Long Beach Staple The Pike Bar & Grill Opens Second Location in Los Alamitos

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The new Pike Bar in Los Alamitos. Photos by Brian Addison

The Pike Bar & Grill is both a Long Beach icon and legend, serving up what many consider the best fish and chips in the city along with a vibrant atmosphere that is throughly unique to its space.

Given the popularity of its 4th Street location, it was only natural that Chris Reece–former drummer for punk band Social Distortion and owner of both Pikes–was looking to expand. What surprised many, however, was that the expansion was not made here in Long Beach, but in Los Alamitos, in the middle of a nondescript strip mall, where his new location unlocked its doors for a soft opening on Monday.

“Drive by it a hundred times and you wouldn’t know it was there,” Reece said. “But I love it.”

Reece is thrilled at the prospects of his 11272 Los Alamitos Blvd. location—a sentiment he didn’t share while he attempted for years to search for a second piece of real estate in Long Beach.

NewPike01“I looked at Pine Avenue a few years back and they really didn’t want me down there,” Reece said. “They didn’t welcome me to Downtown Long Beach, to be quite honest. They wanted Pine Avenue for convention people, they wanted a bunch of corporate chains. They just didn’t like my concept—and in the end, I’m honestly happy it didn’t work out.”

The Pike’s concept—what many in Long Beach feel to be an inherent part of its cultural thread: nautical punk meets beer’n’grub—was once set to fill the space at 145 W Broadway at the corner of Pacific and Broadway. Rejection after rejection, permit fight after permit fight led the space to become the now-defunct Port billiard hall—and led Reece to give up on Long Beach and step outside to nearby Orange County.

The Los Al space is massive: at 5,500 sq. ft., the former Mr. B’s Sports Bar now has the iconic teal blue and destressed street decorations that is unique to the Pike’s LBC locale adorning its walls, while Reece looks to also add flair that highlights the area’s own history (think horse races and Orange County freeway signs).

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But the main reason Reece set his eyes on this location is one that is not uncommon in Long Beach: the parking police are nowhere in site.

“Any project in Long Beach raises the question of parking—parking, parking, parking,” Reece said. “You either have none or you need ten bucks to park—and that just turns people off. And I’m at the intersection of three major freeways [here]. Win, win.”

Though open right now, the new Pike is not fully up-and-running as renovations and decorating will continue over the coming months. They have, however, begun to offer a limited menu—including their fish and chips—and a new array of craft beers to what they hope will be a whole new set of Pike-sters, while catering to the crowd that came before.

NewPike02Mr. B’s, like many neighborhood watering holes, had its tried-and-true patrons who visited the joint often and those regulars were The Pike’s first customers this week. To help with the transition, Reece and crew held onto three of the former Mr. B’s servers in the hopes that old patrons will become new fans. After all, the space is home to the Los Al Rotary Club, who meets in an old-school room in the back that is packed with arcade games.

“We want to showcase the local history and at the same time give them good food and beer,” Reece said. “Everything happens for a reason.”

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