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Alcohol License Granted to Simmzy's

Second Street's newest restaurant, described as "upscale," was granted its alcohol license and bar service until midnight on weekends by the Long Beach City Council Tuesday.

The Long Beach City Council approved a measure to grant Manhattan Beach restaurant chain as well as the opportunity to increase its business hours, once it begins to operate on 2nd Street in Belmont Shore next spring.

Despite the fact that several other businesses on 2nd Street are required to stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m., City Council voted that Simmzy’s will be allowed to sell alcohol until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

“We’re here tonight with hopes of mimicking the hours of our Manhattan Beach location so that we can be on a level-playing field in Belmont Shore,” said Simmzy’s proprietor Mike Simms before the vote swung in his favor.

Simmzy’s will take the place of ShoreHouse Café, and Monday night, Simms met with Third District City Councilman Gary DeLong and a number of concerned residents at DeLong’s field office in Belmont Shore.

Tuesday, a number of the same residents that addressed Simms Monday evening presented their concerns to the City Council.

Carolyn Rhodes, who lives directly behind Legends Bar on 2nd Street, said that allowing Simmzy’s to sell alcohol late into the night will add to an already existing “public nuisance,” referring to the amount of alcohol consumption currently taking place on 2nd Street.

“There is no need for another bar and no need for another restaurant,” Rhodes told the Council members and mayor. “Expanding their liquor license adds to a problem we already can’t handle.”

Lindsey Mitchell, who also lives near Legends, said that beer bottles frequent her front lawn and on one occasion, a severely intoxicated individual deficated on her property.

Belmont Shore resident Cynthia Brannon was in disbelief that the City Council would consider adding another alcohol license on 2nd Street, where the ABC and the Council have allowed considerably more than the state agency's own guidelines for the neighborhood. The ABC Director has previously said he would not deny a license on "over-concentration alone," despite that being one of the conditions for denying a license.

“Enough is enough,” Brannon said. “I can’t believe we’re here talking about more late night drinking establishments. We have continued chaos, continuous noise, and drunks are a nightly occurrence for us.”

However, the outpouring of support for Simmzy’s was just as great as the opposition for the restaurant, as several community members voiced their excitement at having another restaurant option, especially with Bono's departure.

“Simmzy’s is an upscale, classy operation,” said Steven Downing, who formerly frequented the Manhattan Beach Simmzy’s location. “I’m looking forward to seeing them in the neighborhood, and property value will continue to improve and improve.”

Neal Jenkins, a resident of Belmont Shore since 1993, said that when he learned of Simmzy’s addition to 2nd Street, he did his research by visiting the Manhattan Beach location.

“Simmzy’s is simply not that type of establishment,” Jenkins said. “There are not drunks stumbling out of there.”

The divide seemed to be a result of some residents wanting to avoid another bar and some residents wanting to welcome another restaurant.

Jeff Miller, a 20-year Belmont Shore resident, may have best summed up the expectations of those in the community.

“I welcome a new restaurant, but give major consideration to your constituents,” Miller said to City Council. “Let’s maintain neighborhood requirements of peace and quiet.”

“And let’s make sure this is a restaurant, not a bar.”

Simms commented that he hopes to have Simmzy’s up and running by April of next year. 

