Friday, July 19, 2024

There’s a free disco party aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach this weekend

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As we push toward celebrating Long Beach Food Scene: Last Call—a 10-day, 15-event celebration of our city’s rich bar culture and the people who make it happen—we will offer a series of features that highlight everything from our most stellar cocktail programs at restaurants to to the very events occurring (like this free event aboard The Queen Mary)… All in order to lift a glass to a social and economic driver that rarely receives the love its deserves: our bar industry. For more information on Long Beach Last Call, tap here.

This event is currently sold out as all 1,000 RSVP spots have been booked. At this time, due to the extremely large response, we will not be creating a wait list.

The Queen Mary, in conjunction with Long Beach Last Call, will be hosting a free disco’n’funk party inside its Observation Bar on Saturday, Mar. 2 from 8PM to 11PM.

Taking a nod to Netflix’s “Griselda”—in which every club scene was shot aboard the ship—we are turning to the late 1970s and early 1980s to get down in a way that might even offend the Queen’s original guests.

DJ Tomas De Los Reyes will be spinning all night while Hendricks, Woodford Reserve, and High Noon will have a plethora of stock to loosen your limbs.

This event will be free but will require an RSVP to attend. Click here to RSVP.

The history behind The Queen Mary’s Observation Bar

The Observation Bar, which reopened in May of last year for the first time since the pandemic, and the restaurant, which opened the previous weekend, hav been staples for tourists and local visitors alike, particularly the former: With construction finished in the mid-1930s—highlighted by an imperialist-loving mural over the crescent sweep of the bar by A.R. Thomson dubbed “The Royal Jubilee Week,” a depiction of the 25th anniversary of the reign of King George V and Queen Mary—the bar is rife with art deco details that make guests genuinely feel like they’ve escaped to the past.

While the bar has certainly been cleaned up, perhaps of boldest note is the fact that the observation deck attached to the bar, along with the gun deck below it, have had its teak flooring restored entirely.

The bar was not always an “art deco masterpiece:” It acted as a dormitory when the ship was used as a troopship during World War II and then was briefly returned to its art deco glory—albeit with a linoleum floor—up until the 1960s. When it arrived in Long Beach, the new owners opted to go thematic over classic, applying a theme dubbed “Ye Olde English Age of Sail” to the Observation Bar (which coincided with that odd hodgepodge of old English architecture buildings in the parking lot as part of the attraction to the ship itself).

It wasn’t until 2007—after Disney sold the ship and the bar had undergone multiple iterations—that the space was returned to its art deco model (though not also met with its criticism: a botched paint job nearly destroyed the Thomson mural while guests would photograph drips of paint everywhere).

The bar’s new menu includes of-the-time classics—like Derbys and Grasshoppers—along with updated things like a gin-basil smash and espresso martinis, as well as some small bites plates that include buffalo pork ribs with whipped gorgonzola dolce and corned beef sliders.

Sir Winston’s, the equally-cherished fine dining space toward the rear of the ship, will not be opening until 2024.

This marks a warmly-welcomed news bite of positivity following the ship’s disastrous handling across the past decade: The cherished icon has been a challenge to operate—and that is putting it lightly, with a 2017 study recommending renovations and upgrades stacking up to $289 million. According to a trove of court documents and inspection reports released in 2021, the Queen Mary needed $23 million in immediate repairs to prevent it from potentially capsizing.

Wait–you mention “Long Beach Last Call.” What is it?

After the success of my restaurant week last year during August, Long Beach Food Scene Week, bar owners and tenders rightfully asked: “What about a week for us?”

So I decided to oblige and present Long Beach Food Scene: Last Call, a ten-day long celebration of Long Beach’s amazing bar culture, it’s even more amazing workers, and the industry that often goes without recognition as one of our city’s largest economic and social drivers. 

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Thanks to my collaborators—Scott Lennard of RNDC and Chris Lewis of Nosotros Tequila y Mezcal—we’ve created some 15 events across the ten-day span on Last Call. To say the least, we’ve worked our asses off and we hope you’ll come out and celebrate with us (that is, if we make it to Day 10 alive).

And this event at the Queen Mary is one such part of that celebration.

The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queens 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.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Too bad your car I’ll probably get broken into and you might get robbed Long Beach is crazy at night I mean crazy especially down there by the Queen Mary goodbye man downtown please

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