New rooftop restaurant and bar to open in East Long Beach this month

A new rooftop restaurant for Long Beach, dubbed Vue Bar & Restaurant, is scheduled to open before the year’s end at Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport.

The restaurant’s development is part of a $30 million renovation project for the East Long Beach hotel that’s expected to be completed next year, according to an announcement. Vue Bar & Restaurant is scheduled to open on Dec. 20.

YHB Hospitality Group, a Long Beach company with a hotel and golf portfolio including properties in California, Hawaii, Japan and South Korea, has owned Holiday Inn Long Beach airport since 2006. The 13-story hotel near the crossing of Willow Street and Lakewood Boulevard was built in 1968.

The company’s executive chef, Thomas Vertl, said Vue is a bar-focused concept with an emphasis on sharable menu items and a design that affords a nearly 360-degree view of the Long Beach area.

Indeed, Vertl was unsparing in his criticism of the hotel’s prior dining options while setting lofty goals for the new restaurant.

“It used to be one of those plain, boring really typical, I want to call it a ‘hotel restaurant’ that you don’t pay much attention to. Now it’s a destination restaurant,” he said.

“Right now, it’s a fully-renovated hotel,” he also said.

Menu plans for Vue include entrees such as New York steak and appetizers including bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers and what Vertl called crispy macaroni and cheese bites.

“The bar is always emphasized in this concept,” Vertl said. “Finger foods and shareable plates go along way.”

Long Beach diners already have at least four options for rooftop dining in the city, depending upon how broad one’s definition of rooftop is. In addition to The Sky Room atop the Breakers building in downtown, Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau spokesman Bob Maguglin said in an email that one could count Sir Winston’s Restaurant & Lounge on the Queen Mary as a rooftop dining spot.

And although not as elevated as the Sky Room or Sir Winston’s, Bo-beau Kitchen + Rooftap, which is downtown, and Michael’s on Naples also feature rooftop seating.

Vue’s development and other renovations at Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport have not been the only projects in the works for the site. Documents filed with the Long Beach Development Services Department show plans to tear down a two-story hotel structure near the Holiday Inn’s tower in order to make way for a six-story Staybridge Suites hotel.

Those construction plans would not require any new changes to the Holiday Inn tower itself.