The Fish Tale is a Catch for Locals
From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 9
By Carin Merritt
It is the oldest seafood restaurant in Long Beach. The Fish Tale, owned by John and Jerry Bloeser, has been a staple since 1977. John claims, he’s “been on the job training for over 30 years.” That is a very humble attitude, considering The Fish Tale has been a popular spot to locals for decades.
Located on Britton Drive at Bellflower Boulevard, The Fish Tale is easily accessible.
It’s a “great place for younger people. We are casual with good service, and great fresh food,” says John, half of the Bloeser brother duo, who also owns a carpet company that’s been running longer than the Fish Tale, founded in 1879.
John and Jerry have been partners together since the beginning, and it works perfectly because they “love each other and trust each other.” This is evident in the success of the business. One important factor, John says, is “it’s a safe and clean place. The bathrooms are indicative of what the restaurant is like, and we like things that are neat, clean, and tidy.”
The décor remains similar, if not exact, to its original designs, with a beautiful fish tank, long open bar, cozy dining area, and the ability to watch as the cooks work their magic. Despite a brief closing down, and downsizing, the Fish Tale re-opened due to the demand of locals missing their sacred hangout. It is physically a smaller restaurant than before, now sharing the strip with an I-HOP on the corner.
The Fish Tale boasts an expansive menu, with an emphasis on fresh food. “Everything we have is fresh. All our seafood is fresh,” says John. “We don’t buy anything pre-breaded. The scampi we have served since day one. That has a secret sauce, which we sell. We [also] have a great cheeseburger, we never use frozen meat.”
While the fresh, quality food has remained the same, John admits that business is a little more competitive in this economy. The Fish Tale, however, has been able to offer a great happy hour, Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. and 10-3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday with half prices on appetizers and discounted drink prices.
Even more, the weekends provide a fantastic breakfast menu including a champagne brunch. Unprecedented is the great omelet bar with an option of 18 different items to choose from. For only $12, simply fill a bowl with as many assortments of ingredients that will fit, and watch as the cook prepares the three-egg, hand-picked omelet.
A full bar, with a diverse wine and beer list, is part of the Fish Tale; however, this is not a place to come party late night or bring a huge crowd. John puts it this way, “If you want to come in with a date, a small group, have dinner, we’re a great place for you. It’s not Hof’s Hut or a coffee shop and it’s not King’s Fish house, we are in between.”
Another fantastic aspect of this restaurant is that they like to hire people who are inexperienced, young locals. It is supportive of high school and college students who need a place to grow and learn, and also need flexibility in order to succeed in school. John assures that “we have a lot of regulars [and] our customers are forgiving if we make a mistake.”
For more information on The Fish Tale, visit their website at www.fishtaleseafood.com.