One of the historic sites in Long Beach nightlife has been given a new life with The Ordinarie: An American Tavern.
For nearly two decades, the location was home to live music in The Blue Café before closing in 2009.
Now, it’s the site of The Ordinarie, which combines a new take on some traditional food with good music.
“The legacy of the place means the music has to be good,” co-owner Christy Caldwell said.
“We want it to be a warm, tavern-style place," Caldwell said. “Welcoming with hospitality first and somewhere for all occasions.”
By the way, it’s pronounced “ordinary.”
According to their website, In 1693, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed a law that said, “Every community is required by law to build an Ordinarie for the receiving, refreshment and entertainment of travelers and strangers.”
Travelers in those days would have been delighted to come into The Ordinarie. The atmosphere is calm and welcoming, with the ideal combination of wood, leather and glass. A spacious area in one corner near the front provides the location for live music.
There’s very much of a “Cheers” feel, reminiscent of the classic television show, with booths, high tops in the bar and tables as well. Large windows provide natural lighting and there’s a nice patio outside as well.
Caldwell said the food is a return to classic American food and showcases comfort food that was made famous in taverns and restaurants.
Chicken Pot Pie Bites ($12) are especially tasty. A flaky pie crust provides the perfect background for chicken, carrots and mushrooms.
The New England Style Lobster roll, served with fries or mixed greens, comes with generous, succulent chunks of the lobster.
“We send out a lot of these,” Caldwell said.
The Short Rib Pot Roast features fork-tender meat and rests on creamy grits accompanied by Cipollini onion and carrots.
A small plate highlight is the Virginia Ham and Vermont Cheddar Popovers — delicate puffed flavor pastries about the size of a baseball, served with orange maple butter.
There’s a full bar with some special craft cocktails.
Bar Manager Adam Stearns is from New England and shows his roots with “Beet the Yankee,” with bourbon, egg white, spiced honey syrup, and beet juice. While it’s smooth, it has a punch that is strong without overpowering.
Or sample the gin-based Ebulum. Gin can be harsh, but here it works well with the soothing taste of elderflower combined with lemon and hard cider.
Besides music for Sunday afternoons from noon to 4 p.m., Ordinarie present live music starting at 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. So far, they’ve featured jazz, swing and blues.
“It’s American music to go with the American tavern concept food,” Caldwell said.
Important to Know
Happy Hour is 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday with $2 off all drinks and all small plates.
They open weekdays at 11:30 a.m. and weekends at 10 a.m. The dinner menu is served 5 to 10 p.m. and there’s a late-night menu starting at 10 p.m. with the bar open late. Weekend brunch is served 10 a.m.-3 pm.
The Ordinarie is at 210 The Promenade downtown. The phone number is (562) 676-4261 and the website is www.theordinarie.com.
Plenty of parking is nearby in the city lot at Third and the Promenade.
Ordinarie is one of the restaurants participating in Dine Out Long Beach Restaurant Week, which offers special bargain dining through Saturday, March 2.