Every time a preplanned, cross-branded, faux dive bar opens up, a city loses a little part of its soul. It's also troubling when real dives (those beautifully bummy booze boxes) try to go upscale, edging out the genuine regulars in favor of hipper-snappers. So we worried when we heard that Max Steiners — a venerable, 50-year-old Long Beach dive that opens at 6 a.m. and is one of the delightfully filthiest we've seen — recently rebranded itself as Candi Bar. But instead of going classy, they simply brought out some boobs — the bartenders now wear bikini tops and shorter shorts. But otherwise it's the same grime, the same decor, the same motley cadre of crass regulars, the same cheap booze, the same dingy floor. In fact, as we went to press, we learned that they've even changed their name back to Max Steiners. All in all, it's a makeover the way we like our dive-bar makeovers — minimal. 2500 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach. (562) 433-5823, maxsteiners.com.
—Paul T. Bradley
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