With SteelCraft’s third location, Long Beach brands move beyond city borders

I haven’t been shy in touting Bixby Knoll’s SteelCraft—and it goes beyond the fact that it was the first development to bring ramen to Long Beach. It’s brilliantly designed and shifted the way that the region approaches the use of building materials. In short: it was an urban home for a neighborhood that isn’t that urban and could very well serve as a template to jumpstart areas in other cities searching for activation in historic cores, aging downtowns or idle neighborhoods.

SteelCraft’s success has other cities yearning for their own version and it has prompted Howard CDM, the construction and development partner behind SteelCraft, to build a second location in Garden Grove as well as a third location in Bellflower.

While the Garden Grove location is still under construction, the Bellflower location will be celebrating its grand opening tomorrow, June 13, and with it, bring locally based brands like Ten Mile Brewing, Long Beach Creamery and Prime by Shenandoah.

“We are thrilled and incredibly grateful for the opportunity to bring SteelCraft to Garden Grove,” said Kim Gros, manager of SteelCraft. “In my heart, yes, I thought SteelCraft would grow to something bigger, but in my head I didn’t think it would grow so quickly.”

Joining the Long Beach tenants will be Lakewood-based Cassidy’s Corner, which offers morning meals in the form of homemade bagels, bagel bites, acai bowls, etc.

Fritzi Coop—brainchild of Neal Fraser, Redbird’s award-winning chef—offers brined chicken fried or grilled, sandwiches, wings, bites and salads.

Pholanthropy, a Vietnamese joint created by two former trauma center nurses, Vincent Pham and Kim Nguyen, donates a percentage of all proceeds to charity.

The Standing Room has its own home-is-where-your-roots-are background, with Lowell Bakke first selling homemade burgers out of a tiny space in the back of a Redondo Beach liquor store. Now with a sizable, cult-like following, Bakke’s small operation has expanded to a brick-and-mortar in Hermosa Beach, with Bellflower set to be its third location.

SteelCraft marks the perfect entry point for both Garden Grove and Bellflower to create more bustle in the neighborhood, reflecting Garden Grove’s long-desire to “re-imagine” its downtown through a 2013 initiative and Bellflower’s need for more food-centric spaces. It has all the things that are needed to activate spaces: smart design that incorporates restoration, a celebration of craft and locally-made food, and unique vibes—things desperately needed in both cities.

SteelCraft Bellflower is located at 16500 Bellflower Blvd.

Brian Addison is a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or on social media at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food to politics to urban transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 12 nominations and an additional win for Best Political Commentary. Born in Big Bear, he has lived in Long Beach since college. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.
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