Thursday, May 30, 2024

As planned, original San Pedro Fish Market to close March 3; Long Beach location remains open

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Originally announced on social media last week, San Pedro Fish Market will formally leave its original location at the soon-to-be entirely demolished Ports O’ Call space in San Pedro come March 3, when the restaurant’s lease comes to an end—something that has long been in the cards.

Stating back in 2021 they would be leaving their current space with the incoming West Harbor project overhauling Ports O’ Call, owner Mike Ungaro noted that the market needed more space than the West Harbor project could provide.

However, that plan has entirely altered, with Ungaro saying that they are back to the negotiating tables with the West Harbor project, hoping to be included in the renovation. This also includes a pivot to a pop-up space within the West Harbor project for now—with “plenty of seating and seafood,” he happily said—hoping that they will eventually resume full operations as soon as they can find a space.

“The current offer we’re working through with the West Harbor team is to open a temporary location that will seat over 1000 people in the first phase, with a goal of 2000 by summer,” Ungaro said. “The site is 150 yards north of where we were on the waterfront. Goal is to continue doing what we’re famous for: same great seafood trays enjoyed on the waterfront with your entire family. We’d do this with lots bench-style seating like we have until March 3, served by mobile style kitchens.”

And Ungaro is not too happy with the term “popup,” preferring the term “landing” because it is intended to be a set of modular kitchens which can be moved from space to space, location to location.

“It’s about taking it on the road,” Ungaro said. “Think, ‘Where will San Pedro Fish Market be landing next?’ It’s a cool shout-out to Norm’s Landing that demolished to make room for Ports O’ Call back in the day, eventually leading to the creation of the fish market.”

Ungaro’s San Pedro Fish Market, open since 1965, is the stuff of legend: the state’s largest seafood restaurant, it heaps piles of shrimp, mussels, clams, octopus, lobster, calamari, halibut, crab, and scallops for your gluttonous delight. Hell, it’s even spawned wannabe versions of its platter in Irvine (though there is no comparison to the OG version).

The original San Pedro Fish Market was one of the most profitable restaurants in the nation—when it was operating out of Ports O’ Call pre-pandemic, it earned some $30 million per year.

Meanwhile, a focus on their Long Beach location will be of utmost focus.

“We will definitely be focusing on our Alamitos Bay location to keep help save jobs and give customers an option” Ungaro said.

San Pedro Fish Market in Long Beach is located at 6550 E. Marina Dr.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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