A Revival in Downtown Long Beach
WORDS BY: PATRICK LIBUANO
PHOTOS BY: TAYLOR KEMPKES
Downtown Long Beach has witnessed plenty of growth lately, with shops and restaurants opening up willy-nilly. For some, the changes may go unnoticed or are just too much work to find. To make things easier, we here at DIG have done the hunting for you. Here are some fresh new spots to hit up.
Beachwood Brewing & BBQ
Come for the smell, stay because you had too much to drink.
The oldest on our list, Beachwood has been in operation for a couple of years now, but it’s worth the trip if you haven't visited. These award-winning brewers have been serving specialty brews on their 20 rotating taps, so don't expect to have the same drink twice. The ever-changing selections ranges from stouts, like Beachwood’s award-winning Udder Love, to bitters, like Hops of Brixton. And yes, all the beers have clever names.
It wouldn't be a barbecue place without good barbecue, and damn, do they have some good barbecue. Beachwood’s personal philosophy is that good barbecue doesn’t need sauce, and that really makes the outlet’s meat shine. And it shines on everything. From classics like pulled pork sandwiches to fusion dishes like barbecue chicken nachos, you won’t find a shortage of meat here.
Not to be mistaken with its Seal Beach counterpart, you can find this place at 210 E. Third St. It's open everyday except on Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to midnight.
The Brass Lamp
Get lost in a book.... or drinks.
The Brass Lamp is LB's premier book bar. You read that right, book bar. It's the perfect blend of coffee shop, wine bar and bookstore.
I was not keen about the idea of a book bar at first – it has all the makings of a hipster cesspool. But as I walked in, I was surprised to find a mix of professionals, students and moms. Instead of the mustached, millennial barista I was expecting, a menu-savvy waitress greeted me. She recommended – very well, I must add – what on the menu goes well with what, which resulted in an order of banana bread ale, a waffle sundae, and the Brass Lamp’s specialty coffee. With each bite of that fluffy pastry and sip of my artisan coffee, I didn't mind sinking deeper and deeper into the pool.
If you find the library too hectic, this is a great alternative study space. Seat yourself on any of the Brass Lamp’s stools, beanbags or armchairs – you can even relax in a private room if you buy two or more items. There's free Wi-Fi, but not enough outlets. The menu isn't too extensive, but it is high quality. Service was great; staff was extremely helpful and friendly – a must for coffee virgins.
You can grab a drink at 245 Promenade North, Suite 100 (first floor of the Mark Schneider building), any day of the week from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
(562) 495-9719, www.thebrasslampbar.com
MADE in Long Beach
A smorgasbord of creativity, and creativity by the s**t ton.
MADE is a space catering to the artisan in all of us (and for them, too). The 10,000-square-foot space boasts over 100 local artisans and makers, selling items that range from industrial sculpture pieces to hot sauce.
For me, the visit ended up being a “look, can't buy” – the gripe of many college students. Yet, I still found myself making mental notes of things I'd buy. And how could I not? The items were amazing, especially the art. I had the fortune of visiting during Ghosts by Gaslight, a steam punk art exhibition, which I'd say is what MADE does best – its events. Hosting over 50 events since its opening earlier in the year, MADE has showcased many of the community's artists and makers. So if shopping is out of the question, the events are a definite must. You can keep up with MADE’s new events and items by following the store on its social media.
As of now, the establishment plans on expanding its store to include a Market @ MADE. The new expansion would include a larger area that would include more food.
You can find the shop at 240 Pine Ave., open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday except Mondays.
(877) 752-1550, www.madelb.com