Thursday, May 30, 2024

Long Beach Food Scene Intel: Turkish sweets shop opens in Belmont Shore; Jerry’s Place up for sale; 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.


Hey Brother Baker officially ‘breaks ground’ on brick-and-mortar

Birthed out of Jesse Hellen-Lloyd’s garage, Hey Brother Baker started as a hobby, ventured into said bakery-in-a-garage, and is now about to a formal brick-and-mortar: Taking over the former Sav-On-Spaces at 3929 E. Anaheim St., the man whose bread is offered everywhere from Heritage to Retro Row’s Oh La Vache will now provide full access to his carby wonders. Hey Brother joins a collection of solid bakeries—the James Beard-finalist and phenomenon that is Gusto, the perfection that is Colossus, the underrated gem that is Nonna Mercato…—that is spurring the city’s bread renaissance.


Ancestros begins construction inside new space in Bixby Knolls

Speaking of build-outs: After handing out free tortas to promote their new Mexican concept, Ancestros, the owners of The Green Olive have officially begun gutting the former Pan space in Bixby Knolls. The Pan vacated the space at 3550 Long Beach Blvd. last year so the Pan could open in the former Bebe’s Diner after having issues with the landlord.


Galata Ice Cream & Desserts (formerly Dondurma) has opened in Belmont Shore

Renaming itself to Galata Ice Cream & Desserts to reflect its connection to the neighboring Galata Turkish restaurant, the space has soft opened in Belmont Shore; a grand opening is planned for later this month. Shortly after their opening, it was announced in August of 2023 that YASU has closed up shop to make way for a Turkish ice cream and dessert shop that was then named Dondurma, an expansion effort into food from the folks at Istanbul home. The also opened the aforementioned Galata just east of Istanbul Home as well, a restaurant dedicated to the Turkish delights of their heritage. It took over the former Buona Gente space, which closed in 2022 after serving the Shore’s community for over three decades.


Plaid Sheep GCB at Long Beach Exchange closes

Long Beach Exchange continues to experience big changes—both wins and losses—as it enters its fifth year of operation: The spinoff of Anaheim’s Black Sheep GCB, Plaid Sheep GCB (the “GCB” standing for “grilled cheese bar”) will serve its last grilled cheese come May 19. It follows a string of closures: Plancha Latin Kitchen, Popbar, Portola Coffee (now replaced by the thriving Cassidy’s Corner)—which have, in turn, prompted a series of openings, including Ike’s Sandwiches in The Hangar and the formal takeover of Remix by Bar Becky.


Hole-in-the-wall Jerry’s Place on 4th Street up for sale

Formerly Tony’s Breakfast Place—Tony passed away and the then-new owners decided re-brand the tiny breakfast joint all the way back in 2013—Jerry’s has been a casual breakfast-only joint that has served 4th Street and Retro Row for over a decade. They announced the sale over their Instagram account, marking the future turnover of a well-loved breakfast burrito spot to new owners a la Tito’s on 4th, which unfortunately has not been the same since (though they have strangely expanded into the non sequitur world of boba).


Bamboo Club loses its much-loved (and very lucrative) covered patio

It was a 75-person space that has not only been a much-needed expansion for Bamboo Club’s footprint but has been essential for events (and that includes hosting Last Call’s tiki cocktail competition earlier this year)—and just after permanently purchasing the massive tent that created the space after leasing it throughout the pandemic, the city has “put the hammer down,” as owner Brett Gallo explained it: The tiki bar was forced to remove the entire set up, which included stools, tables, lanterns, a stage, a separate bar, decorations, and more.


Compound to host market featuring local vendors, cooks, makers, talent

The Compound—the art gallery-meets-restaurant space that hosts the Union eatery—will be having a market come Saturday, May 11 from 11AM to 3PM. It will “feature our cultivated team members. Learn about their arts and crafts, passion projects, and creative endeavors.”

People and spaces being featured:
– Wall Hanging Art by @studiojjc
– Gelato by @co.hrted 
– Handmade Bags and Tattoo Merch by @mario_aguilar_
– Pizza by @rollingflamepizza
– Pastries by @fablesandfrosting
– Plants by @hayden.grows
– Photo Booth by @adriannamirandaphotography 
– Vinyl Records for Sale by @twelveslb

ICYMI: Black-owned and -operated Grilled Fraiche abruptly closes all locations—including Long Beach

I cannot tell you how much this bums me out, Long Beach—and how utterly frustrating it is to see Long Beach’s Black food scene, once thriving and ubiquitous, continually diminish.

Grilled Fraiche was one of our most underrated spaces, seamlessly melding Caribbean flavors with Californian style. It’s owner, Peace Love Reedburg, was and remains a bright light for the entire L.A. region and, not gonna lie, I am going to severely miss Angelica’s hospitality.

Click here to read the full article.


ICYMI: La Playa Night Market hopes to become Downtown Long Beach’s monthly twilight outing

Long Beach’s food scene is certainly booming—be it with upcoming restaurants or its pizza renaissance or…—but it would be intellectually dishonest to not acknowledge its lacks. And that is where La Playa Night Market comes in: When it comes to the rich world of night markets—where joints like the 626 Night Market or El Gato Night Market have altered the neighborhoods that have hosted them—we lack.

And La Playa Night Market hopes to change just that when it arrives this Friday at the Scottish Rite in DTLB from 5:30-10PM.

Click here to read the full article.

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ICYMI: A little more queer, a little more femme: Recreational Coffee’s new owners move toward the future

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a slightly different, queer-er vibe at the always-welcoming Recreational Coffee in Downtown Long Beach: Coffee bean labels are brighter and outright cartoon-y in the best way possible, a little pink coffee mug cart…

And there’s a reason: It’s fairly-newly minted owner Brooklyn Warden who has taken over—and she’s ready to let the rainbow shine bright on the continually growing, always gorgeous world of Long Beach coffee.

Click here for the full article.

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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