What could be more ideal than a morning spent sipping Italian coffee, an afternoon enjoying a sandwhich on a fresh baguette and an evening spent drinking French natural wine?

By opening the Zaferia district’s newest cafe, Mangette, next to its sister space, Buvons Wine Bar, owners Alicia Kemper and Marie DelBarry hope customers will indulge by doing just that.

The cafe’s name is derived from the French verb “manger” which means “to eat,” complementary to Buvons’ name which comes from “boire” — “to drink.”

While the cafe had its soft opening just before Thanksgiving, Kember and DelBarry will officially celebrate its arrival to the neighborhood with a grand opening on Saturday, Dec. 2.

Mangette is the sister cafe to Buvons Wine Bar in Long Beach, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

The festivities begin at 9 a.m. with a talk from Meredith Ambruso, who is responsible for the weekly floral art that will be displayed inside the cafe. Local musician Emily LaSalle will perform in the cafe from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At 5 p.m., the celebration will continue with a discussion led by artist Austin Manley, whose original oil paintings line the cafe walls.

Such partnerships with local artists and vendors represent Kemper and DelBarry’s philosophy and concept for the shop, where they hope the community will feel welcome to eat and drink.

The pair will source most of their ingredients locally, with some from the Santa Monica Farmers Market. And all menu items will be made in-house, including their ginger ice cream and olive oil cake.

Chef Noe Duran, who used to work at Michelin-starred Heritage, collaborated with Kemper and DelBarry to help curate the cafe’s menu, which offers sandwiches like a butter ham sandwich on a fresh baguette with cornichons (pickles); a honeynut squash soup, soft scrambled eggs, oysters, a kanpachi crudo (thinly sliced raw fish dressed with white soy, yuzu, cucumber and jalapeno), and more.

“We all come from Michelin backgrounds where everything is made in-house,” Kemper said. “We wanted to bring that to a neighborhood-friendly establishment.”

While Buvons’ business model sticks pretty close to the atmosphere of a French wine bar, Mangette’s menu will explore much more of Europe’s cuisine.

The coffee station at Mangette in Long Beach, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.
The sunny dining area of Mangette in Long Beach, Tuesday Nov. 28, 2023. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

For example, customers can enjoy an Italian affogato — a scoop of ice cream drowned in espresso; or the creme de cafe, which is a summertime Italian dessert that combines espresso with a whipped cream made of coffee.

Customers will also find coffee shop staples like Americanos, lattes, hot chocolate and more.

Before Buvons opened on Loma Avenue, the area was a fairly sleepy and residential neighborhood. Aside from the Bamboo Club around the corner, there were few walkable options. But over the past two years, Buvons has attracted an intimate evening space for people to gather and enjoy food pop-ups, charcuterie and low-lit ambiance. Now, the owners hope they can create something similar during the day at Mangette.

After plans fell through for the LA-based Lodge Bread Company to move into Buvons’ neighboring space, Kemper decided to pursue her vision of Mangette. It took some six months of construction and remodeling to bring it all to life.

Seating in the cafe is split between wooden chairs and cozy cushioned benches. A newly built forest-green wall separating the kitchen from the dining space provides a cool contrast to the cafe’s warmer tones.

The front of the cafe offers open-air areas with more cozy seating. The back patio, which is part of the Buvons shop, will open at noon when Buvons opens, so customers can grab food from the cafe and enjoy it in the garden.

Eventually, the cafe will also include a small retail shop stocked with local artisan lifestyle items. Unlike Buvons, Mangette has a full kitchen, out of which Kemper hopes to offer more chef-driven pop-ups. The cafe is also collaborating with the Long Beach Farmers Markets to allow residents to eventually purchase fresh produce baskets that can be picked up at the cafe.

Though Mangette has only been open a short time, DelBarry says they’ve already begun to see repeat customers.

“It’s so nice to see friendly faces here,” DelBarry said. “It’s so nice seeing the community support.”

Mangette will be open from 8 a.m to 3 p.m. on Thursdays through Sundays and is at 1145 Loma Ave. Stay up to date with happenings at the cafe through Instagram.