Alamitos Beach

Shovels will hit the sand today (Thursday) as a new Alamitos Beach concession area breaks ground just east of Shoreline Drive.

Alfredo’s Beach Shack was demolished earlier this summer at the site, where the simple, 2,200-square-foot hut is being replaced with a $9 million Tidelands-funded modern two-story café, concession stand, public restroom, equipment rental and storage facilities. Combined, the three new buildings total more than 5,500 square feet.

Outdoor amenities, including a family-friendly game area, picnic deck, roof deck and parking lot improvements also are planned at the beachfront site, which sits on more than an acre of land running adjacent to the beach bicycle and pedestrian path.

“The idea is to create a family-friendly space that takes advantage of the beautiful views and helps activate our waterfront area and create additional recreational activities for everybody,” Eric Lopez, project management manager with Public Works, said. “We want to cater to visitors and locals we hope will be enjoying this.”

He noted that the café will be serving beer and wine, with permits already approved for that to happen.

The project has been green lighted by the California Coastal Commission and the City Council and is a precursor to two similar projects planned at the Junipero and Granada beaches.

Alamitos Beach could be complete as soon as next summer.

Assistant City Manager Tom Modica has said the new facilities will be among the most attractive in the Los Angeles area.

“We’ll really have some of the best concessions on the beach, in our mind,” he said.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, referring to Alamitos Beach as one of the projects the city plans to complete before the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, said: “As part of the city’s 8 by 28 initiative, the new beach concessions stands will provide new and exciting features for residents and visitors to our coastline.”

Klassic Engineering & Construction, based in Orange, is working on the development, which is being designed by RA-DA in Los Angeles.

Still to be determined is who will lease and manage the facilities from the city, Lopez said. The city is actively seeking concessionaires interested in the space.

For more than a quarter century, Long Beach’s beach concessions have been handled by a firm known as Alfredo’s Beach Club — the corporate name is Beach Ventures International, Inc. It’s run by Jesel Evans Ortloff, the step-daughter of the late Fred Khammar, who was the longtime concessionaire.

During construction, the rental program that Alfredo’s had operated at Alamitos Beach has moved to Granada Launch Ramp.

But Ortloff said the Khammar family doesn’t plan to take over the new space at Alamitos Beach. They are interested, however, in continuing to lease other concession areas along the beach, just not Alamitos Beach.

“No, not at this time,” Ortloff said about Ventures International’s interest in Alamitos Beach. “The cost of doing business out of that place doesn’t pencil out for us.”

Lopez said an RFP went out and was closed, but there were few applicants and the city is looking at other ways to secure a concessionaire.

“We’re still looking for a tenant,” Lopez said. “I would encourage anyone interested to reach out, and I’ll put them into contact with the right process."

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