PUBLIC FORUM: GIVE YOUR 2 CENTS ON PORT DECISION TO 86 OLD BERTH 55 ON AUG. 30By Sean Belk
Supporters of Berth 55 seafood restaurant and sportfishing docks will hold a public forum to discuss its future on Aug. 30 — only 82 days before a Port-issued deadline for business owners to leave the premises.
Port of Long Beach officials were invited (and expected) to attend the public forum. The Port will also give boat tours of the harbor.
Berth 55, also known as Queen’s Wharf, has occupied a secluded spot off the Long Beach Freeway in the port proper for 40 years. It has become somewhat of a local legend among many port workers and harbor-area residents; others just consider it a kickback place to get fresh seafood on the waterfront without driving all the way to Ports O’ Call over in San Pedro. Since the early 1970s, the restaurant’s plates of fried fish and shellfish have been periodically accompanied by the music of punk, rockabilly and blues bands. The landing is also home to Long Beach Sportfishing, which runs a tackle shop and a fleet of independent commercial fishing boats.
But this familiar slice of Port of Long Beach life has been facing the growing threat of extinction for four years as officials from the Port and the Long Beach Fire Department have developed plans to build a state-of-the-art fireboat station where the restaurant and sport fishing businesses now stand.
The Long Beach Business Journal broke the news in May, revealing that the Port had changed the master lease agreement to a month-to-month basis in 2008, and was now sending the business owners a lease termination letter. The terms gave the restaurant and sportfishing company 180 days to get out, beginning April 25.
Although Berth 55 tenants kept saying they were fighting the decision, they also kept admitting that they weren’t getting much response. Maybe they’ll get some answers soon.
PORT OF LONG BEACH PUBLIC FORUM/HARBOR TOURS BERTH 55/QUEEN’S WHARF • 555 PICO AVE • LONG BEACH • 562.283.7000 POLB.COM • FACEBOOK.COM/SAVEBERTH55# 562.435.8366• FORUM BEGINS 6PM • HARBOR TOURS BEGIN 4:30PM • FREE
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