And in this corner… | June 22, 2018

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“What’s the buzz? Tell me what’s a-happening.”

Now that we are diving into summer, I wanted to give you a brief update on news around the district.

I hope you made it out to our first Concert in the Park(ing Lot) this week. If you missed it, please join us next month for the Afro-funk sounds of Ethio Cali. The concert is set for Monday, July 23, 6:30pm in the parking lot by Bixby Joe coffee house, 4245 Atlantic Ave. We dare you to sit still during the show.

We currently have an exciting art project happening in the area. Artist Ten Hundred is in town from Seattle working on a mural on the wall across from Steelcraft. Just like Tom Bob from New York, we like to challenge ourselves by reaching out and bringing these nationally known artists to Bixby Knolls to leave behind great art pieces in the district. There will also be new murals at Laserfiche and Hotel Salina in the next few months.

We launched our first Summer Saturdays earlier this month. This is our new event and first of three for the summer. Just a few highlights were the beer trolley, a cheese class, a beer-making class, pop-ups at Steelcraft, Willmore’s blues brunch and the art and music at Liberation Brewing Co. Also, Deep Blue Swim School had 98 kids all swimming with a mermaid! It was both fun and a bit overwhelming.

For the July 14 Summer Saturdays event, part of our theme is a “classic car crawl,” which is tied to the Historical Society’s new exhibit Chrome. In the morning we will have classic cars parked in different lots around the district, including George’s 50s Diner, Georgie’s Place, Bixby Joe, and The Merchant. The afternoon will be filled with a ton of fun activities all over.

And remember, First Fridays is not cancelled. The businesses are organizing the activities for the event during the summer. The BKBIA will have its Summer Saturdays and reevaluate First Fridays after Labor Day. Most likely, we will hit the “restart” button and slowly begin the programming again.

Smart & Final is being built in the former OSH space. Smart & Final will use half the building, and the landlord is building out for new retail and restaurant spaces.

We are also addressing other issues with the shopping center with the landlord and will increase a security presence from CSI Security Patrol.

So, what else is new? Hiro Nori Craft Ramen (Carson and Atlantic) is now open and has received rave reviews. Ramen Hub (Atlantic and Roosevelt) is also open in a soft-opening mode. O Paloma Mexican Restaurant is now open at 4262 Atlantic. This is George Mitri from Baba Ghanouj’s second restaurant, and he will soon have his beer and wine license.

Bixby Joe is now open (formerly DRNK). DRNK corporate office sold the coffee house to local folks who really want to give it a “neighborhood” coffee-shop feel. We have been there a number of times already and enjoy their drinks and pastries. They will continue to make additions and improvements over the next few weeks.

George’s 50s Diner is finally open! They are also in a soft-opening mode until their grand opening on June 23.

A new specialty shoe store opened at 3932 Atlantic called L562B and will feature Adidas, Jordan, Supreme and their own brand of shoes and clothing.

I also want to make sure you know that Weiland is now Knolls Restaurant. Same (new) owner who also has a second location in Laguna Beach, a slightly updated menu and friendly atmosphere.

And did you know that the new owners for Georgie’s Place live in the neighborhood? Dr. Doug Brooks has his practice on Long Beach Boulevard and bought the restaurant a few months ago. Georgie’s remains our location for our monthly Kidical Mass bike ride.

The former Nino’s restaurant property is under construction. A second structure will be built, and the parking will be in the rear of the building. The work will continue for a number of weeks and needs to be nearly complete before the landlord will actively seek tenants other than his wife’s compounding pharmacy business for the corner location.

The Merchant recently celebrated its first year in operation. It was a very successful first year, and Andrea and Mike will continue to build it up as one of the most popular spots around.

Safety for the area is always our top priority. The BKBIA works with property and business owners to install security lights all around the district to light up any significant dark spots. It’s good for the business and good for the district as a whole. And don’t forget that CSI Security Patrol is out there both day and night for us.

Here’s a million-dollar question: The new landlord for the former Baja Sonora space has now signed a lease with a tenant. Can you guess what it will be?

Tenants are still being sought for the former Hof’s Hut space.

The Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association is launching its newest monthly program, the Knights of the Round (Turn)Table. The first meeting will be Thursday, June 28 at 6:30pm in the Linden Lounge of the Long Beach Petroleum Club, 3636 Linden Ave. The classic album Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys will launch the new group. Similar to the BKBIA’s monthly Literary Society format, the Knights will focus on music appreciation and discuss the greatest albums of all time (in all genres). If we see any of our programs wane in attendance, we will then try to invent something new and interesting to engage the community. We are taking a short break from our Supper Club and replacing it with this new group. This concept has been on the wish list for a long time, and it’s now time to launch it. It’s another fun way to connect the community to the business district under the guise of a social component.

By July we hope to have our new BKBIA Business Directory printed and delivered to 12,000 homes in the area. We felt it was time to do this again since we have new residents and many new businesses.

We encourage you (and beg you) to sign up for our emails so we can give you all the latest news. Or you can like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram. Our website is easy to remember:

As always, I’ll be looking for you all out in the neighborhood.