Beachcombing

By: 
Jay Beeler

Just when he thought his restaurant days were over. Jim Choura finds himself right back to the good ole days of The Galley Delicatessen. The only difference now is that he’s doing it in the kitchen of his 45,000-square-foot event center (The Grand) in Long Beach, where he’s converted his kitchen into a meal/food pick-up opportunity for residents during the COVID-19 crisis.

“It’s times like these that we all need to come together. This problem isn’t getting better and I won’t let our community go hungry,” explained Choura.

The Galley was started in 1969 on Los Coyotes Diagonal, near the traffic circle. Through the years Choura expanded that operation into restaurants like The Captain’s Quarters, El Dorado Golf Course Restaurant, the dining room at the Long Beach Airport and several others before taking over operations at The Grand a couple of decades ago.

It’s very evident in his pricing that he’s created something that everyone can afford, but at the same time not skimping on quality, flavor and variety. These are all the things that have made Jim Choura the premier caterer in the area.

“I didn’t see this situation as a business opportunity. I saw this as my duty to get involved,” he said, noting that some grocery stores are now charging as much as $5 for a dozen eggs that he can bulk purchase for $1.80 from suppliers in Los Angeles.

The staff at The Grand that used to serve thousands of meals at group functions each month has created a way for residents to go online to https://grandfb.square.site/ to select menu items, then place their order 24 hours in advance online or by calling (562) 426-0555. A lasagna meal can be obtained for as low as $2 per person, for example.

Customers can pick up their orders at 4101 E. Willow St. or arrange for delivery within a five-mile radius. Food items are easily re-heated in their microwavable containers or frozen for later consumption.

In recent days we’ve learned that food service agencies can provide spirits with their take-out food. Anticipate the kind of containers that airlines have used for decades.

Although group functions like weddings, anniversary celebrations and business meetings have been put on hold for the time being, The Grand’s staff is offering options to block multiple future dates to accommodate out-of-area guests needing advance notice.

“We are currently back in the core business of feeding people one-on-one,” says Choura. “But we’ll be ready to serve large groups when it is safe and prudent to do so.”

 

The Beachcomber offers a variety of ways that restaurants can promote their carry-out menus, similar to what The Grand has done:

Inserts – Single sheet menu inserts can be targeted to any of our 50 delivery zones, averaging 700 homes per zone. There’s a 5,000-sheet minimum commitment, which can be spread out over a large area or repeated within a smaller area. The cost is $60 per thousand; optionally we can lay out and/or print your menu to your specifications.

Advertisements – 16th-page ads ($85 each time, 4” wide by 2.5” high) can be used to let our readers know about your restaurant website address that features your carry-out menu items. This is ideal if you already have the ability to quickly change the content of your website.

Online/Print – Combination of a 16th-page print ad and online tile ad ($110 each time) includes a link to your website or your PDF menu, which is hosted on our website for download or printing by the customer. This approach is ideal if you cannot quickly change your online content but want to share your take-out menu via alternate means.

Call us at (562) 597-8000 for details and space reservations.

 

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? This week I learned about Zoom, a video conferencing tool that will allow connecting with multiple users – perfect for connecting with fellow members of Long Beach Rotary and Executives Association of Long Beach (EALB).

As president of EALB, I hosted a Zoom session for our members and discussed ways we could help each other during these uncertain times. Since we can’t meet at The Grand each Monday noon, our meetings are now virtual and members can (optionally) pick up a box lunch at The Grand or TGIS Catering as a new benefit.

Non-members interested in learning more about EALB can participate in our weekly video conference by contacting Executive Director Steven Caudillo at (562) 663-6416 or email longbeachexecs@gmail.com. Those who do so can take advantage of a free box lunch on us.

This old dog is looking forward to using Zoom to visit with our grandchildren during these days of isolation. I suspect we’ll be using it more often to connect with our relatives and friends in far-flung corners of the country.

Finally, we have an alternative to expensive airline travel and being treated like sardines in a tin can.

publisher@beachcomber.news

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Beachcomber

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