Do you want content like this delivered to your inbox?


Local Business Highlight: The Ordinarie

Beatrix Whipple
Feb 16 5 minutes read

Local Business Highlight: The Ordinarie

Local Business Highlight: The Ordinarie

By Lindsey Goodrow

The Ordinarie is an ironic name for a gathering spot that is anything but. Located in the Promenade, a six-block-long thoroughfare in the heart of Downtown Long Beach, The Ordinarie breaks free from the constraints of an ordinary restaurant by serving as an establishment for people of all persuasions to enjoy epic entertainment and ambiance. Lucky for Long Beach, they just launched an all-new food and cocktail menu and we can’t wait to enjoy it.

Owner, Christy Caldwell

The concept behind this local tavern is pulled straight from American folklore — In 1634, The Laws of Commonwealth stated that: 

“Every community is required by law to build an Ordinarie for the receiving, refreshment, and entertainment of travelers and strangers.”

Ordinaries were not only commonplace from the very start of American culture, but necessary places for weary travelers to rest up during their long and winding journeys. While these businesses did indeed supply drinks and food, they also offered refuge and comfort. This is exactly what the owner of The Ordinarie, Christy Caldwell, had in mind when he decided to open his business.

If you’re fortunate enough to meet Caldwell, perhaps while eating the famed french dip sandwich or drinking a Last Word on a plush bar stool of The Ordinarie, you will immediately notice his soft Irish accent. Born in Bulcrana, a small town along the Irish Coast, Caldwell was thrust into hospitality from a young age. He grew up in a long line of tavern owners, himself being a 4th generation barkeeper. From a very young age, he began working at his grandad’s own version of an ordinarie, called Mcgrorys. Caldwell started helping out there “as soon as [he] was tall enough to reach the Guinness tap”. 

Having grown up in the hospitality business, it felt like the natural order of things for Caldwell to continue servicing the community in this way. He left Ireland for California in 1998, settling into the South Bay and working at an Irish bar in Hermosa Beach. When he could get away, he traveled all around the United States, falling in love with the traditional bar culture in cities like New York and San Francisco. He appreciated the way these bars paid homage to American history, and would himself end up recreating such a business.

Before opening The Ordinarie, Caldwell bartended and managed the Auld Dubliner, a famous Irish pub in downtown Long Beach, known to be the top buyer of Guinness in all of California. While he began working at this “classic, convivial Irish haunt”,  he fell in love with the vibe of Long Beach, which felt remarkably different than the Los Angeles he had gotten used to in the South Bay. Long Beach culture — the art, music, and bar ambiance – made him feel right at home. He would continue working at and thriving in the Auld Dubliner for 13 years before opening his own establishment.

When The Ordinarie finally opened its doors in 2018, it was immediately noticed as paying respect to its Art Deco roots. Nestled in a retro building that once housed the Blue Cafe, The Ordinarie kept the streamlined elegance of the architecture intact and even hung up aerodynamic signage that doesn’t compromise the style of the building. 

The Ordinarie quickly became a Long Beach favorite for locals and visitors alike due to their craft cocktails, delicious grub, and live music. Once stepping foot in this establishment, patrons immediately feel at ease and welcome. This is a business that values comfort, tradition, and festivity. 

The Ordinarie, while brilliantly sticking to its old traditions, manages to evolve into something new and exciting with this menu launch. Since opening its doors, it has served as a welcoming presence in the heart of downtown and will continue to do so in the future. For delicious food, impeccable cocktails, excellent hospitality, and great music, drop into The Ordinarie.⁠

To find out more about The Ordinarie, you can visit their website here.

We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience and deliver our services. By continuing to visit this site, you agree to our use of cookies. More info