Does Shore Public House Have What It Takes To Survive In Belmont Shore?

Posted: September 2, 2014 in Food, Long Beach, Restaurant
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Belmont Shore area of Long Beach does not forgive any entrepreneur who cannot maintain their commercial composure for at least a year. Businesses come and go from that area rather quickly, punishing those who do not understand the local populace while rewarding those who do. Location typically plays a key role in the success of businesses in this area, favoring the center more than businesses at the ends of 2nd Street. While I cannot speak much about the doomed spot known as 5376 E 2nd St, the real estate in the center of 2nd Street sees tons of foot traffic, so will bear a greater chance to succeed past the first year. However, location can only mean so much if the entrepreneur understands how to handle it, and the entrepreneurs behind Shore Public House have landed a great location that they will need to struggle to hold on to.

Having just launched last Thursday, Shore Public House brings yet another gastropub presence to Belmont Shore, joining the ranks of Tavern On 2 and Simmzy’s. Taking over the old BJ’s Restaurant space, Shore Public House comes to us from one of the management teams behind some restaurants over on Pine Avenue in Downtown Long Beach – which restaurants, I do not recall at the moment. As a gastropub, they do nothing new to reinvent the dining experience – in fact, their menu looks like a menu found at every trendy restaurant out there. I believe they still operate under a soft opening, while their staff claim that they have officially opened for business and not once ever mentioned a soft opening. This comes off as a shame, because once any business leaves the soft opening stage for full operations, that indicates that they have solved all of their operations issues. Unfortunately, Shore Public House has no idea how to deal with this neighborhood compared to Downtown.

Littered with problems, Shore Public House has far too many improvements to make that will severely impede their progress during their first year in business.

  • Lack of social media interaction: With today’s advance technology, all businesses must utilize social media to not only stay relevant, but to interact with their followers. Creating daily posts should go without saying, but businesses must also interact with their followers. When followers communicate with a business, that business should respond in a timely manner, which Shore Public House fails to do. Their menu clearly has a section labeled Happy Hour, but nowhere on their website, menu, or Facebook does it mention the time of Happy Hour. I posted on their Facebook page asking about Happy Hour, and to this day, not one person has responded to me.
  • Hours not posted: Following up on the last point, businesses need to clearly define when customers may come in for certain purposes. For example, Murphy’s clearly states that they have Happy Hour 4pm-7pm Monday through Friday, and on Wednesday from 7pm to closing, all 12oz beers cost $3.50. Only when approached in person and inquired about it did I discover that Shore Public House has a “drinks only” hour from 4pm to 5pm, Happy Hour from 5pm to 6pm, and then dinner starts afterwards.
  • Queues not prioritized: In other words, someone who arrived after you may receive their order before you. I arrived right at 5pm, and did not get a server to order from until 5:15, when I only wanted two appetizers. A party of four sat adjacent to me ten minutes after I had ordered, and they ordered their appetizers within five minutes of sitting down. By 5:40, they had all received their appetizers and drinks. In the meantime, I had yet to see my original server, and a different server brought me chips and a paltry serving of salsa, which went dry after four chips. I did not receive my first appetizer until just after 5:50, a full 35 minutes after I had placed my order. Only after I received this first appetizer did my original server come back to ask if I needed anything else, aside from faster service. My second appetizer arrived 15 minutes later, a full 50 minutes after I had placed my order.
  • Inexperienced servers: Drawing from the last point, a server did not notice me until 15 minutes after I had sat down. After ordering, I did not see my server again until after someone else brought me my first appetizer 35 minutes later. As an industry standard, servers need to occasionally check in with their tables to acknowledge their presence. I also cannot stand the fake politeness of the servers here, who all look like they learned at Disneyland how to fake a smile. A pub environment like this allows servers to act more friendly and casual towards the customers – leave the formalities to the fine-dining restaurants.
  • Low food quality for the price: This may sound opinionated, but multiple voices all agree that the food here definitely needs some work, as it all tastes like club food. The menu takes advantage of trendy foods by attempting to modify an ingredient or two, then inflating the prices to that of fine-dining prices. Can you believe that five cubes of Kale Fritters, each the width of my thumb, cost $5.50?! Three pieces of Baby Back Ribs, which taste like they boiled them then spooned on some store-bought barbecue sauce, cost $7. A basic ice cream cookie sandwich costs $7 that you can make at home for less than $2. Add everything up, and you have club food at upscale restaurant prices.

I hope the management team behind Shore Public House reads this, because they need this wakeup call. They need to forget everything they knew about the restaurant industry because the Downtown scene has no relation to the Belmont Shore scene. Just because they have successful restaurants elsewhere does not mean that they can ride the bus across town and hope to succeed in a new environment. Belmont Shore does not forgive any business that does not have their act together, nor fits in with the local community. If I had the final say, I would fire everyone and rehire a brand new set of staff, because the current team will cause the restaurant to fail by the end of this year. The front-of-house need more experience, and the back-of-house needs way more experience. If they have a head chef, that chef needs to take some time off work and go train in another country to learn more culinary techniques. If they do not have a head chef, then I do not want to ride this train without a conductor. Sorry Shore Public House – I wanted to give you a chance and come back for more, and I usually cut new restaurants some slack, but after a first visit this horrific, I can safely cross you off my list.

  1. rick says:

    We at Brix at the Shore are going on our year anniversary and learned real quickly that we need to pay attention to what the neighborhood wants. We are constantly evolving and hope to have you visit us on 2nd street

  2. […] Chicago Pizza had replaced the former Shore Public House, a restaurant that did not fare too well in Belmont […]

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