Friday, July 19, 2024

Free shots, swag, secret tiki bartender: This Downtown Long Beach bar crawl explores all the right spots


As we push toward the completion of 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 continue to 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 bar crawl in Downtown Long Beach)… All in order to lift a glass to a social and economic driver that rarely receives the love its deserves: our bar industry.

There are two things very near and dear to me: DTLB and my food group, the Long Beach Food Scene. And for the first time, I am having a formal meetup of all its members (or at least, however many of the 60,000 show up) as one of the final events of 10-day celebration of our bar scene, Long Beach Last Call.

And yes, it is a crawl on Friday, Mar. 8 beginning at 7PM at Altar Society with free live music at nearly every location thanks to the Downtown Long Beach Alliance and Aster.

So what is this Downtown Long Beach bar crawl all about?

The event is entirely free and includes free samplings of certain spirit brands while also giving patrons the chance to support small businesses: At Rosemallows, you get to take home your carved crystal shot glass if you order a shot while also enter a raffle to score a Mexican league soccer jersey. The Stave and The Ordinarie will have samplings of certain spirits…

We start at Altar Brewing at 7PM on Friday, Mar. 8, where a spicy 400 Conejos Mezcal menu will be featured while patrons can explore the massive brewery, bar, pizzeria, and cafe. Music by Urban Society.

Come 8PM, we keep it light with the beer by visiting our newest brewery, ISM Brewing. Music by Manuel the Band.

At 9PM, we’ll head over to The Stave, where we sample a 400 Conejos Mezcal negroni while also being able to order from a Last Call menu that also features Tin Cup Whiskey.

Around 10PM, we’ll head over to The Ordinarie, where live entertainment, more spirit samplings, giveaways, and one of the city’s best bar programs will be featured, including a special Last Call menu. Music by Chris Laxamana.

And at 11PM, we’ll finish the night off at Rosemallows with take-homes like buy a shot of 400 Conejos and keep the carved crystal shot glass. Or receive a raffle ticket for our raffle through every drink purchased off the featured Long Beach Last Call menu and score everything from a Mexican national futból team jerseys from Gran Centenario Tequila to a Cocktail Kingdom bar tool set and more. Music by DJ HoneyMee.

And yes, the hidden tiki bar inside Rosemallows will open up for the evening.

What should I order while on the crawl?

There will be a ton of cocktails and brews featured across the crawl—here are some highlights. And yes, we’re gonna start off with beer so we can actually make it through this crawl…

Camp Campfire at Altar Society: A coffee blonde that might be bright in color but packs a full on bite of coffee, graham cracker, and hints of chocolate—a wonder of a beer. Or for those that don’t want beer…

Spicy 400 Conejos Mezcal margarita at Altar Society: 400 Conejos Mezcal | Lime Juice | Agave | Chile

Award-winning beer at ISM Brewing: This will be a spirit-free stop (and probably for the best) at ISM Brewing, where we will enjoy our city’s newest brewery and some of its best beer.

The Heavy Hander: 400 Conejos Mezcal | Campari | Lemon | Hibiscus | Angostura bitters

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Captain’s Grog: Light Rum | Aged Rum | Dark Rum | Ginger Liquor | Orange Curacao | Grapefruit | Lime | Maple | Vanilla & Almond

A drink from the hidden tiki bar inside Rosemallows: While not so secret given it’s been around for years, the hidden tiki bar does have a secret tiki bartender taking over its space with a special menu for the night. I promise: You won’t wanna miss it.

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. 

The Long Beach Food Scene meet-up/DTLB crawl will kick off at The Altar Society, located at 230 Pine Ave., on Friday, Mar. 8 at 7PM. That will be followed by ISM Brewing (210 E. 3rd St.) at 8PM. The Stave (170 The Promenade N.) at 9PM, The Ordinarie (210 The Promenade N.) at 10PM, and Rosemallows (255 Long Beach Blvd.) at 11PM.

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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