Shine's Bar in Long Beach celebrates 101 years
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Plans for a centennial bash were washed out by superstorm Sandy, so the owners of a popular Long Beach tavern marked their 101st year in business instead.
Now they can proudly add Sandy to the list of hardships Shine's has overcome since the doors opened in 1912 -- including two world wars, Prohibition and the Great Depression.
The milestone was marked Saturday, with regulars stopping by the unassuming California Street landmark to trade stories about favorite memories.
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For 35 years, Michael Diamond of Long Beach has sat at the bar, never knowing who he'd meet, but always having a good time.
"When you come in, you just never know," said Diamond, 55. "There may be a millionaire, or people with no money whatsoever. But everyone is the same."
One night in 2007, a man from Ireland hosted a 70th birthday party that packed the pub with people from around the world, Diamond recalled.
The nearly 2,000-square-foot building was built as a home in the late 1800s before being transformed into a bar.
Eugene Shine, the original owner, sold the place to Michael Delury in 1946, who passed the business to Brent Wilson eight years ago.
"It's one of the last places you'll find like this," said Wilson, 33, who owns the bar with his father.
Inside, walls are filled with pictures of loyal customers and artifacts of old sins. There's a black-and-white photo of officers pouring out illegal booze during Prohibition. An empty pack of Old Gold cigarettes is preserved in a frame.
A few weeks before the planned centennial last fall, Sandy struck, filling the building with 3 feet of floodwater. The damage totaled about $250,000, Wilson said.
Today, Shine's is bustling and boisterous, like always.
"It's a community bar with handsome bartenders," quipped Nicole Hutchinson, 28, who became a regular after moving to Long Beach in 2007.
"This place has an interesting crowd, especially on Sundays, and it feels like home," she said.