The restaurant business in Long Beach has gotten busier.
The city, known for its array of trendy bars and restaurants, has recently added two eateries to its already lengthy and varied list, despite the myriad challenges that food establishments have faced during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Shore House Bar & Grill and Boardwalk Cheesesteaks opened in May, and are working to establish a foothold in the highly competitive city food scene.
The Shore House, at 22 E. Park Ave., is an American grill with a variety of menu options. Its owner, Ken Fee, said that opening during the pandemic has been challenging, given all the rules and regulations restaurants must follow.
“We’ve been trying to implement all the safety procedures to keep the staff and customers safe,” Fee said, “all while still trying to put out a decent product.”
The Shore House offers wings, burgers, shepherd’s pie, fish and chips and other favorites.
Fee, who lives in Oceanside, has nearly 20 years of experience bartending and working atrestaurants in Manhattan, and owned a bar for about four years. He and his business partner, Brendan Donoghue, who also owns the Chelsea Bell in Manhattan, are trying to bring a big-city vibe to Long Beach.
The Shore House also features live music outdoors on the weekends, and happy hour specials throughout the week. It has a catering menu as well, and a party room for special events. In its first two months, Fee said, the community had responded well, and offered its support.
“We’ve had some feedback that people like what we’re trying to do and they like the look of the place,” he said. “They seem to be happy with the food and the drink options.”
Just down the street, Boardwalk Cheesesteaks, at 655 E. Park Ave., is bringing a different taste to the city. Owner Kevin Donnelly also owned Ribeye Bros Cheesesteaks in Island Park. He opened Ribeye in 2012, but six months later, Hurricane Sandy hit, and he was eventually forced to sell the business. But Donnelly still had what he described as “unfinished business,” and Boardwalk Cheesesteaks opened on Memorial Day weekend.
Donnelly brought back some signature Ribeye Bros sandwiches, like Brother From Another Mother, which combines steak, broccoli rabe and provolone and is served on toasted garlic bread. He said he was excited to be back in the business, and happy to discover that many people remembered him from his Island Park eatery.
“Even though it’s been five or six years, people are just so excited that we’re back,” Donnelly said.
This time around, he has partnered with Long Beach resident Paul Farrell, the former owner of Sutton Place, on West Park Avenue, and they hired chef Matthew Serra, who was the executive chef at Sutton Place for 10 years. Together they have created a variety of burgers, macaroni-and-cheese dishes and salads. Even though it’s a fast-food spot, Donnelly said, the ingredients and chef are of the best quality.
Boardwalk Cheesesteaks is also focusing on dessert, especially signature shakes and soft-serve ice cream.
The restaurant’s food and reasonable prices, Donnelly said, have made it popular in its two months of operation. He added that he was excited by and proud of the reception. “It’s been overwhelming, he said. “I wasn’t expecting for people to be so excited, but we’re really grateful.”