Local Bar Scene Shows Optimism as Pandemic Persists

As COVID-19 remains a prevalent issue in Long Beach, the local bars have come together as a community.  

Vivian Hernandez, who is the current general manager at Alex’s Bar, has seen how the pandemic has affected the current Long Beach nightlife and its locals. 

“People are afraid to come out, duly noted, there is a danger, especially if you are not vaccinated. Every day we are dealt the hand of having to enforce what the city and county rules are.”

 Alex’s Bar is a well-known local spot in the Long Beach area. Most days of the week, the establishment hosts a number of bands and DJ’s that makes it a premier place to enjoy a drink while admiring its unique atmosphere.

While the restaurant scene in Long Beach faces ups and downs during the current pandemic, community favorites such as Alex’s Bar and the overall local nightlife have felt the effects as well. 

Every aspect of Los Angeles County has been affected in some way or another due to coronavirus and Long Beach is no exception. From employees to regulars, to management, it has been an adjustment many have had to get accustomed to. 

Julio Avila, who has been a bartender at Bamboo Club for three years, has been dealing with these adjustments throughout these past years.

“This has hurt a lot of bars and shut down a lot of local favorites. It took a while for these bars to reopen and once our bar started to gain traction again, we tried to help out the other bars that hadn’t opened yet.” 

Avila further expressed that in an effort to help other local bars that were not open during that time, Bamboo Club offered fundraising promotions where the proceeds went to bars that were struggling.

It seems that this community of businesses looked out for each other in hopes of returning to the booming nightlife that once was. 

Despite the ever-changing challenges that coronavirus has had on these establishments in the past few years, the bars currently remain open to regulars and newcomers alike. 

Haythan Nour, who is a regular at the 36 36 Bar in Long Beach, states that it’s more than just its doors being open that is bringing people back each time. 

“On weekdays, people coming in usually depend on who is bartending and it basically becomes a neighborhood bar experience.”

Nour goes on to elaborate that regulars know who will be bartending on any given night.  If a certain bartender either gets sick or has to self-isolate because of coronavirus, those groups of people will be less likely to show up.

“It’s not about going to any specific bar, it’s about that group and that bartender, more than anything,” said Nour.

By Nick Vargas

Photos by Nick Vargas