Mike Ruehle December 14, 2011 at 09:16 PM
Was this ever in doubt. DeLong made his decision for Simmzy's before talking with residents. What a hypocrite DeLong is to ONLY go against bar owners who do NOT support his election campaigns and then bestow special favors on those bar owners who promise to support him. Total BS.
tinytom December 14, 2011 at 09:43 PM
I don't see this as a bad business for 2nd street. My concern is if somebody could "fix" the Coastal Commission on the 2nd & PCH deal.
tinytom December 14, 2011 at 10:15 PM
By "fix" I mean someone has leverage of some kind to get the Coastal Commision to waive the zoning restrictions. Isn't this the usual practice now or have I seen too many movies which are heavy about conspiracies of all kinds.
lbgrrl December 15, 2011 at 12:53 AM
Crack down on the problem bars (Panama Joe's--did you ever see so many dbags in one place?) and leave the others alone. DeLong's treatment of Me Soo Hungry was terrible and almost cost the woman her business. Like a little chinese place is going to spill dozens of drunks into the street. This place appears to be similar. I like restaurants and bars on 2nd Street--but fewer dbag magnets like PJs and more like Simmzy's.
Nancy Wride (Editor) December 15, 2011 at 04:31 AM
There was supposed to be a city staff report that DeLong introduced and the Council approved months ago looking at changing conditional use permits as DeLong's effort to try to reduce current bar problems and avoid future ones. I was not at the Council meeting last night. Did any of the Council ask about the status of that requested staff report? And lbgrrl, I feel for Christine and eat Honey Walnut Chicken at Me Soo almost as much as Double Doubles. I've heard the concern on new licenses is that once granted, and if Christine couldn't make a go of it, who takes it over? Anyone?
Nancy Wride (Editor) December 15, 2011 at 04:33 AM
Oh, I meant to drop this Tim Grobaty column on the issue, at the very end.http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_19548638
John B. Greet December 16, 2011 at 05:40 PM
Was Ruehle's bad-mouthing of DeLong ever in doubt? In Ruehle's world, people and businesses are guilty until proven innocent and the only reason to support a new local business that wants to succeed and help create employment and responsible commerce in our city, is because that business has allegedly promised to support someone's political campaign. Welcome to 2nd Street Simmzy's! We look forward to sampling your fare and to your providing gainful employment to some folks in Long Beach who really need the work. We believe you understand how important it is to us that you serve our community as a good corporate citizen so we will be watching. But whether you behave yourself or not, rest assured, Ruehle will find reason to complain even though he is no longer a Belmont Shore resident.
tinytom December 16, 2011 at 06:20 PM
John, I don't know if DeLong backed Simmzy's getting an alchohol sales license till midnight for political support. But I do remember him going negative on Rotondo at Legends for some reason.
John B. Greet December 16, 2011 at 11:01 PM
@tiny: Ruehle will no doubt claim that Rotondo and Delong had a falling out because Rotondo stopped supporting DeLong politcally. Rotondo, however, is on record saying that he was angry that DeLong started taking a harder line against Legends. You see, In Ruehle-world, DeLong can do no right. Ruehle condemns him for "allowing" problem 2nd Street bars and I believe has even either stated or implied that DeLong was actually taking bribes to look the other way. But then when DeLong actually starts taking more affirmative action on these persistent problems, Ruehle has no appreciation to express, he can only complain that it took DeLong too long to do so. DeLong has, himself, admitted that he feels he let things on 2nd Street go on too long. But Ruehle has very little of a positive or constructive nature to say about much of anything or anyone with whom he disagrees. I don't know about you but for me, Ruehle's constant negativism and counter-productive commentary coupled, as it is, with his persistent falsehoods and other fradulent commentary, really gets old.
Nancy Wride (Editor) December 16, 2011 at 11:24 PM
John, stepping off the Mike bandwagon for a moment, playing Devil's advocate, and as the rational person you aspire to be, what are 5 things that you think DeLong has done well and 5 things he should have done better or done at all? I'm not sure you live in the Shore but you clearly are interested deeply.
Nancy Wride (Editor) December 16, 2011 at 11:25 PM
And that question is open to anyone else, as well. Happy boat parade weekend to all.
John B. Greet December 17, 2011 at 12:03 AM
Five things DeLong has done well: Run a first-rate Council office that has facilitated constructive and productive communication and solutions between District residents and city government; Solicited considerable public input on 2nd Street challenges and published the responses on the 3rd District webpage for all to read; Solicited accurate statistical data from LBPD on Belmont Shore bars over a two year period and published that data on the 3rd District webpage for all to read; Published and distributed periodic District 3 news e-letters on current information and events in the District and actively solicited residents to sign up to receive them; Has constantly argued for more fiscal restraint in our local government, particularly in the area of public employee pension reform and; Finally stopped having anything to do with Ruehle. Five things DeLong could have done better: Dealt more pro-actively with 2nd Street much sooner; Responded to, or had a staff member respond to, Loynes/Studebaker when Hitchcock violated various statutes in trying to develop property he had recently purchased nearby; Refused to support the foolish plastic bag bag; Refused to support the Equal Benefits Ordinance; Stopped having anything to do with Ruehle MUCH sooner.
Brantley Watson December 17, 2011 at 12:11 AM
Thank you for sharing that, John.
John B. Greet December 17, 2011 at 12:34 AM
Sure! And as a point of clarification, these are my perceptions only, as a former 3rd District resident. I do not work for, with, or on behalf of Mr. DeLong, as Ruehle has often falsely accused me of doing. Overall I think DeLong has been a fine Councilmember. Does this mean he has been perfect? Of course not. But neither has he been anything near as bad as Ruehle constantly paints him to be.
Nancy Wride (Editor) December 17, 2011 at 12:39 AM
Thanks John (and here I thought we could step off the Mike Ruehle carouse). Possibly a cease fire for a Friday night? :D
John B. Greet December 17, 2011 at 12:45 AM
Ok, Nancy. I sincerely apologize. I'll behave now : )
Nancy Wride (Editor) December 17, 2011 at 12:51 AM
