Long Beach Foodie Update: SteelCraft to Open 2nd Location in OC; Working Class Kitchen Hosts Craft Beer Garden

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Above: SteelCraft in Bixby Knolls. Photo by Baktaash Sorkhabi.

I haven’t been shy in touting about Bixby Knoll’s SteelCraft—and it goes beyond the fact that it finally brought ramen to Long Beach. It was brilliantly designed and shifted the way that the region approaches the use of building materials.

In short: it was an urban home run 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.

Well, 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 the bourgeoning “downtown” area of Garden Grove—mainly known as the Main Street stretch on the east at Garden Grove Boulevard to the residential properties west of Grove Street, with the Civic Center and Village Green Park in between.

“We are thrilled and incredibly grateful for the opportunity to bring SteelCraft to Garden Grove,” stated 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.”

SteelCraft marks the perfect entry point for Garden Grove to create more bustle in the neighborhood, reflecting the city’s long-desire to “re-imagine” its downtown through a 2013 initiative. 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—and those things are desperately needed as Garden Grove’s foot and bike activity die in the weekdays and winter months and stores along its historic Main Street strip close up shop.

The development is estimated to be completed in 12 to 18 months.

“This is an extremely lofty goal,” stated Martin Howard, “but we hope to be open this time next year.”

Meanwhile, over in the Zaferia District—which just celebrated specialty coffee movin’ on in—Michael Dene’s butchershop/casual grub hub Working Class Kitchen will be hosting a craft beer garden every Friday kicking off June 16 while serving their famed fried chicken all day [pictured].

The coolest part? It’s a partnership with the neighboring Urban Americana, where guests are welcomed to bring their brews and peruse their seemingly endless offerings of antiques and new urbanism aura while socializing.

Working Class Kitchen is located at 1322 Coronado Ave.

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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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