Monday, February 26, 2024

Former Ruby’s at 2nd & PCH to become Long Beach’s first Wild Fork Foods grocer

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Exotic meat lovers rejoice: alligator, ostrich, bison, rabbit… These are just a few of the some 500 varieties of frozen meats and seafood—flash frozen at some -40 degrees to reduce crystallization—offered by Wild Fork Foods, opening its first Long Beach location inside the former Ruby’s space at the southeast corner of 2nd Street and Pacific Coast Highway.

Wild Fork Foods and its first Long Beach location is part of a simultaneous shrinking and expansion

Crews have already demolished the entirety of the former diner’s interior, making way for what will be aisle upon aisle of both frozen and fresh offerings as Wild Fork Foods is mixture of both traditional market and specialty store.

Those aisles will feature everything from common meats—your good ol’ chicken and beef and what not—to their specialty meats and seafood—think razor clams, elk, whole turbot, goose, quail, kangaroo, and more.

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The specialty grocer has nearly 40 stores throughout the States in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin—with its most ambitious expansions in California and Florida. And the space at the former Ruby’s makes sense for the company recent moves: It has been closing its much larger locations, like that at Coral Springs, Florida, in order to focus on smaller, more manageable spaces.

Long Beach isn’t the only location to be getting a new Wild Fork Foods

Also, there are 30 planned stores in the “active signed-lease pipeline,” of which Long Beach is included, Alex Bord, head of development for Wild Fork, said. Born said he expects the Long Beach location to open sometime in the first quarter of 2024.

The opening of Wild Fork Foods creates a sort of Grocer Heaven at the intersection

The Long Beach Ruby’s was the last one to remain open within the immediate region before closing mid-pandemic, following the heartbreaking fire that shuttered the Seal Beach Ruby’s on the pier and before the closure of the Huntington Beach Pier Ruby’s in 2021.

However, it welcomes a new kind of Grocer Heaven when it comes to the intersection of 2nd Street and Pacific Coast Highway: Once Wild Fork Foods opens, the intersection will be home to Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Ralph’s, and Gelson’s—making it one of the most grocer-rich areas in the city. This fact gets compounded when considers the Marina Farmer’s Market on Sundays.

It also adds some much needed life into the center that is Marketplace Long Beach, which has seemed both desolate and out-of-touch since the massive 2nd & PCH retail complex replaced the former SeaPort Marina Hotel across the street.

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However, this lease along with potential aesthetic upgrades could help, along with the multiple residential developments that will be coming its way: Three massive housing projects announced last year have taken big steps forward toward fruition—including two projects scoring entitlements this year—fruition that could alter the entire landscape of Pacific Coast Highway as one heads north, coming in from Orange County and crossing into Long Beach.

They include two, five-story buildings with 670 units at 6500 E. Pacific Coast Hwy. dubbed Onni Marina Shores; a six-story, 380-unit, mixed-income building (with 17 of those set aside as affordable units) and some 4,800 square feet of ground-floor retail space at 6615 E. Pacific Coast Hwy.; and a six-story, 281-unit (originally 303) residential project (with 13 units set aside as affordable), with 3100 square feet set aside for retail at 6700 E. Pacific Coast Hwy.

Wild Fork Foods will be located 6405 E. Pacific Coast Hwy.

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.

1 COMMENT

  1. 661 new living units. How is the traffic going to be taken care of at 2nd and Marina Dr. Can’t get thru the intersection now. People in Marina Pacifica ARE TRAPPED.

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