Brent Bolthouse knows how to throw a good house party, having garnered plenty of experience with Golden Globe parties and other soirees in the Hollywood Hills. Eventually, he was able to take this talent and transform it into an immersive cocktail lounge: The Bungalow.
On March 12, The Bungalow Kitchen within Long Beach’s 2ND & PCH will temporarily close to, for the most part, nix the dining element. When it reopens this spring, he says it will finally reflect his original lounge-y, houseparty concept, complete with DJs and multiple spaces to enjoy, he told the Post on Thursday.
“We want to be an extension of your living room,” Bolthouse said. “We want you to say, ‘Hey I’m having a house party for 10 people—oh my god it grew to 25—let’s go to The Bungalow instead of destroying the house.’”
The Long Beach location, he says, will be the best version of The Bungalow yet.
“It all is an evolution and we learned a lot in Santa Monica. We learned a lot in Huntington Beach. They say, third time’s the charm,” Bolthouse said.
After opening the first two locations, Bolthouse decided to bring his vision to Long Beach.
Unfortunately, that decision happened in 2020. When the pandemic hit, the global crisis slammed the brakes on plans to open anything, really, let alone a place to imbibe.
So, in March 2021, Bolthouse and his business partner chef Michael Mina created The Bungalow Kitchen—a savvy pivot that satisfied pandemic requirements and simultaneously became a hit within the Long Beach dining scene. That concept will live on across the state, in Marin County’s Tiburon, while Mina exits the Long Beach location.
While the kitchen concept was well received, Bolthouse said he wanted to get back to his original plan of bringing something entirely new to Long Beach. Aside from the now-shuttered Federal Bar, the city has always lacked something quite as immersive as The Bungalow.
Now that COVID-era restrictions have completely dissolved, Bolthouse will be able to bring his “airy rock ‘n’ roll oasis” to 2ND & PCH, where guests will be able to meander through different themed rooms and outdoor areas, drink in hand.
When the 10,000 square-foot space reopens, it will offer four full-service bars, multiple rooms and brand new lounge furnishings—all available for guests to enjoy until 2 a.m. Tables will largely be cleared of spaces like the Sun Room, which wasn’t intended to be a dining space.
“It wasn’t really designed for dining…I think once we pivot to a bar, it will really get activated as this great lounge space,” he said.
The location will still serve small bites and appetizers. Bolthouse said he will bring back Bungalow’s beloved pizzas, as well as brunch breakfast burritos on Saturdays and Sundays.
Bolthouse designed The Bungalow as a multi-generational space that would attract and make everyone feel welcome, from Cal State Long Beach students to parents in need of a brief retreat.
“If anything, we’re going to have a good time and we’re going to bring something really fun and really beautiful—and really a great place to celebrate life,” Bolthouse said.
The Bungalow Kitchen, within 2ND & PCH at 6400 E. Pacific Coast Highway, will remain open until March 12 on Wednesdays through Fridays from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Bungalow will reopen in the spring and shift to later hours.