And there was peace in the valley.....:D
Mike Ruehle December 17, 2011 at 03:56 PM
Opposite opinions are unwelcome and are censored at the Patch. Meanwhile ANYONE is free to disparage me for my opinion and call me names at the Patch without fear of censorship. I am not granted that same lattitude to even defend myself from ugly comments and name calling. This reposted comment will again be re-censored.
Panglonymous December 17, 2011 at 06:55 PM
Gentrification, if dense enough, repels undesirables - even shames them, in a way. To see riff-raff slinking away from superior persons and architecture is one of the greatest pleasures a landowner may know.
Nancy Wride (Editor) December 17, 2011 at 09:40 PM
Mike's point is fair, John. What is it that you think DeLong has done for residents toward helping 2nd Street bars being better neighbors?
John B. Greet December 17, 2011 at 09:46 PM
Well, Nancy, I didn't see Ruehle's point because it apparently got deleted (as did my response to his censorship comment concerning his defective crystal ball, by the way). Was that the point of Ruehle's you feel is valid? That he accuses you of permitting censorship on your site or that some here are treating him as he has treated others all along who happen to disagree with him? Could you clarify his point so I can respond as you have requested? Thanks!
Nancy Wride (Editor) December 17, 2011 at 10:05 PM
Mike's point is valid that his self defense has, at times, been removed (by the anonymous, not Patch), and that it is unfair for negative comments or snipes about him to stand, unchecked. Since none of us had the ability to read his comment, I will hope that he reposts it and copies me on it. He's right in that, effectively, he is being censored and that, effectively, that does, at times, squelch contrary positions.
Nancy Wride (Editor) December 17, 2011 at 10:08 PM
I should add that contrary positions are invited and welcome here at Patch, most daily readers know that, and the only person who consistently has had comments flagged out of sight is one person, for whom I've done all that I can to try and restore and make right.
John B. Greet December 17, 2011 at 10:37 PM
Ah, well, I have already agreed with Ruehle's position on censorship in the past and I still agree with it now. Anonymous (or even attributed) deletions are not in keeping with the spirit of free speech that The Patch otherwise does so well to uphold. The only people who should be able to delete content are the sites editors who, it must be presumed, will only do so on the rarest of occasions. As to Ruehle attempting defend himself against charges that he routinely posts false, fraudulent, and otherwise misleading commentary here, I think he should certainly be able to attempt to defend himself against those charges and let his attempts succeed or fail on their own merits (or lack thereof).
Nancy Wride (Editor) December 17, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Question still stands on what actions the City Council, our elected reps, have done for residents to make problematic/nuisance bars better neighbors to those impacted? We can stipulate that nobody can legislate good behavior, responsible drinking, private house parties causing the problems not bar patrons, and the fact that the state ABC chooses to not enforce its own guidelines on number of permits per U.S. Census district (which I think would give the Shore about 11 permits instead of more than 50, but someone please correct that if it is off).
John B. Greet December 17, 2011 at 11:22 PM
I do not think the Council has done nearly as much as they could have to get and keep a handle on the recurrent bar-related challenges on 2nd Street. For example, the statistical data compiled for the CM at DeLong's request concerning police CFS, public intox arrests, and DUI arrests, could and should have been requested long ago, when resident complaints first became routine. Even so, that report is quite telling concerning the nature and scope of the challenges experienced during just that period covered in the report (10/2008 - 9/2010). In the report, PD also provides some very valuable and reasonable recommendations and I think the Council can and should implement all of them.
Mike Ruehle December 18, 2011 at 12:55 AM
Greet specifically names me 17 times in his ugly personal comments in this one article. Not once have I mentioned his name or responded to him. In the past, when I rose to his bait and responded to him, you have immediately shut me down and deleted my comments and scolded me for making your other commenters uncomfortable. So I avoid going at him. On the other hand, Greet's and others personal attacks against me are allowed to stand even though you told me you would delete them. Worse yet, you have used me to now give Greet another platform to continue disparaging me. Thanks alot. Why do you claim to your readers you've done everything you can when that is not true. You could just easily delete Greet's or other people's comments whenever they personally attacks me or others like you've done with me in the past. You've threatened to do so in the past but then don't do it. How hard is it to let people's comments stand who express an opinion on one of your articles and delete those that are clearly personal attacks upon other commentors they disagree with? Like I've told you several times before, I'm tired of having to repost and repost and repost my comments over and over again to get a fair shake at the Patch. And then a month later, all of my comments are again gone. You may think that is a solution and that is all you can do. I don't agree. Sorry to bother you on your birthday.
John B. Greet December 18, 2011 at 01:19 AM
Yes, Ruehle, but are you able to actually refute anything I said about you? And, really, you -of all people- are going to try to complain about ugly personal comments? You? Really? Have you never heard of the concept of treating others as you would like to be treated? I am simply treating you as you treat me and anyone else who dares to disagree with you. If you *are* treating people as you want to be treated, then you're simply getting a full measure of the abuse that you have been heaping upon others for quite some time now. Not very pleasant is it?
tinytom December 18, 2011 at 01:47 AM
Mike, it's clear somebody is trying to snuff out your freedom of speech.
Shore Resident December 19, 2011 at 03:09 PM
Ugly personal comments, Mr. Ruehle???? Aren't you the person that called John Greet "that certain part of the male anatomy" or at least alluded to it on another site? Living in a glass house, I presume. As far as Mr. Ruehle's comments being deleted, Nancy, as they are anonymously deleted I would wonder if it is Mr, Ruehle himself deleting his comments to give him one more thing to rail against.

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