Ruiz moved to Long Beach last year and quickly became a regular at the bottle shop and taproom, which opened in late 2013 as the city's first retail beer store to offer on-site consumption (à la Echo Park's Sunset Beer). The operation is on the bottom floor of the historic Walker Lofts and includes a small kitchen.
“I live next door to Public, so it was easy for me to go there after work and enjoy a beer,” Ruiz says. “I loved the selection, and I loved the employees. When the opportunity came about to buy it, I went for it.”
Ruiz — along with partners Gino and Annaliese Espinosa – took ownership of Public at the beginning of this month and are slowly converting it into a satellite location of Corazón y Miel, minus the cocktails.
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This means (for now) that every Friday and Saturday starting at 6 p.m., Public will serve a small menu of 10 to 12 items off of Corazón y Miel's antojitos menu, along with other bar-appropriate snacks. Last weekend's lineup included the nutty ceviche de corazón, pig skin two ways and a small cast-iron skillet filled with meaty queso fundido. More items and increased availability will come in the future.
Wash it all down with a wide selection of local and regional craft beer (available on draft or from the bottle fridge), including cerveza artesanal from Baja California like Fauna and Agua Mala.
“It's still Public, but it's owned by me, and the food is branded with Corazón y Miel,” Ruiz says. “It's been a work in progress, and we're testing it out, but for now it's a permanent pop-up at my own space.”
Public Beer Wine, 121 W. Fourth St., Long Beach; (562) 499-0415, publicbeerwineshop.com.