morry's of naples
ABOUT: Born in Calgary Canada in 1914, with French and Russian heritage, Morry Rabin was raised in a family fond of wine and excellent food. As a young child his family decided to relocate to southern California, and sadly at the age of fourteen his father passed away. As the eldest son, Morry took on the responsibility of supporting his family. He held a lengthy string of odd jobs, including everything from newspaper boy to hauling oranges over the grapevine. In February of 1938 he made a gamble that would pay off big for the Rabin family and the local community. He opened a small convenience store on 2nd street in heart of the Belmont Shore shopping section of Long Beach.
By 1951, the business had outgrown its current location. Morry moved the business down just one block to a slightly larger building, but the store quickly outgrew that space as well. A building on Naples Island became available. It had much more space, but it was a big risk. At the time there was no bridge linking Pacific Coast Highway from the South to 2nd street, the street simply ended on Naples Island. But Morry’s innate entrepreneurial instinct told him the risk was worth it, and so Morry’s of Naples, the second store, was born.
To keep his entrepreneurial venture a success Morry worked unimaginable hours. His days at the store started at 6:00 A.M. and ended at 2:00 A.M. In addition to his enormous dedication to the store, Morry was also extremely dedicated to his community and generous with his philanthropic efforts. He was extremely generous with charitable contributions and offering a friendly hand, cashing checks or lending advances to many of the neighboring locals when times were tough.
When wine drinking became a trendy indulgence in the 1970’s Harvey Rabin followed in the entrepreneurial footsteps of his father and decided on stocking an inventory of wines from around the world. He also opened a temperature controlled wine locker facility where customers could store their private collections. Harvey’s wife, Cherie was affected by the contagious Morry’s entrepreneurial bug as well, and decided to get the Morry’s store involved with a nationwide organization known as, “Les Amis Du Vin,” or, “friends of wine,” of which Morry’s became the affiliate in Long Beach. With connection to this organization, Cherie began to host wine tasting events at local hotels for up to 100 people at a time. The success and inspiration from this experience led Cherie and Harvey to conceptualize and launch their next project, a wine bar inside of Morry’s of Naples.
After spending years abroad traveling the world, their son Ken returned home, finished his university education, and became involved in the day to day operations and growth of Morry’s of Naples. Ken recognized the need for change to keep up with the growing wine and spirits sophistication in the U.S. and began to reformulate the business. In 2005, Ken gave the go ahead to expand the wine bar from its original size into more of comfortable lounge atmosphere, another first for the Long Beach area. The dim, old room where card games took place late at night and where patrons would squeeze into to taste the newest from Napa was gone, but in its place, a beautiful and much more spacious lounge was launched – the now hot spot of “The Backroom” was born. Later that year Ken was joined by his sister, Anne, who has since helped with the growth and expansion of the business, bringing in fine artisan food and gifts to polish Morry’s to a point their parents Harvey and Cherie (and their grandfather, Morry who sadly passed away in 1989), might never have imagined…
Morry's of Naples
5764 E 2nd Street
Long Beach, CA 90803