By Gina V. Ramsey
In a cosmopolitan city such as Long Beach, you are able to find an eatery for any taste, mood, and budget. Part of the fun of eating out is discovering new restaurants, coffeeshops, and bars, as well as visiting longstanding beloved locations with years of service to the community. Two of the newest businesses in town are Abigail & Juliet’s Café and Little Coyote Pizza.
Abigail & Juliet’s Café
Opened in 2019 and named after the owners’ young daughters, Abigail & Juliet’s Café is a sweet little spot to pick up a cup of Joe, a pastry, a ‘straight forward “don’t mess- with-me” sandwich,’ or even a hand scooped cone of ice cream! Husband and wife Alex Shor and Amanda Pawneshing believe they were destined to run their own business after years of soaking inspiration from Alex’s dad, Arthur, who owned Cal Jewelry in Long Beach. Alex and Amanda are third generation Lakewood/Long Beach people who grew up near the neighborhood of the Café and couldn’t “imagine putting [the café] anywhere else.”
“Our aim was, and still is, to have a low-key place for folks to come with their family and enjoy some tasty food and coffee,” Amanda said. “To have a regular place for regular folks. We wanted a nice hangout spot for the neighborhood.”
Regarding the food scene in the city, Amanda points out the amazing variety, affordability, and quality of restaurants.
“I can go somewhere and try something I can’t pronounce and I’m never made to feel weird about it. Everyone is just happy to share what they love,” she said.
And great coffee and a calm ambiance is what Abigail & Juliet’s Café is happy to share with the city they love.
Abigail & Juliet’s Café
3962 Studebaker Road
LB, CA 90808
Little Coyote Coming To East Long Beach
To bring to Long Beach ‘pizza that doesn’t suck,’ is part of the mission for owners Jack Leahy and Jonathan Strader at Little Coyote. They also wanted to ‘create a sense of community and further grow the city’s dining food industry and economy.’ And it certainly appears that they’ve succeeded, given how popular their 4th Street location has become. As restaurants were shutting down at the start of the pandemic, Leahy and Strader decided it was as good a time as any to open Little Coyote with a to-go service.
“This city has an immense diversity of food opportunities,” Leahy said. “There are so many cultures and styles of food present. We are on the verge of a food revolution to rival much bigger cities. We aim to be a part of that growth.”
While this is their first business venture together, Leahy and Strader are no strangers to the restaurant industry. Strader previously owned Hatchet Hall in Culver City, an American wood-fired eatery, where Leahy worked as the Chef de Cuisine. When Leahy and Strader each moved to Long Beach with their families, they saw it as a way to reinvest in the city they both called home, even deciding to name their eatery after Strader’s son, Coyote.
“We want our business and brand to be a space in which families grow and community flourishes,” said Leahy. And they do that not just with delicious food but by also supporting community groups such as local youth sports.
“I also just wanted to make some really good food,” Leahy said. “With Little Coyote, we built a restaurant that is both quick and casual while maintaining high standards for ingredients and production.” This recipe has served them well as even KCRW radio has taken notice, featuring Little Coyote as one of Los Little Coyote Coming To East Long Beach Angeles’ best pizza makers in their April Good Food Podcast.
Currently Little Coyote has a restaurant on 4th street’s retro row, with future plans to open another location in the East Long Beach neighborhood.
2118 E 4th Street
LB, CA 90814
Ask The Seasoned Veterans!
What makes Long Beach a great place to own and operate a restaurant?
Long Beach is a great city with many neighborhoods. What makes Long Beach a great place to operate a restaurant is that you have the neighborhood folks who support the local restaurants, and you have the explorers who like to try out restaurants all over the city. It’s a real pleasure seeing the nightly service where about half of the customers are locals and the other half visitors from other neighborhoods. And to hear how the guests interact, each proud of their own neighborhood spots, sharing info with the other diners. Long Beach is a real foodie city, which makes it very inspiring and keeps you pushing to do better every day. Keep enjoying good food, Long Beach. Life is beautiful. -Massimo Aronne, Michaels Restaurant Group
Diversity. Anybody can walk through that door, belly up to this bar and feel right at home. It helps if they’ve got a good joke or two but that puts a smile on my face every day. -John Peterson, Legends Sports Bar
What common threads do you see between the most successful restaurants in the city?
Successful restaurants have owners who are hands-on, involved in the day to day operations, and are connecting with their guests! -Joey and Shelley Rooney, The Crooked Duck