Long Beach Airport Wins Local, Regional, National Awards For Dining, Restoration

Less than two months after completing its first full year in operation, Long Beach’s upgraded municipal airport announced the numerous local, regional and national recognitions it has already won, including one award that declared its food and beverage program the best of any airport of its size in the country. 

Two of the awards earned during 2013 highlighted the Long Beach Airport’s new passenger concourse, which opened in December 2012, replacing out-of-date temporary trailers with ground-level boarding gates, a contemporary open-air breezeway and concessions from some of the city’s most well-loved small businesses. 

The concourse’s custom-curated lineup of Long Beach eateries–including walk-up versions of George’s Greek Cafe, Taco Beach, Sweet Jill’s Bakery and 4th Street Vine wine bar–helped earn LGB the Airports Council International-North America’s national award for Best Food and Beverage Program at a Small Airport at its annual conference in November.

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“Working with LGB and the design team at Studio One Eleven to create a true sense of place for the new concessions program has been a rewarding experience,” said Gregg Paradies, President and CEO of Paradies, the company that operates LGB’s food operations. “This award serves as recognition of that collaborative process.”

The American Public Works Association’s Southern California Chapter also named the concourse its 2013 Transportation Project of the Year at its December luncheon and, on a local level, Long Beach Heritage presented LGB with the 2014 Preservation Award for its refurbishment of the original 1941 Art Deco terminal, which remains the airport’s main entrance.

“The new passenger concourse is a stunning success, and it captures the spirit of the Long Beach lifestyle with its palm tree court and open-air fire pit,” Mayor Bob Foster said in a release. “The terminal restoration improved our customer experience while remaining true to the building’s Streamline Moderne architecture. Both projects are extremely deserving of the recognition they are receiving.” 

According to airport officials, Long Beach Heritage is also expected to honor LGB in February for its restoration of the Works Progress Administration floor mosiacs, which were discovered by workers tearing out carpet during terminal renovations.

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Sarah Bennett is a contributor to the Hi-lo and the editor-at-large at the Long Beach Post. She is also a professor at Santa Ana College where she was once a student before transferring to USC to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Sarah has written about music, art, food and beer in local, national and international publications for over a decade. An L.A. native and longtime resident of Long Beach, she is the co-founder of Long Beach Zine Fest and managing editor at theLAnd magazine. She never sleeps.