One thing about this place though is it’s always busy on the weekends. On a recent trip, I decided to take my parents since the weather was just gorgeous in the South Bay. Even arriving at 2pm, we were met with a 45 minute wait. It’s obviously a long time to wait but the food is worth it. Thankfully, they have an outside bar so you can enjoy a cocktail while you wait. People often bring the Sunday paper and hang out on the benches overlooking the water, sipping on a mimosa.
For me, the bloody mary is the way to go. I think they have the best bloody mary I’ve tried. Extra spicy, salt on the rim please! I will say their Madras is good too (champagne, orange juice, and cranberry juice). And for beer lovers (which I definitely am too), they have beers in the schooners! I don’t believe they will serve the schooners while you are waiting (plastic only) but I could be wrong.
So, after about 20 minutes we were called and lucked out with the perfectly sunny spot overlooking the marina. For me, no need to even look at the menu – I always get their speciality dish, originally called “Schultzie’s Mess”, now just called, “The Mess”. No changes allowed to The Mess – chopped ham, bell pepper, onion, grilled with hash browns and eggs. You have the option of the half mess, $7.75 or the full mess, $9.25. The half mess is pretty big but I opted for the full so I have breakfast in the morning before I was leaving again! My parents both ordered their mushroom and swiss burger, topped with sour cream, $8.55.
One thing I love about this restaurant is it’s family owned and the family presence is known. Some of the girls who work there are local friends of the family and the place just has that cozy neighborhood cafe feel. It’s mostly regulars who go and I even recognized faces from when I lived there 4 years ago. The family(Denny and Denise Lund) who purchased the restaurant from the Schultz’s are born and raised in Long Beach and have worked hard to keep this place an original.
If you happen to be in Long Beach, I definitely recommend checking it out. It’s on the fringe of Long Beach in Alamitos Harbor, right at the border of Seal Beach. It’s somewhat hidden behind the Seal Beach Yacht Club but in the same plaza as Joe’s Crab Shack. Weekdays are usually a bit less crowded but note they are only open daily for breakfast and lunch.
Note: Schooner or Later was featured on the Food Network so the wait time tends to increase whenever the episode is aired again. Guy Fieri hosts one of my favorite shows called Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and stopped by Schooner or Later on the episode, Off the Hook Specials.
Schooner or Later
241 N. Marina Dr.
Long Beach, CA 90803
Tel: (562) 430-3495