This past Saturday, Long Beach’s 4th Street Retro Row hosted their first annual Four on 4th event, an opportunity for visitors to stroll up and down Retro Row while sampling local food and drinks. Visitors paid for a wristband and glass ($25 presale or $30 on the day of the event), which allowed the visitors to receive beer and wine samples at participating businesses along Retro Row. Visitors started at one of two check-in spots (Art Du Vin and Restauration), and from there could walk to all the different participants’ locations, or ride in a complimentary trolley to get from one end to the other. While all the retail and services businesses served free drinks to visitors, the participating restaurants merely had specials, so visitors had to pay additional money to sample anything from the restaurants, albeit at a discounted rate. For example, Long Beach United Boxing Club poured Stone Brewing‘s beers, but Lola’s Mexican Cuisine only had specials. A few breweries sent actual reps to this event for representation: Ballast Point, Uinta Brewing, and Firestone Walker each sent a rep to man a beer-pouring station inside a different business each. I spotted Bell’s Brewery and Knee Deep Brewing without a rep, but I never found Drake’s Brewing.
Just like Los Angeles, within the city of Long Beach lies numerous different neighborhoods each uniquely defined by its constituents. From the bustling Belmont Shore to the luxurious Naples Island to the family-friendly Bixby Knolls to Little Cambodia (the largest Cambodian population outside of Cambodia), Long Beach has a neighborhood fitting for everyone. Many of these neighborhoods occasionally host “Taste Of ____” events that allow visitors to sample food and drinks from the local businesses, including neighborhoods such as Belmont Shore’s Stroll & Savor, Taste of Downtown Long Beach, and Bixby Knolls First Fridays. 4th Street’s Retro Row used to have Last Saturdays where the local shops would have specials, but that monthly event stopped occurring years ago. Perhaps they can bring back some extra visitors to Retro Row with an annual event in Four on 4th. Coincidentally, Four on 4th took place on a Last Saturday!
For an event running for the first time, this did not run completely smooth without hiccups. Less than a few hundred people attended this event, perhaps due to poor marketing of this event. Any advertising of this event did not disclose enough information, but luckily I arrived early enough to find out the mechanics of this event. While I originally arrived in the middle of Retro Row, I did not know that I had to check in at the far ends of Art Du Vin or Restauration. I also did not know that admission provided NO food at all – I expected to receive some food samples, but discovered that we had to pay for any food at all. I do anticipate that, despite a few beginner’s mistakes, Retro Row will bring back Four on 4th next year. See what else goes on at Retro Row by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.