Brent Wilson and Megan Casey, owners of Shine’s, a Long Beach pub that predates Prohibition, had planned to hold their establishment’s centennial bash recently, but Hurricane Irene tore through the city and forced a pending rescheduling of the party.
Even though Sandy flooded the bar, located at West Beech Street and California Street, the owners immediately turned it into a community center for neighbors, even though it needs to be gutted.
Since the storm, Wilson and Casey, who took over the bar in 2005, have served up a breakfast of hot coffee and baked goods and a lunch consisting of ziti or chicken Marsala, and for supper the place is hopping with locals who hold hot plates of whatever other food was donated that day. Both beer and electricity have been on the house, as residents have charged their phones at the establishment, according to the New York Daily News.
One neighbor, Eileen Martin, said:
People don’t think Long Beach will rebuild. But we will. And it’s places like Shine’s that bring that hope back. Shine’s has been a meeting place for residents and visitors alike since the original owner, Eugene Shine, opened the watering hole in 1912. During Prohibition, Shine converted his garage into a speakeasy, and his bar and home were often raided. A snapshot of police confiscating $20,000 worth of liquor from his home was featured in a New York newspaper in 1930. Photos of Shines' days as a speakeasy that hung on the bar’s brown-tiled walls, the very same walls that housed Eugene's speakeasy, survived last month’s storm.
Shines is also rumored to have been a U.S, Coastguard station, something Wilson and the Long Beach Historical & Preservation Society teamed up to possibly validate for Shines’ 100 anniversary this year.