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Above: SteelCraft in Bixby Knolls. Photo by Baktaash Sorkhabi.
I haven’t been shy in touting about Bixby Knoll’s SteelCraft—and it goes beyond the fact that it finally brought ramen to Long Beach. It was brilliantly designed and shifted the way that the region approaches the use of building materials.
In short: it was an urban home run for a neighborhood that isn’t that urban—and could very well serve as a template to jumpstart areas in other cities searching for activation in historic cores, aging downtowns, or idle neighborhoods.
And they already have decided to open a second location in Garden Grove and now they’ll be expanding their mini foodie empire to a third location in Bellflower.
“What’s special about Bellflower is they have this excitement for our team to search far and wide to bring creative new dining and retail establishments to their city. That trust is something we value in a partnership and we are eager to get started,” said Kim Gros, founder of SteelCraft. “We take great pride in bringing the best tenants to the space—Bellflower’s enthusiasm is a tremendous complement to our team and what we’ve created.”
According to the SteelCraft crew, the Bellflower location will take over a 15,000 sq. ft. city-owned lot, located on Bellflower Blvd. and Oak St., and will feature approximately 10 tenants. The design will “be similar to the Long Beach location with an array of 20- and 40-foot shipping containers to best fit the space and a communal dining area.”
SteelCraft marks the perfect entry point for Garden Grove to create more bustle in the neighborhood, reflecting the city’s long-desire to “re-imagine” its downtown through a 2013 initiative. It has all the things that are needed to activate spaces: smart design that incorporates restoration, a celebration of craft and locally-made food, and unique vibes—and those things are desperately needed as Garden Grove’s foot and bike activity die in the weekdays and winter months and stores along its historic Main Street strip close up shop.
Both locations are expected to open next year.