These Long Beach restaurants have temporarily converted to mini-markets

Editor’s note: This article will be continually updated with new locations. Check back!

Breweries have begun selling baked goods. Restaurants are offering grocery items by converting their otherwise empty dining spaces into mini-markets.

In these weird times, restaurants and bars—having been closed or limited due to the spread of coronavirus—and their owners are adjusting to a new reality by pivoting to meet the needs of customers.

Here is a list of places currently offering market items.

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Giuseppe’s Family Market at Michael’s Downtown. Photo by Carl Dene.

Michael’s Downtown

210 E. Third St.; 562-491-2100 in Downtown Long Beach

In Downtown, Michael’s owner Carl Dene is converting the entire restaurant space into Giuseppe’s Family Market, an ode to Chef Giuseppe Musso, who heads their kitchen.

Handmade pastas, housemade sauces, meats, cheeses, wine, and even toilet paper will be offered at the market.

“Basically, we’re doing everything we can to not only support our staff but to support a local community from having to stand 45 minutes to an hour in line outside the grocery store only to go in and find out that they can’t get anything,” Dene said.

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Long Beach Beer Lab

518 W. Willow St.; 562-270-3253 in Wrigley

Long Beach Beer Lab owner Levi Fried and his wife Harmony Sage describe their brewery-meets-bakery as being “a fortunate existence” because, while being able to provide baked goods and even fermented products, they also have bulk access to a ton of the basics: milk, eggs, flour, sugar and grains like rice.

“We were approached by our distributor and rep—whom we’ve worked with for years now; he lives in Wrigley—and he told us that they had these items and we could provide it to the community,” Fried said.

After talks with Councilman Roberto Uranga’s office to receive legal confirmation they could move forward, she said the Long Beach Beer Lab taproom has become a full-fledged convenience grocer. The result? Sage continues to sling out pizzas and bread while also being able to provide essential products to the neighborhood.

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Courtesy of Vino e Cucina.

Vino e Cucina

4501 E Carson Street, Suite 105; 562-421-0124

From 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Vino e Cucina will “open their pantry,” in the words of owner Lorenzo Mottola. This means meats, pastas, tomatoes, vino and more.

This tiny space is particularly special to me: It is the type of place that lacks any sense of pretense. Bright yellow walls meet white tiles and various hung knick-knacks. It reminds of a place my Grandpa Natalino and Mom would enjoy and, more importantly, one they would both cook at.

Mottola and his team make food that isn’t fussy or complicated; it’s simple, straightforward Italian food made great—and their pantry should prove no less.

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Pier 76’s makeshift marketplace during COVID-19 mandates.

Pier 76

95 Pine Ave.; 562-983-1776 in Downtown Long Beach

After owner and chef Chris Krajacic filleted and gave away 1,000 pounds of fresh fish, he has now turned his attention toward creating a mini-market that will hopefully cater to the the needs of the community.

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Lola’s Mexican Cuisine on Fourth St. Courtesy of Yelp!/Christy C.

Lola’s Mexican Cuisine.

2030 E. Fourth St.; 562-343-5506 along the Fourth Street Corridor and 4140 Atlantic Ave.; 562-349-0100 in Bixby Knolls

Owners Brenda Riviera and Luis Navarro have long been community champions—and this time is no exception. For a full look into what they are offering, click here.

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Recreational Coffee

237 Long Beach Blvd.; 562-436-4954

“I know we’re not the only ones doing this which I think is great,” said owner Bobby Hernandez. “Figured the grocery stores aren’t really the best places to practice social distancing right now and they don’t have some basics like eggs and milk. So if we could be a less impacted space with less foot traffic and the ability to keep distance better than grocery stores for everyone, I’m happy to do it.”

Eggs, milks (whole, oat and almond), breads from Crema Cafe, and toilet paper will be available while they have it—and, of course, coffee.

For the offerings and prices, click here

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Tuesday, Mar. 24.

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An assortment of offerings from Rasselbock’s popup corner store. Photo by Bjoern Risse.

Rasselbock Kitchen & Beer Garden

4020 Atlantic Ave.; 562-912-4949 in Bixby Knolls

“It’s about the little things right now,” said Bjoern Risse, owner of Rasselbock in Bixby Knolls, orienting tables covered with eggs, pasta, milk and sparkling water.

“I’m just trying to use our long-term relationship with our vendors to secure items that might be hard to come by for others in our neighborhood. We are starting with the basics and seeing what we can do to help.”

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Michael's on Naples' rooftop bar area. Courtesy of MRG.

Michael’s on Naples’ rooftop bar area. Courtesy of MRG.

Michael’s on Naples

5620 E. Second St.; 562-439-7080 in Naples

Michael’s on Naples is offering an online market where people can purchase handmade pastas, sauces, and more.

