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Magic Lamp Dark

A longtime Belmont Shore destination for diners, Magic Lamp Lebanese Mediterranean Grill, has closed.

Restaurateurs Billy and Bruno Schade first opened Magic Lamp 12 years ago at 5020 E. Second St., but the elaborately decorated restaurant has gone dark, with no immediate word back from ownership regarding the closure.

Eat @sushi

Sushi chef and businessman Yun Song says his fresh restaurant concept, @sushi, is the perfect fit for Belmont Shore foodies.

Song, who also owns the popular Sushi Kara on Bellflower Boulevard between Spring and Willow streets, said his business is ready for an expansion into Belmont Shore. Sushi Kara has been open since 2011.

“Many of my regular customers already are coming from Belmont Shore,” Song said about opening a second sushi restaurant.

The new eatery is planned for 5372 E. Second St. (formerly the short-lived Theory Café, and Brix Belmont Shore prior to that, in a long line of restaurants).

“We don’t have an opening date set, but we want to open as soon as possible … hopefully, this month,” he said.

Babette Replacement

Babette’s Feast, open for 17 years in Belmont Shore, has closed to make way for a new, yet similar concept: Ô Gourmet French Café & Bakery.

Owner Eric Djomby, who opened the original Ô Gourmet in San Juan Capistrano, said he’s looking forward to expanding into Long Beach with a second location.

“It was originally a French bakery, it has a patio, and it’s a real opportunity,” the Parisian said, noting that the space is undergoing a remodel prior to opening sometime this spring.

Dinner service on select evenings, in addition to lunch and breakfast options, is part of the plan. For Djomby, who also is a baker and pastry chef, staying true to authentic French cuisine is at the crux of things.

“I love a French bakery,” he said.

Bakers Needed

Sign up now for the Homemade Chocolate Dessert Contest, part of the 15th Annual Belmont Shore Chocolate Festival coming up on Saturday, Feb. 9.

Registration is open for the best chocolate desserts worthy of awards, according to Belmont Shore Business Association Executive Director Dede Rossi.

The BSBA organizes the festival, and Rossi said the Homemade Chocolate Dessert Contest is a community tradition. A panel of judges will sample the desserts and choose winners in three categories: Chocolate Cakes & Pies; Chocolate Cookies & Brownies; and Unique Chocolate Treats.

It costs $10 per entry. Signups are available on the BSBA website.

Live After Five

Downtown Long Beach Alliance officials are kicking off a second year of their monthly Live After Five series tonight (Thursday) with a Vinyl Record Night planned from 5 to 9 p.m. at The Loop, 100 E. Ocean Blvd.

Live After Five is a series of free events with live entertainment that happens on the third Thursday of the month. Tonight’s includes live music, food, beer, wine, a vinyl jam, button making, hot chocolate and various giveaways.

DLBA President and CEO Kraig Kojian said, “The monthly event allows local businesses and talent to be showcased and experienced by a wider audience in a very accessible way with free entry, pedestrian friendly connections, bike conveniences, and a trolley to tour downtown neighborhoods.”

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