By John Grossi | Photos by Monique Kuhlman
Since 1958, the 49rs Tavern has held down the corner of Bellflower Blvd and PCH, serving as a landmark for Long Beach State students, graduates, and the community. A sports bar, a gathering place, a college hangout, and always a place where someone could stop by for a delicious burger and a beer.
In recent years, however, it seems people more frequently reminisce about the establishment back in its “hay days,” rather than tout its present vibe. Neglect of the bar by distracted previous owners got in the way of fully realizing the tavern’s potential, a shame for one of Long Beach’s oldest taverns.
In 2022, new owner Tod, a retired Los Angeles Fire Captain, bought 49rs Tavern and set out to restore its history, respectability, and environment as a welcoming hangout.
“The first thing we had to do was clean this place up. It was dirty and it was a mess,” says Tod. He painted the inside, restored the decorations, and made sure the facilities were spotless. Enhancing the facelift, he filled the walls with new state-of-the-art big screen TVs, including one on the outdoor patio.
He hired one of Long Beach’s favorite bartenders, Gary Boyd, to manage the joint, and brought in a cook who knows how to do what 49rs Tavern does really well.
“Our burger is grilled fresh, it’s big and juicy, and I’m confident it’s the best burger in Long Beach,” says Tod. Patrons also love their tacos— especially the beer-battered fish tacos—and the bar has even perfected their own recipe for pickled eggs!
Come Watch a Game
Tod cares deeply about preserving the history of the 49rs Tavern, which in his opinion, should be a historical landmark in the city. While still preserving the old-style “gold-miner tavern” feel, he has elevated almost every part of this bar, which has become a passion-project for him. Crisp and clean surfaces, eleven brand new TVs, two pool tables, an outside patio, and great food and beer is his simplistic approach to recreating a great community bar.
Here are Some Other Highlights:
• Taco Tuesday: Buy-one-get-one-free tacos!
• Trivia on Tuesdays: Bring your friends and compete to win prizes!
• Wine Wednesday: ½ off bottles of wine.
• Wednesday is also college night: $9 Pitchers of Busch with your student ID.
• The 49rs Tavern opens for every single football game during NFL season and is always a place you can depend on to catch a big game.
• They call Happy Hour
“Fireman’s Hour” with all drinks 40-50% off every day from 3-4pm.
As manager Gary Boyd says, “This is one of the most historic bars in Long Beach. I’m thrilled to be working for a new owner who is bringing this place back to life: serving fresh food, cold beer, and making sure it’s a great place to watch a game!”
With over 60 years of history on the walls, maybe this year is the perfect place to rediscover an old favorite right in the heart of East Long Beach!