After starting the process in 2019, Louie’s on 2nd will finally officially open on Friday, Aug. 25, on Second Street in Belmont Shore.
The restaurant, which will bring a version of the Garden Grove mainstay to Long Beach, will have a modern design, outdoor and indoor seating, a 10-12 seat bar, a banquet booth with about six tables, and serve different lunch and dinner menus.
It’s been a long process for the Tavlarides family to get the restaurant open, as the pandemic halted the world for months in the middle of their work to open their Long Beach location.
“Anyone who’s built a building, or has done any sort of commercial construction, or even remodeled a bathroom in their house will understand exactly the issues that were put in front of us,” Chris Tavlarides, who has been involved in the day-to-day operations of the restaurant, said. “Just multiply that times a 3,000-square-foot building in the heart of Belmont Shore.”
The building has been owned by the family for several years, and after the space opened up, they considered renting it to another tenant but ultimately decided to open a second restaurant. The space was previous occupied by Acapulco Inn.
For residents familiar with Orange County, they may recognize the name from its sister restaurant, Louie’s on Main in Garden Grove, which the family has owned since 1953.
The Garden Grove location is a pub and grill, with an extensive beer, wine, and spirits list but a somewhat limited menu due to its smaller space and a different look from the new restaurant.
“There’s a lot more neutral tones like greens, blues, whites and blacks” at the Belmont Shore location, Tavlarides said. “It’s definitely elevated to match the street and the clientele on the street.”
A couple elements will be brought over from Garden Grove, like some lunch items that are the most popular at the other location, but at 4 p.m. every day, there will be a completely different dinner menu.
Executive chef Michael Sandi put together a dinner menu that will offer small sharing plates, salads, entrées and dessert. There will also be larger portion entrées with pork shank, roasted chicken, steaks and pastas.
“It was a struggle of a project,” Tavlarides said. “We kept pushing and we’re almost there, so we’re excited about that.”
The restaurant will take part in Belmont Shore’s Stroll & Savor on Wednesday, Aug. 16, and Thursday, Aug. 17, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., where guests can trade tickets for bites of food. Louie’s will offer garlic noodles, roasted drumsticks, croissant bread pudding and nonalcoholic cocktails, according to the Stroll and Savor website.
On Friday and Saturday this week, the restaurant will host a soft opening for lunch with discounted menu items. Next week, on from Tuesday, Aug. 22, until the grand opening on Friday, there will be a full soft opening. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on both days with discounted food items and no reservations.
Louie’s on 2nd is located at 5283 Second St.