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About the Business

When New York’s famed Max Fish bar opened in 1989, it has since remained a pillar in the East Coast skateboarding scene. And despite momentarily closing in 2010, there has been a constant presence of skaters, creatives, the Intelligentsia, and of course the varied assortment of grin-inducing derelicts.

Meanwhile, on the West Coast—the birthplace of skate culture thanks to the Dogtown Boys and the ZBoys—there wasn’t a social spot which specifically catered to that in the way that Max Fish did.

Until BLACK opened in Hollywood.

And the same crew behind that bar have taken over the space long occupied by gay piano bar Paradise and—following an opening this weekend—hope to, in the words of co-owner Shannon McManus, “incorporate some of the same vibes as our Hollywood location, while allowing BLACK Long Beach to organically grow into its own personality.”

And they, perhaps more importantly, want to create something different from the plethora of other skate-centric bars that dot the city’s landscape.

McManus and her partner in business Bethany Black are a pair of nighttime veterans in the bar scene in Los Angeles, with McManus having operated the famed Viper Room from 1993 to 1998, where Bethany also worked; following, they ran the Darkroom on Melrose. It wasn’t until 2013 that BLACK, situated off the 101 on Santa Monica Blvd., became their focus (bringing on skating photographer Atiba Jefferson on as an investor, who admitted that BLACK itself was modeled after Max Fish).