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Wide Eyes Open Palms in Long Beach closed its kitchen

At Wide Eyes Open Palms, Long Beach’s only coffee shop owned and operated by queer women, the kitchen is closed for the foreseeable future, but the cafe remains open.

Kat McIver, who runs the business with her partner, Angie Evans, announced on social media Sunday that it was the last day for kitchen service.

The cafe is open Thursday – Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Today, Sunday January 30, will be the final day of the hot line kitchen service at WeOp for the foreseeable future,” McIver said on social media. “We don’t think, and we don’t want to believe, that this will be THE final service. I hope that I will have the strength to come back, that the labor market will change, that the appeal and attraction of working at WeOp will be found by the right passionate people.”

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During the pandemic, McIver and another person were essentially the only line cooks because nobody would stay longer than three months.

Then, the line cook and dishwasher quit this week, she said.

“The prospect of scrambling to find replacements again is just too much,” McIver said. 

Evans and McIver initially opened Wide Eyes Open Palms as a pop-up coffee shop at the Bixby Park Farmers Market with their sights set on having a brick-and-mortar location. Three years later, they built their dream one cup of coffee at a time.

Wide Eyes Open Palms brick and mortar shop opened April 2017 on Cherry Avenue just around the corner from Fourth Street’s Retro Row.

Evans is the barista. McIver is the chef.

Wide Eyes Open Palms proudly says they have “The queerest coffee in town.”

Wide Eyes Open Palms

Kat McIver, left, and Angie Evans proudly proclaim they have “The queerest coffee in town.”
The Long Beach lesbian couple co-own Wide Eyes Open Palms, a comfy coffee shop and cafe on Cherry Avenue just around the corner from Fourth Street’s Retro Row. McIver announced Sunday that the kitchen portion is closed, but the cafe remains open. Photo: Q Voice News file photo.

Wide Eyes Open Palms not only serves gourmet coffee and fresh-baked pastries made from seasonal ingredients available at Long Beach’s farmers markets, but also creates a sense of community for feminists and the queer community.

At this time, McIver said they need community support “more than ever.

“If you would ever like to see a reimagined kitchen come to life, we need you to come and support. Buy our retail and grab and go items that I will be creating by myself and will have available in our retail refrigerator,” she said.

“Come by to see the unique and lovingly handmade sweets and savories that our small but mighty pastry team create daily,” McIver said. “And come enjoy the beautiful beverages that our stellar front of house team create.”

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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