The San Pedro Fish Market is presenting what it’s calling Bands on the Bay, an ongoing live music event at its newest location on Marina Drive on Alamitos Bay. Four-piece cover band, The Killer Lips will play from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, followed the next day by acoustic performer Evyn Charles.
And it is at this point that talk about such events signaling the gradual return to “normal” starts, except that the Fish Market’s Long Beach location never really had the chance to find its normal.
The Long Beach restaurant is the first expansion from its legendary Ports O’ Call location and was originally supposed to open in 2019 but delays happened, as they always seem to, and it eventually opened in January of 2020.
A couple of months later, in mid-March, it and every other eatery was suddenly closed down. Owner Mike Ungaro did his best to keep as many of his employees working, offering customers five dinner trays to-go, and donating more than 1,200 of his restaurant’s signature shrimp trays to first responders.
Open once again at the 10,000-square-foot location that once housed Joe’s Crab Shack, the restaurant is in the midst of getting up to speed. Ungaro, who said he’s “excited to welcome guests to our Long Beach restaurant,” was also quick to mention that “we are also hiring for all positions and have open interview days on Wednesdays.”
And in a sonic turn of trickle-down economics, Ungaro’s reversal of fortune figures to help the likes of Evyn Charles who, before the pandemic, was playing 200 to 300 live gigs a year, including many days of multiple performances.
“It wasn’t unusual for me to perform at a senior home or a happy hour then go play a bar at night,” he said.
When the pandemic ended all that, he took to online streaming like so many others and found a welcoming home. However, he eventually started to note a diminishing audience, something he attributes, at least in part, to “Zoom fatigue.”
He says he is “absolutely elated” to be back to performing live. He was received with such enthusiasm during two gigs at the LBX, last week, that he said, “I almost cried.”
Paul Lemire kicked off the music series on April 8. Performances by Killer Lips and Evyn Charles will be followed by Hollywood Blonde (April 21), Faultlines (April 28) and Box of Chocolates (April 29).
San Pedro Fish Market is at 6550 Marina Drive. For more information, click here.