The picture above shows the southwest corner of Bixby and Long Beach Blvd in Long Beach, where a collection of empty shipping containers have been magically transformed into “AN OUTDOOR URBAN EATERY BRINGING SUSTAINABLE AND HIGH QUALITY CRAFT FOOD AND DRINK TO LB” named Steelcraft.
Steelcraft is currently a bit light on the “EATERY” portion of the description, but my favorite coffee shop, Steelhead Coffee, has finally opened its location at that site! The owner, John, has apparently run out of patience with the other vendors, and having been staffed up and ready to go since, I think, way back in October has decided to at least get his segment open this year. While the current state of affairs won’t do much for the munchies, you can now get your fix of artisanal coffee in Bixby Knolls!
If the early business is any kind of a reliable indicator of future performance, then the future is bright. I stopped by in the afternoon on my walk home and found Greg, Skyler, Corey, and Mike all behind the counter. I commented that it seemed a bit crowded back there, and Mike told me that they had been so busy that day that they had to call in an extra body to handle the peak business.
None of the other vendors are currently operational, and from looking at their sites they appear to be in varying degrees of readiness. I am expecting that there will be a kind of rolling roll-out of other food sources.
In addition to the vendors above I also saw a SHAVED ICE location on the Long Beach Blvd side away from Bixby, and you can get a better idea about the vendors by looking at the Steelcraft website.
There is no indoor seating, but there a couple of open air seating areas, one of which was still under construction as of my visit.
Given that a rainy winter is predicted, I am a bit concerned about how this installation will fare when it rains. There is a system of overhead screens that can be deployed to provide shelter from sun and storm, but I didn’t see anything in the way of awnings that would provide shelter while customers are ordering. My fingers are crossed, and I am hoping for the best. This section of Long Beach Blvd has been a food and beverage desert for too long!