Long Beach’s normally crowded restaurants, bars and fast-food digs have been turned into hectic grab-and-go spots by fear of the coronavirus pandemic, creating traffic jams and placing customers and workers to exposure from the disease.
But this week, city and Chamber of Commercial officials hammered out a plan in hopes of bringing some sense of order to what has in some cases become chaotic scenes. The Chamber has erected about 20 signs at key designated locations throughout the city, announcing curbside pickup spots. Customers can stop at the spots, remain in their cars, and receive their food selections.
The signs are to be up on Wednesday.
“People can call in before driving to their restaurant, pick up their order and go,” said Ian Danby, the Chamber’s chairman. “I’m not a medical professional, but I know this is a very dangerous virus. There cannot be enough caution.”
“We’re hoping people do this,” Danby said. “But every resataurant will have to make sure they have staff to hand over the packages. We’re providing a space for this to happen.”
The agreement to allow the signs came after a series of meetings between city officials, chamber members and the Long Beach Police Department.
Many restaurants had posted signs on their front doors that they were offering take-out service, and others had put up makeshift signs. But the Chamber’s designated signs have the blessing of the city and the police department.
“A lot of this has to do with keeping people in their cars,” said Police Commissioner Michael Tangney. Tangney said store and restaurant customers are not always following medical and other advice to stay six-feet apart. The signs, he said, would assure social distance is maintained.
“We think these signs will be up for the duration” of the pandemic, Tangney said.
He said additionally, too many people are walking on the Boardwalk. Police officers, he said, are urging them to walk on the beach, where there is more room, instead.
Patricia Bourne, Long Beach’s director of economic development, said city officials have been in daily contact with the business community since the pandemic worsened a few weeks ago.
She said the city is encouraging residents to pay attention to the designed signs.
“We’re encouraging people to stop in front of stores and park,” Bourne said. “The city is going to work with the Chamber of Commerce to support our business community. We want to provide as much support as possible.”
Restaurants loved the idea of the Chamber’s signs.
“”I’m sure this will help us,” said Aiden White, at the Cherry Valley Deli on the West End.
“Awesome,” said Luke Heneghan, owner of Bright Eye Beer Company, smack in the city’s center. “That would be great for our pick-up business.”
The locations for the signs are as follows:
On the East End:
· in front of Bagel Café
· in front of Lido Kosher Deli, also serving Panda, East End Pizza and Bungalow East.
Center of town:
· in front of Nagahama, also serving Max Bailey and Gentle Brew
· in front of Steven’s Pasta also serving Fresco Crepes
· in front of Half Moon also serving Corozone, and La Bottega
· in front of Gino’s also serving Junction, Chaba and Fiver Guys
· in front of Social also serving Seasons, Brands, Sherry Blossom, and Bright Eye
· in front of JJ Coopers
· In front of Billy’s
· in front of LB Sand Corp
· in front of West End Pizza also serving Taqueria
· in front of the Saloon
· in front of the Inn
· in front of Blacksmith
· in front of Cabana and the Speakeasy
· in front of Jetti and Cherry Valley