Last Week LB: Farewell to Powell’s Sweet Shoppe , Storm Damage, SteelCraft, and more

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Catch up on the last week in Long Beach with everything you need in a five-minute read…

By Gary Metzker | Feb. 19 2017

The Long Beach Grand Prix might be two months away, but you wouldn’t know it driving around the city. You have been very adroit to maneuver around all the downed palm fronds and newly-formed potholes.

The winds blowing around town Friday uprooted a lot of trees, brought down power poles and snapped many a power line, too.

According to the Press Telegram, approximately 2.77 inches of rain had fallen on Long Beach as of late Friday evening, causing flooding in some low-lying areas and stranding at least two motorists whose cars stalled in the rising waters. Long Beach Fire Department officials also closed off access to the Belmont Pier early Saturday after two 40-foot docks broke loose in the middle of the night and washed ashore. City spokeswoman Kerry Gerot said the stormy weather knocked down approximately 155 trees, causing damage to 36 vehicles and at least 13 structures, including some private residences.

Colorado Avenue has been closed in East Long Beach because of this tree that fell into the street. | Gary Metzker

Here’s how many calls the Long Beach Fire Department recorded on Friday, according to Capt. Mark Miller:

Total storm related calls: 168

Wires down: 102

Traffic accidents: 22

Flooding incidents: 21

Stranded vehicles: 6

Arcing wires: 12

Pole fires: 4

Total inches of rain: 2.77

Here’s how many calls public works responded to during the day, according to the city of Long Beach:

Downed trees: 155

Damaged vehicles: 36

Structures damaged: at least 13

Flooded intersections: 70

And, by the way, more rain is forecast for Monday. Happy driving.

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Goodbye Powells. Hello SteelCraft, Chick-Fil-A, Nordstrom Rack and Whole Foods.

A simple sign on the front of Powell’s Sweet Shoppe. | Gary Metzker

The family that owns Powell’s Sweet Shoppe at 5282 E. Second St. in Belmont Shore has closed the doors on the business. The owners decided not to renew their franchise agreement, and the shop’s last day was Monday. It was a favorite hangout since 2008, with its unending loop of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” The business was run by husband-and-wife team Nick and Judi Manalisay. It was part of a San Francisco-based franchise, with more than a dozen locations in California, Idaho and Oregon.

The couple told the Grunion Gazette they had hoped to end their franchise agreement and open their own, independent candy store, but they’ve decided instead to “take a break from the candy business and enjoy some time off.”

A new tenant has not yet been announced.

Meanwhile, Mayor Robert Garcia and 7th District Councilman Roberto Uranga celebrated the grand opening of SteelCraft with a ribbon cutting ceremony last week. The Edge has been keeping readers updated about this location for months. The food court, made of modified shipping containers, is located at 3768 Long Beach Blvd and includes eight vendors: Smog City Brewing Co., Steelhead Coffee, Pig Pen Delicacy, Waffle Love, Desano Pizza Bakery, Lovesome Chocolates, Tajima Ramen and The Fresh Shave.

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If you have to use the traffic circle to get around the city, then you have probably seen that the former Toyota showroom has been demolished. Toyota has hung out there for 45 years and been through a few name changes like Marina Toyota, Toyota of Long Beach and Hooman Toyota. But you probably didn’t know what is going in its place. Well, LWLB knows: the property will be divided into two lots to accommodate a Chick-Fil-A restaurant with drive-thru and a Wells Fargo bank.

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Ground was broken for the 266,000 square foot Long Beach Exchange, located in Douglass Park on the southwest corner of Lakewood Boulevard and Carson Street. According to the Long Beach Business Journal, the centerpiece of the project is a 16,800 square foot, hangar-shaped building that will be home to small shops and restaurants. But it was announced recently that the Nordstrom Rack now located in the Lakewood Center Mall is relocating to LBX and a Whole Foods location is coming in, too. The project is hoping to be completed by spring 2018.

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The mayor sent out an email blast last week thanking voters for their support for Measure A last June. Some of that Measure A money has gone to restoring Fire Engine 8 in Belmont Shore and restoring the Long Beach Police South Division for downtown. Additionally, the city was able to bring back paramedic rescue for North Long Beach and restored the Police Academy training unit headquartered in East Long Beach.

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