Monday, April 22, 2024

Grill Em All to close original Alhambra location, move all operations to Long Beach

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Grill Em All, the “death to false burgers,” metal-inspired burger joint that has been an Alhambra staple since 2013, will be moving its entire business operation to Long Beach, where it will be opening in the Bayshore concession stand location near the south end of Horny Corner.

Announcing on Instagram that their Alhambra “Valhalla” location will shutter come Jan. 21, owner Matt Chernus said the plan was to always have the Long Beach location be just an extension—but the roughness of 2023 for restaurants has caused them to rethink their entire plan.

Grill Em All’s move from longtime home to new beachside frontier

“We had been working on our location on Bayshore for years,” Chernus said, noting that the restaurant announced its Long Beach location back in May of 2023. “And it was intended to be an expansion not a move but the reality was that the margins had become too thin in Alhambra and we needed to begin thinking of it as a move instead.”

He echoes what many have been feeling when it comes to region’s restaurant numbers: According to the 2023 State of Restaurants report for the Los Angeles region, profit margins have dropped 1.6% across a single year, when the county met the national average of 11% in 2021 and averaged 9.4% in 2022. A nearly 2% drop for the average restaurant could spell out its death.

Then, there’s the cost of food: The Los Angeles region spent 50% more on food cost from 2021 to 2022—more than any other major metro in the country, including New York (45%), Chicago (32%), Dallas (46%), and Miami (41%).

This, however, doesn’t show a lack of hope for Chernus.

“We went from a truck based in Burbank to a restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley—which was a huge change,” Chernus said. “Still, the Ghouls came and supported us; we are hoping this is the same situation with our move to Long Beach.”

So what is this Long Beach shoreline food thing all about?

The addition of Grill Em All is part of the massive upgrades to concession offerings along the shoreline of Long Beach, it follows the opening of Long Beach’s first, on-the-sand, full-time eatery, Saltwater Deck, which opened at Junipero Beach in 2021.

The other major spot—the $9M Alamitos Beach amenities location—announced several years back that Gaucho Grill will open three concepts at the space. And come this summer, the space did open with a full bar, a cafe, a grab’n’go concept, and a full-service restaurant.

And over at Granada Beach, an imported-from-Croatia Mediterranean concept dubbed Monty’s Beach will open in the coming months.

As for Grill Em All? Plans for completion are drawing near, within the coming weeks or month—and Long Beach can proudly chant, “Death to all false burgers.”

Grill Em All will be located at the south end of Horny Corner near Bay Shore Avenue where it meets 54th Place.

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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