Walk down Second Street almost any time, and you’ll be watching your step to make sure that your foot doesn’t connect with a paw or a wagging tail, particularly in front of restaurants with accessible patios. Humans like outdoor dining with their dogs, and the dogs like it a lot, too.
Until a couple of weeks ago, Belmont Brewing Company, located a cockleshell’s throw from the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, had a dog-friendly patio with nine tables. You could stop there during a walk up the bike path and have a Belmont Crude and something tasty from their lunch and dinner menu. Your dog could lap up water and enjoy a snack, too. You both could sniff the ocean and the sand and discuss whether the clouds looked like elephants or squirrels. Now, the patio is inoperable and will remain so for a couple of months until work from a Belmont Pier Plaza improvement plan has been completed. The plan will include such enhancements as new signage, drought-tolerant landscaping, improved pedestrian access and, importantly, lighting.
“I walk my dog by the pier nearly daily,” said John Nelson. “When we walk by now, he’s confused, and we’re both forlorn. Ditto literally pulled me towards the table where he’s enjoyed many hamburger patties and I a beer or two.”
The dog patio is a recent addition to the BBC and has been in use for over a year. Owner David Hansen set it up as additional outdoor dining during pandemic restrictions but primarily to allow people to sit with their pets and eat. BBC’s large outdoor patio overlooking the beach isn’t accessible to pets because of California law, which mandates a separate entrance for all animals except registered service animals and police dogs. Customers can access the main outdoor patio only through the indoor dining area.
“I love animals, but our patio, under current LB rules and regulations with the health department, is restricted to service dogs and police animals, not pets,” Hansen said. “There’s a segment of our customer base who’d like to dine with their pet. Having this space would facilitate that.”
When the improvements near the BBC have been completed, the restaurant can open their dog-dining patio, but only until Jan. 2, 2023, when the extended parklet permits expire. The patio isn’t considered a parklet by the city and doesn’t have features that have raised public objections: obstructing pedestrian traffic or restricting the view of oncoming traffic for drivers, taking up parking space, debris pileup or unsightly barriers. The dog-friendly patio closes at 9 p.m. although the restaurant itself remains open until 10 p.m., so there’s no late-night noiseo.
“This structure and location in question are unique for two reasons: the permit that allowed the structure to be built was issued by the Office of Special Events and not Public Works, and the public right-of-way extends beyond the end of the 39th Place roadway and the cul-de-sac, and all the way to Allin Street,” said Rick de la Torre, community information officer for Development Services. “Special Events extended the permit of this structure to the beginning of next year to coincide with the extension the City Council provided all temporary parklet permit holders who are applying to transition their location into permanent parklet permits. However, it’s unclear what permit the applicant will be seeking, as they have not yet applied for either a permanent parklet or sidewalk dining permit. It is likely that Public Works would consider this structure as a sidewalk dining enclosure and not a permanent parklet.”
Hansen believes that the improvement project will contribute to the safety of the plaza and that the BBC dog patio, if approved, will continue to bring people in. He described the plaza as “foreboding” at night.
Hansen believes the lighting component of the Plaza improvements will brighten the area and make it safer at night.
“The Plaza can seem foreboding at night,“ he said. “Having a well-lit area that enables people with dogs to enjoy the outdoors is a plus for the city and a plus for us. Over the years, [past council members and the coastal commission] said that the best way to make an area safe is by having legitimate business activity. And this area has been blighted. There used to be the Belmont Plaza Pool—that’s been gone for eight years. La Palapa is gone. The Aqualink, which used to service the pier—that’s gone. So, there’s less and less legitimate activity and reasons to be here. This patio gives another legitimate reason to be here—to make the area safer.”
De la Torre is not aware of any complaints about the patio from Public Works. The customers with dogs seemed very happy that it was there.
“We have regulars who come a lot—they actually love it,” manager Jessica Bellows said. “They like the option of having a dog patio. A lot of people prefer it because it’s a little bit quieter on this side.”
De la Torre said that Developmental Services is reviewing Hanson’s application to make the existing temporary patio permanent and that staff is coordinating with the Department of Public Works for compliance with applicable regulatory requirements, including with the Local Coastal Program. Hansen is willing pay the rent on the property if he can have the patio there long-term. He has a petition at his restaurant that customers can sign to keep the patio. So far, he has over 400 signatures.
“It’s to show that there is a large constituency for an outdoor space that allows pets in what is said to be a pet-friendly city,” he said. “If we do this long-term, the city gets revenue, I get business, and patrons have a place to sit down with a beer and their dogs!”
When the BBC dog patio reopens, you’re encouraged to sit there with your best buddy and enjoy the company of friends. If you’re dogless, that’s fixable—adopt one! Best Friends Animal Rescue’s Love Large campaign is waiving the fees nationwide for adopting big dogs, and Long Beach Animal Care Services and Live Love Animal Rescue are two beneficiaries. Our shelter is overcrowded and understaffed, but everyone’s huge hearts and determination work together to find homes for the big guys. Here are four of them.
Not to be shrugged off, 2-year-old Atlas (#A669744) came to the shelter as a stray in January and, as his BFF volunteer Susan said, he’s “one of the many great dogs that sadly seems to have gotten stuck in our shelter system.” He’s wonderful—big smile, waggy tail, an aficionado of play-yard zoomies! He’s treat motivated and loves affection. You’ll be struck by the pattern of black spots on his back! “Atlas” means “bearer of the heavens” in Greek, but as Susan said, he shouldn’t have to bear the weight of the world on his own. Give him a good home!
