Long Beach

Long Beach diner staff reunite to save 55-year-old restaurant 

Former servers and cooks returned to Egg Heaven in hopes of keeping the breakfast diner afloat.

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Egg Heaven, a fixture in Long Beach’s Belmont Heights neighborhood since the 1960s, is on the verge of closing after four tough years since the pandemic and the departure of most of its long-time staff. 

Gaby Sanchez, one of its former waitresses, is the head of the operation and said she is working to save it and has reunited the old staff to help. 

“I made it a mission not to let this place go,” said Sanchez. “I told her (the owner) to give us a chance, one last chance. I was going to recruit a group and get Egg Heaven back to what it was or make it better,” said Sanchez. 

Sanchez convinced the owner, Ramona Streit, to give her, another waitress, two former cooks and one new staff member a chance to drum up customers and save Egg Heaven.

The first couple of months were tough, with just a few of the old regulars returning and not enough new customers coming through the doors.

But in the last few days business has picked up and locals are rediscovering a staple in the community.

“For being a weekday here it’s packed! We are happy to see it,” said Mark Altenstadter, a long-time customer. “We are just happy it’s back.”

“Yesterday and today it’s been busy,” said Maggie Mendiza, a waitress who returned to save the diner. “ We need help from customers and they are responding.”

Sanchez says she hopes Egg Haven continues to see steady clientele as the future of the diner depends on it.

“It’s working! I’m excited,” said Sanchez. “I need this to be like an everyday thing… if it’s possible.”

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