Thursday, July 18, 2024

Ribbro Long Beach soft opens with barbecue sandwiches until grand opening


Ribbro Long Beach has officially soft opened 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.

Why only sandwiches for now at Ribbro Long Beach?

The Orange County-based barbecue joint took over the former Mangosteen space in Belmont Shore in March. (And this was following rumors that everyone from Bludso’s to Long Beach’s own Axiom would be taking over the space.) In that short time, they’ve already turned around the entirety of the space.

But they lack one very big thing: a smoker.

“Right now, we’re bringing in sandwich meats [from a separate location],” Mark said. “Hopefully when the smoker arrives by the end of the month, we can get straight to fully operating.”

So for now, platters of pork ribs, smoked brisket, and barbecue chicken will be on hold. In the interim, you can score one of their sandwiches—like the “Heavenly Brisket.” This hunk of a sammie takes smoked brisket and melds it with melted provolone, an onion ring, and tomato. Get your choice of sides and you’re good to go.

So what is Ribbro Long Beach and what can folks expect?

Think of Ribbro Long Beach as barbecue-with-tinges-of-Korean-flavors. There’s classics like barbecue chicken paired and mac’n’cheese—but you can also score gochuchang-slathered ribs and kimchi.

And let’s be honest: Ribbro could be a great addition to Belmont Shore, providing a nice deviation away from the many coffee and sweet shops that have made the area one of the most well-caffeinated and sugar-topped areas in the city—if their barbecue is up to the task.

With locations in Newport Beach and Lake Forest—far cries from the scenery here in Long Beach—they have already garnered a solid following down south. Should they compete with more local joints like the aforementioned Axiom, Brother’s Keeper, Big Brian’s Meats, Smuggler’s Port, and Full Send, then they’ll be fine.

Ribbro BBQ is one of many larger brands to step into Belmont Shore while the neighborhood undergoes a restaurant and shop renaissance

Belmont Shore is rapidly changing and has rapidly changed—especially across the past two years, where a slew of bigger, largely Los Angeles-based brands have opted to open up locations along the famed business corridor. It is a larger reflection of the post-pandemic need to get out, favoring walkable outdoor spaces of insulated indoor ones. Which is why storefronts are being snagged by new tenants and the neighborhood introduces new concepts like its walking tours.

There was the recent announcement that Kauai-based, taro donut masters Holey Grail have officially opened, adding to the Shore’s growing list of sweet spots. This can be added to future openings like North Hollywood-birthed Republic of Pie adding to that very sweetness while Angel’s Share, which quickly took over the former Taphouse space, has already opened up shop

The Win~Dow, Venice’s smash burger concept birthed in 2019 in a parking lot, has officially opened its first Long Beach location in Belmont Shore in the former Archibald’s space. Following its first location in Venice, its second location in Silver Lake, and its third here in Long Beach, more are to come in Southern California in 2024—but the Belmont Shore location has proven wildly fruitful: On the daily, there is a perpetual line for its affordable, minimalist burgers.

Goodies, the affordable home shop brand that opened its first brick-and-mortar in Santa Monica, moved into Belmont Shore. Founder and owner Rhea Carlisle—born in the Philippines, raised in a small, struggling town in South Texas—has brought a brand to the Shore than countless cities across SoCal have vied for only to find themselves empty handed. 

Then there’s been Candified. Le Macaron. Breakfast Republic. Foodologie. Nick the Greek. Louie’s. Northern Cafe. Sushi Nikkei’s second location in the city

The list goes on—as does the renaissance.

Ribbro Long Beach is located at 5295 E 2nd St.

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.


    • I don’t believe any business is required to have a specific form of tender; there are many places which are cash only as well. The reason many are shifting toward this is often safety and accounting reasons: A lack of carrying cash is better in terms of potential burglaries and books are easier to handle with card transactions.

  1. Cash is always the best way to go that way they can keep their prices down because they don’t have to pay for the credit card exchange fees
    which vary from 10%-29% thus saving the business money


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