Wine Down Lounge

The Wine Down Lounge is a cool little wine bar smack dab in the middle of Long Beach. It is a bit rough to find parking here but there is a lot behind the building that was not that full but it did cost a few bucks.

I wanted to come in for a drink while I was in downtown and a glass of wine sounded awesome. I went ahead and had a couple of glasses and had some good conversation with some people out on the patio. The wine that I was drinking was the Coquelicot, “Black Oak Vineyard” Syrah, 2008.

The set up inside is pretty cool and there is a chalkboard on the wall that tells you what is on the wine menu. There is a loft inside and it is interesting to see how they managed the space located around the stairs.

The outside patio was awesome and very spacious I spent most of my time out here. I met Jonathan Rosenson who runs the place and he was very cool an enjoyable to talk with.

Overall this is a great little place to grab a glass and shoot the breeze.

Written by Louie Baur.

Rock Bottom Brewery

On a recent lunchtime date I decided to visit Rock Bottom on Pine in downtown Long Beach. The area of downtown has been revived and is an awesome place to eat and hangout. Rock Bottom is located right on bustling Ocean Boulevard and Pine. The front of the restaurant is very clean and well kept. For lunch we were seated very quickly and as the looks of it there were a lot of lunchtime customers for noon on a Monday.

We were seated quickly and our server was top notch. I ordered a wedge salad for lunch and we received our meals very quickly. My wedge salad was delicious with blue cheese dressing and tasty little bacon bits. It was a good portion as well unlike the miniature side salads you get at other restaurants. I washed my salad down with a pint of beer and we were on our way. The one drawback to the location of Rock Bottom is the parking. Unless you have coins for the meters the parking is very difficult and you must park in the surrounding parking garages. Overall, Rock Bottom is a great restaurant for lunch or dinner!

Baba Ghanouj

Baba Ghanouj is a restaurant that is a bit tricky to pronounce but don’t be discouraged because this place dishes out some of the best lebanese food Long Beach has to offer. Opened in 2009, Baba Ghanouj is the pride and joy of owner and chef, George Mitri. He was born and raised in Lebanon and upon arrival in the United States he wanted to share his love for his native food to the people of Long Beach.

Upon arrival I noticed the very Lebanese vibe and decor to the restaurant which was very awesome. We sat down at our table and was greeted by a great server. I ordered the Chicken Shwarma and awaited in anticipation. When the food came out it looked and tasted wonderful. The chicken was cooked to perfection and was seasoned perfectly. I hope many people can come visit Baba Ghanouj and try the delicious Lebanese food it has to offer. Whether it be a first date or romantic anniversary if you would like to get out of your comfort zone and try something new, Baba Ghanouj is the place to be. Fine Lebanese cuisine and a great atmosphere is what Baba Ghanouj is all about.

Grace Brethren Church

Many people and families are looking for churches to join and check out. One I recently visited was Grace Brethren Church located on Elm Avenue in Long Beach. I recently visited the church to check out the awesome new architecture of the church. The church looks very new with a multitude of new and fresh looking additions to the church. The church has ample parking and has a ton of trees planted on site.

Grace church has been part of the Long Beach community since 1913. The church itself is a very diverse church family that is accepting to all. The pastor is Lou Huesmann and recommend people to check out this place not only if you are looking for a church but if you want to see some great Long Beach architecture as well. Grace Brethren is a church that all are welcome to check out and highly recommend if you want to see a beautiful building located in the heart of downtown Long Beach.

Cinemark At The Pike

Who doesn’t love the movies? Especially this summer with so many great movies coming out, the place to see one is Cinemark at the Pike. This movie theater is smack dab right in the middle of all the action down at the Pike. This movie theater is located on Pine street and is one behemoth of a movie center.

This place is HUGE. Tons of large high quality screens for your viewing pleasure. I decided to see the movie TED at this Cinemark and give this place a review. Upon arrival I noticed a large amount of loud noisy teenagers in the lobby and pretty much zero security or crowd control. Other than that It was very clean and smelled like fresh buttered popcorn. Ticket prices can be very expensive for a date so I would definetly go to a matinee or morning movie instead. Once seated in the theater I enjoyed the comfy plush chairs and large screen. Overall It was a great movie experience at Cinemark and recommend this place for a matinee or morning flick.

The Fast Lane

The first time that I went into the Fast lane was when the California lottery was up really high and like some many other people I went ahead and gave away 5 bucks into the deal. I just got off the blue line and I was heading down to a restaurant and when I looked over I saw the store. Its a convenience store of sorts and it is positioned in a very large building that has a entrance on first street.

