Thursday, July 18, 2024

Long Beach Food Scene Intel: More restaurants burglarized; Congregation gets new owner, more


Here’s your latest in the local food scene:

  • There have now been nearly two dozen burglaries across the city since the start of 2023, according to LBPD, largely targeting restaurants. When I reported about the break-ins at the beginning of February, that number had been significantly less and seemed to be, outside the exception of Chinitos in Lakewood, largely within the region south of Anaheim, particularly along the 4th Street business corridor from Park Avenue in Belmont Heights all the way to Alamitos at the edge of DTLB. ABC7 reported that this reach is expanding, including burglaries along the east side with places like Steel Cup Cafe now becoming victims.
  • Congregation Ale House has found new owners, with longtime owner and founder Travis Ensling taking a huge step back and momentarily holding onto a strictly consulting role. Noting a need to focus on his growing daughter, he said the new owners are “deeply respectful toward the overall spirit of Congregation” and have altered little outside a “few tweaks to the menu.” Look for my piece on the updated menu in the coming weeks.
  • Popbar, the small shop dedicated to various popsicles, closed Feb. 20 at The Hangar space inside East Long Beach’s LBX retail complex. This follows the closure of Portola Coffee at the popular Hangar, leaving two spaces as of yet tenantless.
  • Two new vegan joints will be opening at the Magnolia residential complex at the southwest corner of Magnolia and Broadway in DTLB: The much-loved Sugar Taco of Los Angeles and, from one of the trio of women that own Sugar Taco, a new plant-based deli concept called The Plant Butchers. For the full article regarding the openings, click here.
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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