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Not Amused

Youngsters and those young at heart will be sad to learn Chuck E. Cheese’s mouse mascot has left the building. The popular birthday celebration spot for the young set in the Streets section of downtown Long Beach was among the more than 25 stores that were permanently closed this month, according to CEC Entertainment.

The June 9 closure is on the heels of nearby Fountain Valley’s Boomers Amusement Park — formally Bullwinkle’s — closing. June 8, Boomers announced that in addition to the Fountain Valley location, they would be closing California locations in El Cajon, Upland, and Kearny Mesa. The popular bumper boats, batting cages, go-karts, and miniature golf equipment have all been removed.

These closures are reminiscence of another ’90s era birthday celebration venue — Discovery Zone (DZ), with their crawling tubes resembling translucent plastic habitrails. After the 1998 demise of DZ, a short lived 2020 revival shuttered in early mid-March of this year along with their plastic ball pits.

More sad news for amusement park goers — Knott’s Berry Farm announced its 100th Anniversary: A Knott’s Family Reunion event will be postponed to 2021 as park operations remain in pause mode.

But word from cast members is Disneyland plans to re-open Downtown Disney on July 9 and Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park will plan to reopen on July 17 — 65 years to the day after the historic opening of Disneyland. The hotel properties plan to reopen on July 23.

P2S Expands

P2S Inc. an engineering and construction management company, has announced the addition of its sixth office, this one in Irvine. The P2S corporate office will remain in Long Beach, with regional offices in California and Washington state.

Company officials say some of the words employees use to describe the firm’s culture are — collaborative, inventive and diverse. Based on information on the P2S website, the offices all have employee perks like Zen Rooms with massage chairs, gyms with showers, and company-provided healthy snacks. No word on any unique office perks at the new Irvine location.

Caffeine

Starbucks has announced “plans to accelerate the transformation of its store portfolio in the U.S. through the integration of the physical and digital customer experience.” That means more focus on pick-up, to-go, and drive thru orders — and some stores will close while new ones will open. Many regular patrons theorize this is driven by more customers working from home and fewer coffee drinkers lingering on laptops.

The plan includes closing 400 Starbucks stores, including the Long Beach location at 4750 E. Seventh St., near Wilson High School. According to company officials, the coffee giant will redirect focus on the “Strength of Digital Customer Relationships” while opening 300 new stores this year — undoubtedly with fewer chairs and more pick-up space.

Father’s Day

Primal Alchemy Provisions is celebrating Father’s Day with a special menu (for 4), Sweet Chili Molasses Pork Ribs, Elote Corn with Cilantro, Cotija, and Chipotle Mayonessa, Tater Tot Casserole with Caramelized Onions, Gruyere Cheese and Chives, Farmers Market Peach Cobbler with Rosemary Shortbread Crumble. Check the website www.primalalchmey.com/provisions to order.

Port of Long Beach

May marked the first month since November 2019 that cargo shipments rose at the port, and followed seven consecutive months of declines attributed to the U.S.-China trade dispute and the pandemic. Port officials noted the manufacturing in China continues its return to pre-COVID-19 values, while the United States is experiencing an increase in demand for furniture, digital products and home improvement goods.

“We aren’t out of the woods, but this is the gradual growth we have anticipated as the United States starts to rebound from the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19 and the trade war with China,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal said.

As part of the Port’s twice yearly community sponsorship award announcement, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved the second installment of awards totaling almost $750,000 in the current fiscal year, which began last October. A total of 261 community events and programs benefitted from these awards.

Harbor Commissioners also approved an updated policy regarding port-sponsored community events that includes a section about unforeseen circumstances and canceled or postponed events.

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