“We introduced the small online market over the weekend,” said said General Manager Massimo Aronne. “The wine list is for sale also at 50% off and we are selling negronis and aperol spritzers to go.”

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Chocolatier Romeo O. Garcia at his shop, Romeo Chocolates, in downtown Long Beach Tuesday, February 2, 2019. Photo by Thomas R Cordova

Romeo Chocolates

460 Pine Ave.; 562-432-7999 in Downtown 

Long Beach’s master chocolatier Romeo Garcia is also converting his shop into a mini-market beginning Wednesday, Mar. 26 from noon to 5 p.m. and then fully the week after from Wednesday through Sunday during the same hours. You can always, of course, pick up dessert and wine as well.

Pantry will include eggs, flour, sugar, tomato sauce, produce, cheese, charcuterie, toilet paper, beer, wine bottles to go and chocolates.

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The Firkin Pub & Grill

3411 E. Broadway; 562-433-3769 in Belmont Heights

“We are filling a reusable market bag with fresh produce, eggs and toilet paper rolls,” said manager and owner Mia Cornelius. “Happy customer pictured above! The packages are $30 and profits go to a staff fund.”

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The market inside Sura. Courtesy of Sura.

Sura Korean BBQ & Tofu House

621 Atlantic Ave.; 562-495-7872 in Downtown Long Beach

Owners Brandon and Claire Kim has converted his tiny-but-might tofu house into a market that includes toilet paper, water, eggs, and rice.

“We are also selling jarred kimchi and pickled banchan,” Brandon said.

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What a small vegan spread would look like at a wedding or celebration as part of Primal Alchemy Catering’s offerings. Photo by Brian Addison.

Primal Alchemy Catering
562-708-6998 

Primal Alchemy plan on setting up shop and doing pantry items at the Farmers Market every Sunday in Alamitos Bay. Jams, jellies, charcuterie, tapenade, Romesco, and even things like smoked beet hummus—all in addition to their family-of-four meal packs.

“I also love the charity aspect we have going—all of our delivery fees are going to a different charity every month since their big fundraising events have been cancelled so they are hurting,” said co-owner Dana Buchanan. “Children Today is the rest of March and April; Pathways to Independence is May; Rotary Foundation is June. Others to follow include The Guidance Center, CCEJ, and Long Beach Fresh. We plan on making this division of our business permanent.”

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Courtesy of Yelp!/Pete B.

The Crooked Duck

5096 E. Pacific Coast Hwy.; 562-494-5118 at Park Estates

Employee Mary McFadden said the location will “have some household items, groceries, and food to-go while still offering delivery.”

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The view of the interior of Vibes from its back patio. Photo by Brian Addison.

The view of the interior of Vibes from its back patio. Photo by Brian Addison.

VIBES Cafe

76 1/2 62nd Pl.; 562-343-5572 on the Peninsula 

“In addition to healthy & sustainable takeout options we are aiding our community by offering groceries, provisions, and sanitation products for purchase,” said owner Mackenzie Hendrix. “We’re offering free delivery for any customer on the Peninsula and $5 delivery in the surrounding 5-mile area.⁣ ⁣⁣For questions or to place orders, give us a call.”

They’ll be offering everything from toilet paper and plastic gloves to organic Clover milk and meats. For a list of offerings and prices, click here and scroll through their post on Instagram.

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Photo by Brian Addison.

Trademark Brewing

233 E. Anaheim St.; 562-308-7722 in Central Long Beach 

Trademark Brewing is doing a communal order, where you ask for what you need and they will order it for you. All orders will be taken through this form and pickups will be held at the brewery’s location.

“We have 75 fresh loafs of awesome sourdough bread arriving on Sunday, and we’re putting together a list of other items that are in short supply in stores but available at our wholesalers,” said owner Steffan Sterling. “To participate, please fill out the form and indicate what you need. Bread arrives Sunday; everything else should be Monday or possibly Tuesday. Our supplier told us that eggs are not a problem. Rice, beans, and paper goods are unknown—but we’ll do our best.”

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Courtesy of Keith Seaman.

Johnny Rebs’ True South

4663 Long Beach Blvd.; 562-472-2740 in Sutter

The southern food staple has converted its space into a market featuring rolls, hot dog buns, fresh produce, and more.

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Courtesy of Hi Lo Liquor Store.

Hi-lo Liquor Market

707 E. Ocean Blvd., Unit A in Downtown Long Beach

“We do have a lot of market items and more coming every day,” said owner Talmadge Lowe.

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Courtesy of Willmore Wine Bar.

Willmore Wine Bar

3848 Atlantic Ave; 562-492-5951 in Willmore

Willmore Wine Bar patrons can not only take their wine and beer to go but now they can shop for necessities, including fresh produce.

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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 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.
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