Open Atlantic

Long Beach has extended its Open Streets program to Atlantic Avenue, between East Claiborne Drive and East Armando Drive, offering outdoor space for businesses to utilize for dining and other approved services. 

Some Bixby Knolls businesses are set to get a temporary boost from Long Beach, with an expansion of the city’s Open Streets program — but it will also impact traffic.

Work began this week on slimming down the portion of Atlantic Avenue from East Claiborne to East Armando drives to one lane in each direction to allow for businesses along the corridor to expand their outdoor space.

Crews started the job on Thursday morning, Feb. 11, and the installation will be complete by the middle of next week, according to a city spokesperson. The changes will last through at least the end of March, but are slated to remain until outdoor, physically distanced services are no longer required because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Once the work is done, businesses will be able expand into the sidewalks on the east side of Atlantic Avenue, while the west side will offer angled parking to increase parking spaces.

Businesses along the roughly half-mile stretch of road that already have permits to expand outdoors include Rasselbock Kitchen & Beer Garden, EJ’s Pub, Lola’s Mexican Cuisine and Willmore Wine Bar, among others. And, according to a city spokesperson, many more businesses there already have requests for permits in the pipeline.

“I am happy to see the Open Streets Program expand and allow for Atlantic Avenue businesses to utilize public space to open and serve our community,” Long Beach Councilman Al Austin, whose Eighth District includes the stretch of road, said in a statement. “We will continue to look at innovative ways to improve safety and help our small businesses at the same time.”

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