COCKTAILS & NEW LATIN GRILL
By day, Roxanne's Lounge in historic California Heights serves up its Latin-inpired menu, mixing its owner's Central American heritage with American bar favorites.
By night, it's an upscale neighborhood bar with dapper bartenders, a password-only speakeasy in the back and a lineup of house craft cocktails unlike anywhere else in Long Beach.
When Molina opened Roxanne's in early 2011, his main goal was to dissociate the new project from the dingy, sports bar that had previously occupied his 1944 structure. He pulled out the low-slung drop ceiling, initiated a simple weekend dress code and told his bartenders not to be afraid to turn off the TVs and force people to talk to one another instead.
In the last year, the menu has gone from bar foods to abuelita-crafted Latin favorites. The macro drafts are now mostly craft beer. And big changes have been made to the bar's cocktail program with vest-wearing bartenders, who expertly shake fresh juices and small-batch spirits into an affordable pinkie-out worthy cocktail.
"This is the place to step into the world of craft and expand your palate," he says. "It’s entry-level here at Roxanne’s. We made the switch to the more small-batch, craft spirits and want to help people learn that there’s all these great flavors and here’s the reason why. It’s just about using the better products."