It’s a beautiful day in Long Beach and you may want to grab a cold one with your furry friend near Rosie’s Dog Beach. Well, pretty soon you can.
Croatian businessman Igor Montanari-Knez recently received a permit from the City to sell alcohol at the Granada Beach concession stand, opening the door to bring his Croatian oasis to Long Beach.
A little over 10 years ago, Montanari-Knez and his wife started Monty’s Dog Hotel in Crikvenica, where dogs could be pampered while their owners were away. The city’s mayor pitched Montanari-Knez on an idea to take some rundown, vacant land touching the Adriatic Sea and turn it into something. It became Monty’s Dog Beach’s first location.
The idea stemmed from dog-friendly beaches having no amenities for dogs or their owners. Usually, they’re just large empty spaces, Montanari-Knez said. Monty’s Dog Beach changed that dynamic.
“Guests spend the whole day there, there’s music, hanging out with people who have same interests,” Montanari-Knez said. “It’s a luxury experience.”
The success of the beach, which became a tourist spot not just in Croatia, but around Europe, lead to more locations and now Montanari-Knez has landed in Long Beach.
“I adore your climate, it’s a never-ending spring and we don’t have that in Croatia,” Montanari-Knez said. “I can work here for 12 months of the year. This climate is God-given.”
In 2021, the City began approving contracts for food vendors as part of a large remodel of concession stands across the City’s beaches.
Granting Montanari-Knez approval to sell alcohol was the last step of a two-and-a-half-year journey.
“There’s a language barrier, different laws,” Montanari-Knez said. “Finally I got everything I need to fulfill my vision.”
The concession stand will have a “Mediterranean approach” with a dining lounge that will sell specially created dog-friendly beer and pizza.
Montanari-Knez hopes to open in June, depending on final inspections, to catch the summer months.