Before hitting a half of year of business—hell, it literally just about to hit its three-month mark in business—Baby Gee Bar has already built up a loyal patronage and, in the midst of that short period, national attention: The prestigious Tale of the Cocktail Foundation’s Spirited Awards have named the bar one of the Top 10 best new bars in the U.S. West.
Taking over what was formerly The Red Room, the tiny-but-mighty space’s honor puts Long Beach on par with some of the West Coast’s biggest cities, from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Portland and Seattle.
The recognition has left owners and fiancees, cocktail master Gianna Johns and Long Beach native Daniel Flores, ecstatic, overwhelmed, and proud.
“It’s a pretty huge deal and while I am not trying to freak out, I am definitely freaking out,” Daniel said.
For Gianna, the moment is a bit surreal: Her and Daniel put their life savings and chances into this one spot with a definitive grasp of what they wanted to achieve—a bar with a tasteful, 70s-meets-eclecticism aesthetic and quality cocktails—but unsure of really what the end result would be because they wanted the community to chime in. So instead of going full-force ahead with no contact from the outside, they listened to passersby, community members, and former Red Room patrons.
The result is a bar that has quickly connected with Long Beach because the bar itself feels like, well, Long Beach.
“Our goals in opening Baby Gee were to be true to ourselves, be hyper-attune to our community, and to be a safe space for all,” Gianna said. “To be embraced by our regulars and locals and to be recognized nationally by our industry is such an overwhelming feeling. We hope that we can make Long Beach proud.”
Proud? Indeed. Coming in for another drink? Abso-fuckin’-lutely.
For Brian Addison full profile on Baby Gee for Eater LA, click here.
Baby Gee Bar is located 4000 E. Anaheim St.