Long Beach Neighborhood Eat & Greets

Long Beach is a city of neighborhoods: Belmont Shore, Bixby Knolls, the East Village, Retro Row, to name just a few. Business owners and residents aren’t just proud of where they live and work, but are eager to share it, with many hosting monthly events displaying what’s best about the city. Full of music, art, food, shopping, fun as well as a great community vibe, you won't want to miss them. Here’s a few you should check out. Have a look and welcome to the neighborhood!

FIRST FRIDAYS IN BIXBY KNOLLS

Perhaps the best known and attended of these community gatherings, this Bixby Knolls staple happens, as the title implies, on the First Friday of every month. On Atlantic Avenue, between Burlinghall Drive and Carson Street, the free event features stores, boutiques and restaurants that stay open later, many offering select items at special prices as well as food and drink deals, including the many craft beer outfits that have lead to the area being dubbed, “Brewery Knolls.” Local artists set up tables displaying paintings, sculptures, clothing, jewelry and more. The great energy is suffused by numerous musicians and bands strategically placed throughout Atlantic Avenue.

STROLL and SAVOR IN BELMONT SHORE

Belmont Shore’s most popular summer event, Stroll and Savor offers a taste of more than 40 restaurants offering the best of their menus. Guests can enjoy an evening stroll on Second Street while sampling and savoring food from around the globe and neighborhood all the while being entertained by local musicians. Everyone is invited, even your doggie pal(s). Tickets are utilized to purchase items. Ticket books, containing 12 tickets each, cost $15 and can be purchased at various stores on Second Street, including Sweet Jill’s, Polly’s Gourmet Coffee, Blue Windows, a week before the event or in front of Chase Bank the night of.

Credit: Vixen Creative Agency

FOURTH FRIDAYS ON RETRO ROW

Retro Row, the uber cool, vintage-focused, shopping, dining, drinking and cinematic hot spot located on Fourth Street between Temple and Cherry avenues, does its own community thing every Fourth Friday of the month. During the free event, stores extend hours and offer discounted merchandise, while restaurants offer food and drink specials. Pop up shops, well, pop up, as do local artists who show off what they’ve been creating. All this and live music give the area even more energy, more pop, more cool than it normally has – and that’s saying something.

SECOND SATURDAYS IN THE EAST VILLAGE

Just blocks away from the beach, in the heart of the East Village Arts District, occurs the Second Saturdays, where the community gathers every second Saturday of the month. Long Beach has a rich and diverse arts history and community, and that is on full display as the East Village collectives and galleries, as well as individual artists, display their efforts: paintings, sculpture as well as performances and live music, making it an incredible and creative evening. The neighborhood is a mix of shops, galleries and restaurants, many located in architecturally significant and restored buildings. Oh yeah, it’s free!

Credit: Candice Wong

CREATIVE COMMUNAL MAKERS MARKET

This monthly event at oceanside retail center, 2ND & PCH, blocks off Seaport Way, the main road that runs through the shopping center, allowing guests to roam freely and check out the wares of more than 30 local and regional makers and artists. The Creative Communal Makers Market normally begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. This free, open-air event has live music and it’s not unusual for characters– from Disney princesses to the Easter Bunny–to show up, say hello and make themselves available for photos.

About the Author

Steve Lowery