feature: What’s Good? Long Beach

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By Linda Nusbaum – Contributor

“Everyone is so nice and surprised and happy we are here,” Reid Matamales, Smog City Brewing Beer-tender said.

The space is home to 10 re-used shipping containers from the Port of Long Beach, turned into restaurant shells serving food and beer to the public.

“People are so open and friendly,” Matamales said. “This would never happen in like West LA.”

And it’s not just Smog City Brewing attracting crowds. Steelhead Coffee attracts lines too.

“People are pulling up all hours of the day,” Steelhead barista Izzy Mattox said. “We’re open 7 to 7 and we’re busy all day.”

Co-worker Nestor Enciso agrees.

“I love it, it’s a great way to work,” he said.

No white tablecloths or fancy dining — it’s picnic tables on a dirt floor. Small, unshaded white bulbs are hung overhead for lighting. There’s artificial turf for the children to play on. Oh, and dogs are welcome too.

“It’s very relaxing and casual,” Lillian Villa-Quintero said. “It’s nice to have something like this close to home where I can bring my kids.”

“It’s family friendly, dog friendly and brings everyone together,“ she said.

Teenagers walk there from their home five minutes away. They say this food court without wheels is even better than a mall.

“I like the positive vibes,” Trinh said. “The neighbors come here and they are very friendly, they are excited to have us here. It’s something different. It has a good vibe.”

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