Elinor. An Uncommon Drinkery For Common People.
Long Beach Gift Shop/Art Gallery MADE by Millworks Set to Open In-House Drinkery
Story and photos by Matt Cohn
Long Beach, California is a city where hard-working, powerful and influential women are MADE.
We can brag about our native daughter Billie Jean King, the outspoken and pioneering tennis legend who took home 39 Grand Slam titles---and a well-publicized victory over Mr. Bobby Riggs in 1973 which gave women's professional sports a huge boost.
Dorothy Buffum Chandler spent her formative years in Long Beach, going on to become a high-powered matron of the arts and Director Emeritus of the Los Angeles Times.
This month, woman-owned-and-operated MADE will pay homage to another towering figure in Long Beach women's history when store owner Michelle Molina opens Elinor - an uncommon drinkery for common people.
“The name of the new drinkery is a nod to barrier-breaking women, and Long Beach’s own history” says Michelle Molina.
Long Beach resident Elinor Otto, 99, an original “Rosie,” began wielding the rivet gun in early 1942, spending 50 years of her career in Long Beach building airplanes for Douglas and Boeing. She helped produce every iteration of the C-17 transport plane. Elinor has been dubbed “The Last Rosie the Riveter,” working until the age of 95 when Boeing closed the plant.
"Oh, how sweet!" said Ms. Otto, when she was told about this new downtown spot.
The drinkery is housed in the former loading bay of MADE. The alley entrance, cement flooring, galvanized steel air ducts, and chain-link fencing give the space a factory feel. These throwback elements might very well inspire a bar patron to take a flight of fancy back to the days of the old, hardscrabble, sea-faring downtown Long Beach and its shop workers, sailors, longshoremen, and vagabonds.
Elinor will feature a rotating menu of craft beers, wines and non-alcohol options from local, independent, or woman-owned breweries, wineries, and crafters. They’ll also be projecting cult classic movies and TV shows and will feature free Wifi for those looking for a dark place to hang out.
This is the newest addition to MADE’s mixed-use space which includes the retail shop & art gallery, the In The Clouds art gallery, and the Nuts N’ Bolts event venue. With all of these spaces combined, you can expect lots of creative programming such as art openings, live music, Sunday Funday crafternoons, hosted game nights, story telling, and variety shows on the zany, comedic side.
"So many out-of-towners come into MADE," says manager Heather Kern. "They will be thrilled to discover a hidden local watering hole in the back of the building, a place that's casual where they can plan what to do next in Long Beach."
Elinor promises to be a spot where both locals and visitors alike can raise a toast to the independent, down-to-earth spirit of Long Beach, past, present, and future.
The drinkery plans to open its doors on March 21---National Rosie The Riveter Day.
For up to date information, like and follow Elinor on Facebook at www.facebook.com/elinordrinkery or on instagram at @elinordrinkery
The new bar's vibe is an extension of MADE's approach --- casual and unpretentious, with a healthy serving of creative edginess.
The drinkery will reflect the DIY spirit which has helped MADE become such a successful venue for local artisans and artists since it opened in 2014
With the addition of Elinor, MADE has rebranded with a new logo, done in vintage tattoo style (artwork by Michelle Truong aka Mickey T from Outer Limits Tattoo Long Beach). It’s a stylized image of a “Rosie the Riveter,” evoking sisterhood and female empowerment. The Elinor logo (artwork by Heather Kern) is in the shape of a mechanic's patch and contains symbols of Elinor Otto's work heritage.