Partake Collective opens in East Village, bringing a diverse menu to its ghost kitchen dining hall • Long Beach Business Journal

There are several new restaurants in downtown Long Beach — but their signage will be hard to find since they’re all located in a new ghost kitchen and food hall in the city’s East Village neighborhood.

Partake Collective opened earlier this month near Downtown at the corner of Fifth Street and Elm Avenue and already has five vendors in its nine commercial kitchen areas selling meals to-go or eat-in in the first-floor food hall.

The neighborhood’s longtime favorite, the Thai District, located a few blocks south on Broadway and Linden Avenue, is one of the menus guests can order from. The Thai District is joined by Mochi Dochi, a gourmet outfit for mochi dogs and donuts, and Bubu Teriyaki, which offers Japanese, Korean, and Hawaiian comfort food like pork katsu bowls and beef teriyaki bulgogi sandwiches.

Cave Prime Steak, another option at Partake, offers prime cuts like a 14-ounce New York strip and meaty sandwiches like its pulled pork melt. And MealsDotKom uses the collective’s space to sell its ready meals, which can take the stress out of preparing meals weekly.

Elyse Frisch, Partake’s interim chief operating officer, said the group has been selective about the types of food offerings provided by its commercial kitchens to ensure customers have a diverse menu of options.

Frisch said Partake has leased another of its nine commercial kitchen spaces to a Los Angeles-based Mexican vegan concept that has no opening date yet.

A man walks past the newly opened Partake Collective at the 400 block of Elm Avenue in Long Beach on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Unlike typical ghost kitchens, Frisch, Partake seeks to bring a social aspect to the space rather than just providing a place for aspiring restaurateurs to start their businesses.

“We wanted people to be able to order, sit down and be part of the community,” she said.

The meal process is unique as it involves no interaction with the company’s staff. Customers can order online or from a number of tablets in the first floor retail area, where snacks and drinks can also be purchased.

You can place an order with any of the five current tenants, and when your order is ready, you’ll be notified by a screen near the dining room, directing you to which locker your food is in.

Frisch said there are plans to sell beer and wine for on-site consumption, but the application for that permit is still under review.

In addition to the nine commercial kitchen spaces, the Partake Collective also offers communal kitchen spaces, which can be especially helpful for people like home cooks or farmers market vendors who want to expand their business without committing to renting out an entire shop space. For these shared kitchens, rates are hourly.

The commercial kitchen spaces, on the other hand, are for longer-term tenants, where leases can last months or a year.

The Partake Collective, for example, has enabled Bubu Teriyaki, a small business that started out as a food truck in Wilmington, to expand its reach in the region without having to secure a physical location in Long Beach. It also allows The Cave, which primarily runs private catering events, to expand its services and provide food to people in the neighborhood on their lunch breaks.

Prices can range from as little as $200 for four hours in a community kitchen to about $7,500 per month for the largest commercial kitchen, but the overall costs are lower than a typical restaurant build and lease.

Operators must have a business license, county health permit, and insurance coverage to operate in this area. Renters in commercial kitchens must provide their own appliances—although gas, plumbing, and the other structural components of the kitchen are ready to use, it still reduces the cost of expensive finishing work and the time needed for city approval.

The communal kitchens are already equipped with electrical appliances.

“You really just have to show up with your ingredients,” Frisch said.

While selling and eating food is one of the main focuses of the three-story collective, there’s more to it than the space officers. Also on the first floor is a test kitchen and private dining room, both of which can be rented for special events.

Locali Seasoned, a Long Beach-based company that offers cooking classes, is set to use the space soon, Frisch said.

The collective’s communal kitchen, which has space for preparing food for several customers at the same time, is expected to open in mid-January. The collective also hopes to open a second location in Glassell Park, which could be completed by 2024.

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