by Michael C. Lowe | May 01, 2013
Pleasures of the Promenade
Long Beach Promenade

Anchored by the Long Beach Convention Center to the south, the Promenade ( is a six-block-long pedestrian thoroughfare lined with retail and dining options. The block between E 3rd Street and Broadway features an especially notable selection of F&B offerings.

The pork at Beachwood Brewery and BBQ is smoked for 13 hours before it hits the plate, meaning juicy, succulent bites to be paired with beer from any of 22 rotating taps. Menu items include cold smoked albacore sashimi, an oxtail and osso bucco sandwich, and mini lamb corn dogs with habanero-berry ketchup. An outdoor patio space is available for parties of up to 40. (562) 436-4020;

The Congregation Ale House pays homage to the venerable Old World monastic brewing culture: Bartenders and servers are referred to as Brother or Sister, and happy hour is otherwise known as Mass. On tap are more than 30 specialty brews, and the menu includes choices such as duck and bacon sausage, Dijon and prosciutto flatbread, grilled rib-eye and a white cheddar burger. (562) 432-2337;

The Stave Bar displays a lengthy beer list but specializes in wine, with nearly 60 labels on hand ranging from crisp Italian whites to robust Chilean reds. Food items are limited to small bites, such as charcuterie, cheese, hummus and olives. (562) 612-4750;     

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Local Update
Last December, Long Beach Airport completed a $140 million renovation and modernization project, which included the construction of new passenger lounges, an additional parking structure and a 35,000-square-foot passenger concourse.

The 159-room Courtyard by Marriott Long Beach opened in March across from Long Beach Airport. The property has more than 2,000 square feet of meeting space for up to 100 people, complimentary wireless Internet, an outdoor swimming pool, and several food and beverage options.

This fall, the Long Beach Arena will complete work on a $7 million "loft-style" ballroom. The 45,000-square-foot event space will be formed by using floor space of the arena and curtains that drop electronically from the ceiling, blocking views of the upper deck. A grid of truss systems will be suspended above the ballroom area, equipped with a $1.6 million LED, stage-lighting and sound system. This comes on the heels of a new lounge area that recently opened at the arena (see Group Venue, below).

The Avia at Long Beach is now the Hyatt the Pike Long Beach. The 138-room property, which reflagged last year, features three dining options, including a 2,600-square-foot rooftop bar that offers food, bottle service and live music every third Sunday. The hotel includes 5,802 square feet of function space.

In April, the 216-room Courtyard by Marriot Long Beach Downtown opened a new restaurant, Vessel, a transformation of the hotel's former Courtyard Café. The new $1 million eatery seats up to 100 people and showcases modern American cuisine from chef Dean James Max. Private dining is available for groups. The property overall has about 6,700 square feet of meeting space.

Meeting Hotels
Major properties include the 528-room Hyatt Regency Long Beach, 469-room Westin Long Beach, 397-room Hilton Long Beach & Executive Meeting Center, 374-room Renaissance Long Beach Hotel, 314-room Queen Mary Hotel, 310-room Long Beach Marriott, 222-room Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport Hotel and Conference Center, 216-room Courtyard by Marriott Long Beach Downtown, 216-room Residence Inn by Marriott Long Beach, 194-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Maya, 178-room Residence Inn by Marriott Downtown, 159-room Courtyard by Marriott Long Beach, 138-room Hyatt The Pike Long Beach and 135-room Holiday Inn Downtown Long Beach.

To find and compare properties in the area and send RFPs, go to

Convention Center
Long Beach Convention & Enter­tainment Center; total meeting and exhibit space, more than 400,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 34; (562) 436-3636;

Airport Transit
Long Beach Airport, about six miles from downtown Long Beach. Transfer cost by taxi, $20

Los Angeles International Airport, about 23 miles from downtown Long Beach. Transfer cost by taxi, $65

Long Beach city hotel room tax, 12% plus a 3% business improvement tax; sales tax, 8.75%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15%

Group Venue
A new event space at the Long Beach Arena offers a chic vibe for private parties held before, during or after events at the arena or convention center. The 6,500-square-foot Bogart & Co. has lounge seating, LED-lit walls and floor-to-ceiling windows. (562) 436-3636;

Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 452-7829;