28 Another recent development in the City of Long Beach also pays tribute to one of the city’s leading industries – shipping. SteelCraft, opened in February 2017 in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach, is an outdoor eatery uniquely constructed with repurposed shipping containers. The 15,000-square-foot communal dining space currently houses eight vendors offering craft food and drink – from pizza, ramen and waffles to chocolates and coffee. The project is the realization of a dream to connect over great food, great beer and great coffee, says founder Kim Gros, who notes that the development seeks to hold true to three core val- ues: building community among patrons and vendors, celebrating high- quality craft through thoughtfully created culinary products, and ensuring sustainability and the restoration of resources. “We’ve tried to build something by listening to the com- munity and really fig- uring out the needs and desires and wants – and really filling the gap that seems to exist in the commu- nity,” Gros says. “It’s been exciting to create quite a diversity of product. . . . It’s better than I could’ve ever imagined. I walk into SteelCraft and I feel like I’m constantly in awe of how well received it is by the community.” Similar to SOCO and The OC Mix, SteelCraft attracts a wide range of in- dividuals from the community, from young to old, hipsters to families, Gros says. “When you walk into SteelCraft you have the diversity of the city,” she says. “It doesn’t fit a specific demographic, and that’s been the beauty of SteelCraft. It represents the DNA of Long Beach.” In June, Gros and her partners received approval to build a second SteelCraft location – this time in Garden Grove. Scheduled to be com- pleted in 2018, SteelCraft Garden Grove will boast twice as much square footage as SteelCraft Long Beach, with more than a dozen vendors that will cater not only to the culture of Garden Grove, but also share Steel- Craft’s values of restoration and sustainability, craft and community, Gros says. Echoing Burnham’s sentiment that curating tenancy is key to the success of food halls, Gros notes that SteelCraft does its due diligence when it comes to finding the right fit. “We desire vendors that want to come in and be part of something ex- citing,” Gros says. “They’re a team player. They’re there to create the best product because they understand that the reputation of everybody is on each other’s shoulders.” As for the future, Gros says she and her partners will actively seek to re- activate communities through craft food and social connection. “We plan to just build and build,” Gros says. “Our hope is that we con- tinue to be part of bringing life to communities, and that could be done in so many places.” ■ 28 “We plan to just build and build. Our hope is that we continue to be part of bringing life to communities, and that could be done in so many places.” Kim Gros, Founder SteelCraft Long Beach Exchange (LBX) is under construction by Burnham Ward Properties at Douglas Park, adjacent to the Long Beach Airport. The unique shopping destination is on schedule to open in May 2018. 2017_18Pages_OlsonCopy_PortAnniversary 12/22/17 11:31 AM Page 28