Gay Staple Hamburger Mary’s to Move Downtown

The name itself has been through many changes–Hamburger Mary’s under a different owner, Choices, Mick & Mack’s–but now the Dale Warner-owned Hamburger Mary’s in Long Beach is changing yet again, except this time it’s not changing its name but its location.

“We’ve been looking for a larger location for six months–and there’s not a lot out there,” said Warner, who also owns the West Hollywood Mary’s location. “But this seemed to be a perfect fit.”

That perfect fit is his purchase of the seemingly forever-defunct Backstage space at 330 Pine, which was supposed to be, almost a decade ago, a live jazz venue. The purchase comes in the hopes that Mary’s will be an essential cog in the still-in-progress revitalization of the area.

“I think Mary’s is going to change Pine,” said Warner. “We’re, simply put, a good business–and we’re going to make it more lively and fun.

Reactions to the news have varied, as many expressed a perplexed look when the words “downtown” and “gay” are paired. But Warner easily shrugs off such worries, exuding confidence in believing that indeed the gay community will leave its beloved Broadway strip in favor of the Pine Ave. location.

“I keep getting asked that and, to be frank, I think the LGBT community is everywhere in Long Beach,” Warner said. “I see our family in downtown all the time and many of our fellow members live and work downtown. I want Mary’s to cater to that.”

The popular venue–which now sits at Alamitos Ave. and Broadway, the western most tip of what many call the “Gayborhood”–has become a hub for the younger gay crowd with its perpetual RuPaul Drag Race contestant appearances, a handful of 18+ nights, and array of subculture offerings ranging from T-girl nights to queer oddity hang outs.

The renovation of the Backstage space is expected to take somewhere in the range of three to six months and will, much to the happiness of patio-goers, include Pine Avenue’s first parklet.

“The thing about Mary’s,” Warner emphasized, “is that everyone is welcome–no matter who you are, we want you to come in and have a good time. That’s the way the world should be–but it isn’t quite there yet. So we’re there. And we plan on staying there.”

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