that house PAR Paint's original outpost was sold in an investment group.  When their lease expired in 2007, the new owners more than doubled the rent. That fall, after 58 years on Sunset Boulevard, PAR Paint moved a half-mile away to 1634 West Temple St. 

It was definitely an emotional time since Sam spent over a quarter of his life at Sunset Boulevard, and Cyrus practically grew up in the shop. Cyrus recalls the day: "Imagine going to place everyday for the better part of your life and all of a sudden you didn’t. 

On the last day with the place cleared out, Sam and the employees reminisced, shed tears, and then smiled as another location had been born. 

Not A Big Box

Over the years, people have come from all over Southern California for Cyrus’s color matching skills. 

"We try to impart tips about each product a client purchases," Cyrus says.  "We love to go out on jobs and do specs; including troubleshooting and problem solving."

Other services include color consulting and expert color matching.  “I’ve matched the oddest and most challenging things.  From vintage fabrics to complex hues, there are only a handful of colors that I couldn’t achieve in the last 15 years," he adds.

is located at 1634 W. Temple Street.

Note: PAR Paint is currently an advertiser on Echo Park Patch.

An earlier version of this story stated incorrectly that PAR had provided the Dodgers with paint since they moved here from Brooklyn.

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