The first serving of this year’s three-part outdoor culinary series Taste of Downtown, happening in the East Village on the evenings of May 10 and 11, will feature great food, of course — but also food for thought as you gain new insights into the East Village itself.  

Long Beach Heritage will be conducting free short and informative walking tours of the East Village during Taste. In addition, you get a heaping helping of Manuel the Band, the soulful Downtown favorite, who will be rocking outdoors throughout the evening. DJ Lili Bird will be adding musical flavor to the event, too. As a wise man once said, “If music be the food of love, play on!”  

“We love the Taste of Downtown events,” said David Copley, co-owner of the Auld Dubliner Irish Pub and Restaurant, which has participated in every Taste since the event’s inception. “The social aspects of being able to talk and laugh with the local residents is the best promotional tool we have experienced in our 19-year history.”

On the Auld Dubliner menu at the East Village Taste will be a savory stew with beef marinated in Guinness Stout, accompanied by warm bread pudding. 

Admission to all three Taste events is free. Buy 20 food tickets for $20 and redeem them for any of the event’s fabulous food offerings. Leftover tickets can be used at the June 7 and 8 Taste event at Pine and Promenade, and the August 9 and 10 Taste offering at the Downtown Waterfront.

“We’re so excited for the start of Taste season!” said Justine Nevarez, DLBA’s Community Outreach and Events Manager. “It’s been a great way for Downtown residents to meet their neighbors for over a decade. Local restaurants get to showcase their best dishes, and everyone can get out and enjoy some beautiful Downtown spring and summer nights.”  

To purchase Taste Tickets ahead of time, click here.

The East Village has a fascinating architectural history. “The neighborhood has examples of many kinds of architecture, but the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne-style buildings will definitely overshadow the rest on this walking tour because of the outstanding examples there,” said Chris Hogan, President of Long Beach Heritage, the historical society that is collaborating with DLBA on the tours.   

LBH Walking Tour guides have a knack for picking a great architectural subject, then revealing its layered history with informative, “I did not know that!” moments. 

“For over 40 years, LBH has advocated for historic preservation and adaptive re-use of our town’s historic structures,” said Hogan. “This historic fabric, with its mixture of Early 20th Century, Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern styles, and in the Contemporary styles now being built in Downtown, contributes to the vibrancy of the city.”  

Hogan mentioned that LBH is looking for volunteers. “There are so many ways to help,” he explained. “At the Bembridge House in the Willmore District, volunteers are needed to be docents on house tours, gardeners, and helpers with events, such as our afternoon teas. We need docents to lead or assist with neighborhood walking tours as well. Long Beach Architecture Week (May 31 – June 11), which LBH is highly involved with, offers all kinds of events where volunteers are needed.” 

To learn more about Long Beach Heritage and volunteer opportunities, please click here

Manuel the Band, featuring singer/guitarist/songwriter Manuel Grajeda, will be playing its rockin’ mix of originals and covers, as they have done frequently all over Downtown in the last several years. “Downtown is always a great place to play, where our friends can come out, and where we meet new people and make new fans. And, of course, rep our rad city,” said Grajeda, who will be joined by drummer Brandon Charlesworth, bassist Frank Hudson, and pedal steel guitarist George Madrid. 

The band is gearing up for summer mini-tours, in which they’ll add their horn players, saxophonist Matt Kalin and trumpet/trombonist Richard Fernandez. 

Lili De La Mora – DJ Lili Bird to her many local fans – spins at several Long Beach music venues, and has performed at Taste. She is a DJ in Residence at The Good Foot, a popular monthly music gathering at Alex’s Bar.  

Get to the East Village on May 10 and 11 for a Downtown Triple Crown. Food fulfillment, historical enrichment, and musical contentment — You win!

Admission is FREE, but we recommend buying your taste tickets in advance.



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