The Ordinarie Opens Up on the Downtown Long Beach Promenade

Original article: Long Beach 908 | January 15, 2019 |John Grossi

The new restaurant pays homage to early American Taverns- “built for the receiving, refreshment, and entertainment of travelers and strangers”

Amidst a slew of local eateries closing their doors in recent months, an exciting new American Tavern concept just opened in Downtown Long Beach.  Opened by local restaurateurs Christy Caldwell, Eric Johnson, David Copley, and Matt Peterson, known for Legends Sports Bar and the Auld Dubliner among others around Long Beach, these owners hope to bring something to The Promenade in Downtown that is missing.  

In this case, it’s actually a throwback to an older time that they believe the ever-trendy, slightly retro downtown space is craving.  “The Ordinarie is a return to the classic American bar and restaurant with a menu chalked full of dishes inspired by bills of fare at early American taverns,” said proprietor Christy Caldwell.

The atmosphere pays homage to American Taverns from the late 1700’s.  Old tavern pictures hang on the walls with images of the patrons and bartenders of yore dressed in colonial-time attire.  When Caldwell researched Ordinaries and the history of American Taverns, one particular law from the 1600’s in America caught his eye.

“Every community is required by law to build an Ordinarie for the receiving, refreshment, and entertainment of travelers and strangers,” –1634, Laws of the Commonwealth.

That quote is written in big lettering on the back wall of the restaurant to remind everyone how important taking a load off- eating, drinking, and having a good time is to the fabric of our nation.

As far as the menu?  Expect the classics- comfort food your grandma might make.  Only, with an updated culinary expertise. For appetizers, I tried the mac n cheese and Chicken Pot Pie Bites which were delicious and just enough chicken pie to allow me to eat other dishes.  

The hit of the night was the Short Rib Pot Roast- an incredibly tasty and tender meat served over some of the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had.  The Chicken and Dumplings were served in a creamy and hearty soup, perfect for a cold winter night outside. Inside The Ordinarie, the lights, warmth, and sounds of a live 5-piece retro tavern band filled the air.

Caldwell talks with passion about early American history and specifically the tavern culture.  Opening a concept like this has been a goal of his since he moved to the United States from Ireland in the late 1990’s.  Studying the old-school bars of New Orleans, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and some of the old gold rush bars of California have inspired Caldwell over his career has made him confident in this endeavor.

“We want to bring back the golden age of cocktails with exciting drinks like the ‘French 1776’ (earl grey infused gin, rye, orange bitters, sherbet, and sparkling wine) and the ‘Beet the Yankees’ (bourbon, lemon, egg white, spiced honey syrup, beet juice).”

Food, spirits, and entertainment.  A simple enough concept. Mixed with a hint of Downtown Long Beach Promenade magic.  Give The Ordinarie a try and do your civic duty. It’s what our forefathers would have wanted.

210 The Promenade North, Long Beach, CA 90802