Thursday, July 18, 2024

Long Beach Food Scene Intel: South of Nick’s moves forward in Belmont Shore; more coffeeshops opening; more

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Missed previous Long Beach Food Scene Intel updates? We got you covered, boo: Click here for the full archive.

Long Beach Food Scene Intel is a series from Brian Addison that will recap food news throughout the city, both news that needs just a quick mention or repeated news where you might have missed the full features.


South of Nick’s in Belmont Shore moves forward in construction

It’s been over two years since Nick’s Restaurant Group announced to expansion in Belmont Shore. Thanks to that time though, work is finally moving forward on the project. Even better is that Retail Design Collaborative (which shares space with Studio One Eleven in DTLB) is heading the revamp.

The massive, Irvine-based group—is home to mid- and upscale restaurants through the region—is providing a sibling to its Nick’s on 2nd location, South of Nick’s. Taking over the historic building at 5354 E. 2nd St., formerly home to Citibank, South of Nick’s is the group’s Mexican concept. It already has two locations in Laguna Beach and San Clemente, hence the Long Beach location.

And considering the space got its alcohol license over a year ago, we’re hoping this tangible construction means an opening date within the year.


Appu’s Cafe celebrates first year at Palo Verde location

The much-loved (and much-recognized) Appu’s Cafe—Chef Vinod Venkataraman’s definitely-Indian-kinda-fusion restaurant that was birthed inside the Woodruff Medical Offices—opened its second location last year at the former Chix Nashville Hot Chicken space on Palo Verde Avenue just north of Stearns Street. Therefore, they will be hosting a celebration tomorrow, June 21, from 6:30PM to 8:30PM.


G.T.A. Coffee Shop opens in DTLB

G.T.A. Coffee Shop in Downtown Long Beach has officially opened, taking over the former Sirenita’s Jr. space at the International City Bank tower. And because of that, here’s how Long Beach Food Scene member Jamilah Hosan talked about it: “For my downtown coffee lovers! I definitely recommend G.T.A. coffee shop. It’s a new spot hidden behind the Avis/Budget car rental building. Super yummy and service was extremely kind and down to earth. A good assortment of pastry options too. It’s a petite coffee shop with a cozy/home-y vibe. Definitely check it out! Today I got the G.T.A. cold brew (pictured) and I do not regret it. Yesterday I had an iced mocha which was also chef’s kiss.”

It’s located in unit 108 at 249 E. Ocean Blvd. in DTLB.


Carmen’s Coffee Company hopes to open in former Pop’s Java space in DTLB

Speaking of coffee shops…

Elisa Margoni-Bertone and John Bertone are hoping to open their first brick-and-mortar for their Carmen’s Coffee Company concept. That is why they are taking over the former Pop’s Java space at 449 E. Broadway at Linden Avenue, this marks a turn away from their loved coffee truck. They’re the founders of a vagabond-inspired concept, which is currently housed in a rolling Chevy P32-turned-espresso truck that’s usually sits outside Naples Island Car Wash.

In an effort to raise some $200,000 via IndieGogo, the owners insinuate they were approached by Pop’s Java with what seemed like a good deal but was far from it: “We were very excited to walk into an existing coffee shop and give it the love and attention it needed to flourish with the surrounding community. We signed the lease and paid our deposits. Took our proof of lease to the city to do our proper business license to then we were told that the space we had leased is not a coffee shop and is not zoned to be a coffee shop. We were encouraged to go to the planning department and see if what was built inside is ok to get a business license. That’s a hard setback again and we were told that the interior should have had an ADA restroom and the buildout inside never had a permit to be built.

“The sinking feeling in our heart was very heavy—we love the location and that is why we have not walked away from this opportunity. We invested more money into an interior design that would allow us to do a lot more with the space and be ADA compliant and legally permitted with the City of Long Beach.”

To donate, click here.


Moge Tee expands from Orange County into Long Beach

We’re having a milk tea/boba explosion: Moge Tee, the Orange County-based tea shop, has opened its first Long Beach location inside the former Star Tek Cell Phone Repair space at 4331 E. Anaheim St., the same complex that is home to Sconeage and Yanagi Kitchen. This follows a plethora of boba/tea shops opening in recent times—and I mean plethora: Hiccups opened their second location at Bixby Village Plaza. Gong Cha opened at Marina Pacifica earlier this year. Hechalou opened in Lakewood. Meet Up Boba Teahouse and Café opened at 350 W. Pacific Coast Hwy., smashed between Washington and South Wrigley. Tito’s on 4th strangely expanded into boba.

Like, damn…

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Trademark Brewing is hiring a beertender

Fresh off their World Beer Cup win and hosting a super-collab amid every damn good brewer in Long Beach, Trademark Brewing is now looking to hire a beertender for their front of house operations. For more details, click here.


ICYMI: ¡Toma!, taking over former Lupe’s space in Downtown Long Beach, aims for summer opening

Cheers for Downtown Long Beach: Toma (stylized ¡Toma!) will be opening its doors within the coming months inside the former Lupe’s space. Expect lots of colorful tile with plenty of pitchers and affordable bites.

For the full details, click here.


ICYMI: Ribbro Long Beach soft opens with barbecue sandwiches until grand opening

Ribbro Long Beach has officially soft opened today in Belmont Shore, serving sandwiches only until its grand opening in July. Owner Mark Lee is aiming for a July 2 formal opening—but that all depends on equipment and timing as they await their smoker to arrive.

Until then, they’re bringing sandwich meats from their Newport Beach location to serve until they can offer the full menu. That included their Heavenly Brisket sandwich that comes with melted provolone, an onion ring, and tomato.

For the full feature, click here.


ICYMI: Hartland’s opens with rare, perched-above-the-beach experience in Long Beach

Hartland’s, the concept taking over the former Plunge space, is officially opened daily from 7AM to 2PM. They’re not trying to reinvent the wheel but offer simple, quality lunch and breakfast. This results in everything from a stellar turkey club and burger to breakfast burritos and salad—and it all comes with a relatively nice price tag with a spectacular view.

Click here for the full feature.

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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