From Chinese dumplings to traditional Turkish fare—the doors to six new restaurants are expected to open on Second Street in Belmont Shore soon.
Earlier this year, the bustling seaside corridor was dubbed “Restaurant Row” to reflect its post-pandemic economic comeback.
Heather Kern, the executive director of the Belmont Shore Business Association, said earlier this year that the corridor was shaping up to offer an “elevated night out.” This year, several new restaurants opened to reflect that—Viaje, Sushi Nikkei and Louie’s on 2nd. Yasu, a globally inspired date night spot, also rode in on that wave, but it closed in late June to move to Corona del Mar.
By the end of the year, several more restaurants will bring a wealth of different cuisines that the street previously lacked. Here’s what we know about what’s coming.
Galata Turkish Halal Grill – 5205 Second St.
The owners of Istanbul Home Decor on Second Street have expanded to two next-door buildings that bookend their current shop.
Within the former Buona Gente space, they’re preparing to open Galata Turkish Halal Grill. It’ll become the corridor’s only Turkish restaurant, offering traditional soup, kebabs, Turkish coffee and more.
Nearly two months after the closure of Yasu in June, Istanbul Home decided to expand into that corner building as well. The now-pink building will offer Turkish sweets and ice cream.
Both Galata and its dessert shop could open very soon—perhaps as early as September, a store employee told the Long Beach Post. Istanbul Home Decor’s owner has not responded to the Post for comment on the opening date.
Northern Cafe – 4911 Second St.
Two words: handmade dumplings.
Northern Cafe—a franchised Chinese food chain opening at the long-shuttered La Creperie Cafe—specializes in them, particularly in xiao long bao (soup dumplings), listed as the Juicy Pork Dumpling on their menu at several other locations across Southern California.
If the menu is anything like their location in Cerritos, the shop on Second Street could offer a variety of noodle soups, from beef to Szechuan dan dan, several chow mein dishes, appetizers like spicy pig ears, spring rolls and more.
The dumplings will also likely include a variety of options like lamb, vegetable, beef, fennel and pork, shrimp and chicken.
It’s unclear when the location will open, but by the looks of it, it could happen by the end of the year.
Sweetfin – 4612 Second St.
Sweetfin was among the first wave of restaurants that popped up during the poke bowl craze in Southern California. Owners Seth Cohen and Brett Nestadt opened their first Sweetfin location in Santa Monica in 2015.
The Hawaiian-inspired raw fish dish has been offered at the bustling Poke Pola on Second Street since 2016, but the corridor is about to double its poke offerings when Sweetfin opens within the former Z Pizza location.
While beloved Poke Pola continues to draw long lines for its spice-tiered marinades and massive portions, Sweetfin will offer a set of different options like vegan bowls, poke burritos and “health goal bowls.”
Cohen has said his 20th location (and first ever in Long Beach) will open before fall of this year. On July 27, Cohen said construction was in its final stages.
The Win~Dow – 4600 E. Second St.
Just a short jaunt from Sweetfin, the long-darkened Archibald’s location at the northern tip of Second Street will become The Win~Dow, Venice’s boutique (albeit no-frills) burger joint.
Kelly Bylsma, spokesperson for American Gonzo Food Corp., said they are pushing to open this fall.
It’s unclear at this point whether The Win~Dow’s minimalistic menu from its other two LA locations will be offered in Long Beach, but Bylsma said they aim to maintain a reputation for affordable bites.
The Win~Dow’s two open locations currently offer a flat-top cheeseburger for $4.25 and a vegetarian beauty burger with Impossible meat for $8.25. The menu also offers an $8 grain bowl, a fried chicken sandwich for $7.25 and a $3.95 breakfast sandwich.
L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele – 4611 Second St.
Remember “Eat, Pray, Love”? Well, during the “Eat” part, Elizabeth Gilbert (or Julia Roberts, depending on whether you watched the movie or read the book), was eating pizza in Naples (Italy, not Long Beach) at the original L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele.
The Neapolitan, wood-fired pizza staple has been in business for 150 years and has more recently opened locations in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone and New York City’s West Village. Soon, very soon, L’Antica will open in Belmont Shore.
According to Kurt Schneiter, president of the Belmont Shore Business Association, L’Antica will open the first week of October, if all goes well.
It will have an 8,000-square-foot location, where Papalucci’s Italian Restaurant shuttered in 2019 after 29 years. L’Antica will serve up a variety of house-made pastas as well as that world-famous Neapolitan wood-fired pizza recipe—just a quick drive from Long Beach’s Naples.