The volunteers have a couple of adorable photos of Ophelia (ID#A680169) lying on her back, smiling in the sun, but they don’t do justice to the rest of her. Ophelia is 5 years old, good on leash and easy to walk. This is a nice lady, and those ears! That smile!
A helping paw
Pet License Amnesty extended to Dec. 31
The city of Long Beach has extended the fee and penalty waivers for pet licenses to Dec. 31. Anyone living in the highlighted Community Development Block grant neighborhoods, as shown on the above map, may request a waiver by phone at 562-570-7387, by applying by mail at 7700 E. Spring St., or in person at the shelter. The waiver program is not available online. Visit this link for license requirements. Call 562-570-7387 for additional information.
Great furballs of fun!
Best Friends Strut Your Mutt: Saturday, Oct. 22, 9–11 a.m., Warner Center Park, 5800 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, or virtually at this link from 8 a.m.–4 p.m., $20 registration fee.
Put on your walking shoes or strap on a virtual pair, and get ready to step up, step out and save lives! Strut Your Mutt, the fundraising walk that saves lives of dogs and cats across the country—is back in the flesh and fur in select cities after an interruption by COVID-19 last year. Although live events were canceled virtual Strut Your Mutt participants raised $1.45 million for homeless pets! Your participation helps to reach Best Friends’ goal of becoming no-kill nationwide by 2025. Registration includes an official 2022 Strut Your Mutt event T-shirt, and the money you raise, including your registration fee, goes directly to Best Friends’ adoption candidates—cats and dogs, of course, and also horses, birds, rabbits and pigs—or to your favorite local participating animal welfare organization. Fundraising runs through Oct. 31. Access this link for details.
Howl-o-ween Event: Saturday, Oct. 29, 5–7 p.m., Long Beach Animal Care Services, 7700 E. Spring St. (at entrance to El Dorado Park), Long Beach, free event, parking free to shelter visitors
RSVP here for LBACS’ inaugural Howl-o-ween event! Put on your costume, grab a bag of treats, and come to the shelter for adoption specials, fun family activities, Bark-O-Treat, Best Cat Room Contest, costume contests and raffles. Remember your fur angels with our Day of the Dead Pet Memorial. Note: For safety’s sake, please do not bring your pets to the shelter.
Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade: Sunday, Oct. 30, 12:30.–4:30 p.m., Marina Vista Park, 5355 E Eliot St., Long Beach, $5 to reserve a chair, otherwise free to spectate; free for costumed humans in parade; $10 for dogs paid in advance of event; $20 for dogs that day.
Halloween in Long Beach wouldn’t be Halloween in Long Beach so much without the Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade! Dogs and their humans engage in a whimsical competition—all tongues and no fangs—to win prizes in several categories. Enjoy vendors, food and rescue pets, in case you need a candidate for next year or a buddy for your boo baby! Sponsors include Port of Long Beach and Red Barn Premium Pet Products. To enter your dog and maybe yourself, visit this link.
Foster for awhile—or furever!
National Adoption Week event, featuring Zazzy Cats: Saturday, Nov. 12 and Sunday, Nov. 13, 11 a.m.–4 p.m., see graphic for PetSmart locations.
Zazzy Cats are, well—just zazzy! The Zazzy crew would be jazzed if you gave your home some pizazz with one of their fabulous felines!
Long Beach Animal Care Services has expanded adoption hours as follows: Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests are welcome to browse until closing. To speed up any adoption process, email [email protected]. To foster, email [email protected].
If you’ve always wanted a pet but aren’t sure if you’re ready for a lifetime (the animal’s) commitment, or if you’re past the pet-roommate days for any reason, fostering might be a great way to go, especially with one or more of the kittens popping up during kitten season. Every one of the organizations listed below is in desperate need of fosters who’ll social them and help save their little lives. Who knows—maybe one of those lives will change your mind about the not-ready-for-roommate thing!
These nonprofits also regularly feature cat, dog and rabbit adoptions. As of now, adoptions are mainly by appointment. Click on the links for each rescue in case of updates or changes. These organizations operate through donations and grants, and anything you can give would be welcome. Please suggest any Long Beach-area rescues to add to the list. Keep in mind that the rescues are self-supporting and need donations and volunteer help. Most of them cannot accept found or unwanted pets. Contact Long Beach Animal Care Services for options.
- Ally’s Animal Network
- Bunny Bunch
- Cat Cove
- Friends of Long Beach Animals
- Fix Long Beach
- Feline Good Social Club
- Helen Sanders CatPAWS
- House of Broken Cookies
- Jellicle Cats Foundation
- K-9 Kismet
- Little Lion Foundation
- Live Love Animal Rescue
- Long Beach Animal Care Services
- Long Beach Spay and Neuter Foundation
- Newborn Feline Rescue
- Pet Food Express Cat Adoption Center
- SAFE Rescue Team
- Seal Beach Animal Care Center
- Sparky and the Gang Animal Rescue
- Stray Cat Alliance
- Wrigley Kittens
- Zazzy Cats
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