It’s the last call for Pride at Club Ripples, a legendary gay dance nightclub that made waves when it first opened more than four decades ago.
Ripples is closing sometime this summer, with owners and longtime partners John Garcia, 74, and Larry Hebert, 67, selling the 5,000-square-foot business (and adjacent liquor store) so that they can enjoy their retirement.
That means, Hebert said, this weekend’s parade and festivities will be the last Long Beach Pride hoorah for the club, which has always been a popular hangout during the LGBTQ-centered weekend. It’s been a gay bar since 1972.
“You cannot have too much entertainment for Pride — it’s our busiest weekend of the year. We have entertainment Thursday through Sunday, and it’ll be packed,” Hebert said, noting however that they aren’t doing their traditional parade float.
The two owners said they’ve had the time of their lives at Ripples and are grateful to everyone who supported them through the years.
They also said they’re proud to be a part of the evolution that’s taken place: coming a long way since the dangerous days of opening the city’s only gay dance club with bullet-proof windows and extra security to now being able to hold hands openly on the sidewalks of Belmont Shore.
Although the ink isn’t dry yet, Hebert said the new owners plan to tear down and rebuild a completely new business where Ripples is now. It’ll be called Burger & Beer “B&B” Joint, part of a Florida-based restaurant chain.
For details about Club Ripples at 5101 E. Ocean Blvd., visit ClubRipples.com.
Forbidden City was a sort of Shangri-La on the waterfront, and restaurateur Rod Frontino wants to keep it that way with his similar concept: JADE Restaurant.
Signs went up this week in Marina Pacifica, where Frontino is taking over the elaborately decorated 6,300-square-foot space. He is hiring for all positions now and said JADE is expected to open this summer, when it will offer sushi and other Asian cuisine seven days a week, in addition to featuring a heated patio, marina lounge with a full bar and regularly scheduled live entertainment.
Gao Yan and Michael Brausen, the couple who opened Forbidden City back in 2010 at 6380 E. PCH and ran the popular business for the next nine years, announced their retirement in the fall of 2018 and closed their doors.
For details about JADE, including job information, stay tuned on social media.
Small Business Month
Recognizing the more than 3.9 million small businesses in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared May California’s Small Business Month.
“Our small businesses account for over 99% of total business in California, employing 7 million people — nearly half the state’s private workforce,” according to Newsom.