Long Beach’s Club Ripples was featured last year on Bravo’s “Tabatha Takes Over.” One year later, the business was revisited by television personality Tabatha Coffey so that she could check in on the progress made.
Ripples owners and long-time partners John Garcia, 67, and Larry Hebert, 60, welcomed Coffey, a film crew and 200 revelers last Wednesday to film the follow up segment for the show. They hosted a party at the club with a special cake made with Coffey’s face on it.
Although Ripples is well known as one of first gay dance clubs in the city, the owners said last year that the club’s popularity was declining. That’s why they signed up for Coffey — a rough-around-the-edges entrepreneur and Australian native who visits struggling businesses — to “take over.” During the show, Coffey helped with some remodeling, improved relationships between the owners and staff members and offered other advice about the business’s products and practices.
“We are grateful Tabatha came here,” Garcia said. “She did a lot for us, especially when it came to helping us work with our staff better. Larry and I, we’re the old guys, and we’ve got a lot of young employees, and we’ve learned to work together better.”
Club Ripples, an institution on Ocean Boulevard where it first opened more than 40 years ago, made waves when it came to ratings on “Tabatha Takes Over.” Garcia said the episode featuring the gay and lesbian nightclub was the “most watched” in the show’s last season.
Hebert said bringing Tabatha into the business was a no-brainer because he and Garcia knew they needed help to improve the business’s reputation in the community, entice new customers to visit the club and “get the motion back on Ocean.”
“That was our motto in the 1980s: Ripples puts the motion on Ocean,” Hebert said. “In the good ol’ days, we were packed Monday through Sunday and we had lines from the front door.”
With help from Tabatha, the owners said they got the ball rolling on improving the camaraderie amongst staff members and they have continued remodeling the space — with more upgrades planned soon. The business has a completely new patio space, glassware, bar stools, furniture and more.
Garcia said business continues to have its ups and downs, and that not all the changes made by Coffey have improved Ripples’ bottom line, but many positive changes did happen and the owners are continuing to make their own improvements.
For details about Club Ripples at 5101 E. Ocean Blvd., visit www.ClubRipples.com.