It looks like its more for the people that work at 111 W Ocean Blvd # 101 because it seems more accessible from the inside of the building than the outside of it but that is neither here nor there. I went ahead and got my loosing lottery ticket and went about my merry way. The line was kind of long because of lottery fever but it moved quickly and the person working the counter was nice enough. I had a pleasant experience in this store and I would come back again and spend some more money here.

38th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pictures

Here is a list of the qualifiers for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This is the way they were positioned when they started the race. Below are pictures of each of the cars. All of these pictures where taken on turn 6 from the Super Photo bleachers they set up that came along with the Super Photo Pass. As you can see there are no shots of the fence in there. The Super Photo Pass for the 38th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach was the bomb!
1. Dario Franchitti (Honda, Car No. 10, 102.630 miles per hour)
2. Josef Newgarden (Honda, Car No. 67, 102.575 miles per hour)
3. Justin Wilson (Honda, Car No. 18, 102.543 miles per hour)
4. Simon Pagenaud (Honda, Car No. 77, 102.370 miles per hour)
5. Scott Dixon (Honda, Car No. 9, 102.137 miles per hour)
6. Takuma Sato (Honda, Car No. 15, 101.356 miles per hour)
7. Mike Conway (Honda, Car No. 14, 101.375 miles per hour)
8. Graham Rahal (Honda, Car No. 38, 101.241 miles per hour)
9. Charlie Kimball (Honda, Car No. 83, 101.184 miles per hour)
10. Alex Tagliani (Lotus, Car No. 98, 100.044 miles per hour)
11. Ryan Briscoe (Chevrolet, Car No. 2, 103.264 miles per hour)
12. Will Power (Chevrolet, Car No. 12, 103.116 miles per hour)
13. Ryan Hunter-Reay (Chevrolet, Car No. 28, 103.102 miles per hour)
14. James Jakes (Honda, Car No. 19, 100.127 miles per hour)
15. E.J. Viso (Chevrolet, Car No. 5, 102.584 miles per hour)
16. James Hinchcliffe (Chevrolet, Car No. 27, 102.365 miles per hour)
17. Simona De Silvestro (Lotus, Car No. 78, 98.319 miles per hour)
18. Helio Castroneves (Chevrolet, Car No. 3, 102.553 miles per hour)
19. Tony Kanaan (Chevrolet, Car No. 11, 102.383 miles per hour)
20. J.R. Hildebrand (Chevrolet, Car No. 4, 100.666 miles per hour)
21. Marco Andretti (Chevrolet, Car No. 26, 100.360 miles per hour)
22. Rubens Barrichello (Chevrolet, Car No. 8, 101.117 miles per hour)
23. Oriol Servia (Lotus, Car No. 22, 100.233 miles per hour)
24. Ed Carpenter (Chevrolet, Car No. 20, 99.155 miles per hour)
25. Sebastien Bourdais (Lotus, Car No. 7, 100.046 miles per hour)
26. Katherine Legge (Lotus, Car No. 6, 98.244 miles per hour)

Long Beach Convention Center

I have been to many trade shows at the Long Beach Convention Center. The one that I went to the most was the ASR Trade Show or Action Sports Retailer which was a surf, skate and snowboarding show for action sports. This was back in the early 2000’s when skateboarding was really big. Ultimately the moved the show down to the San Diego Convention Center which was not a fun.

Below are some pictures that I shot just before the start of the Long Beach Grand Prix back in 2012. I came by early morning style and basically walked from the pike all the way to the Renaissance hotel up on Ocean. I was able to take a variety of shots of the convention center.

In my opinion, the best way to get to the convention center is to park up on 4th street and take a stroll down pine avenue to the convention center. It is much cheaper to park up there if you are going to a jam packed event like the Long Beach Grand Prix or some thing like that.

For cheaper events you can just drive straight up and park right at the event. The smaller events charge $5 to $10 bucks for parking which is way more reasonable than some of the bigger events.

Written by Louie Baur

The Westin Long Beach

The Westin Long Beach is located at 333 East Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90802 which is basically right in the middle of Downtown Long Beach. The Westin has several conference rooms, a nice bar, a fitness center and a swimming pool. There is over 51,000 Square Feet of indoor and outdoor space that can be used for meetings.

There are 2 ballrooms and a meeting room. They are the Ocean Ballroom, The Centennial Ballroom & The Tokyo Vancouver Room which will work for any meetings you may have for your business. The Central Grill Restaurant is an awesome place to grab some food and that is situated in the huge lobby.