Are They Really Not Going To Cover That?

park play areaHow does this new play area at Holman Park in Fresno, not have some sort of awning built into the budget?

Has anyone in the parks department tried putting their kid down a slide in Fresno in the summer? It burns. It sticks. I’m pretty sure it’s child abuse.

IT GETS FREAKING HOT!

In the Summer, you basically won’t be able to use it during the day. Just so you know – in case kids weird you out and you don’t know much about them – children like playing in the day. Sorta key for a play area to useful when the sun is out.

I’m speaking up for the kids…yeah that’s the ticket, for the kids. I, an adult male, would never want to play on this. Because I’m an adult and that would be silly. That slide doesn’t look inviting at all:

park slide

FIXABLE

Maybe it’s not too late. Maybe it’s going to be the last thing they install, since they are not quite done with the project. But I see no evidence of it.

Come on, guys, I want to slide-it-up in the shade… I mean my kid. My kid really wants to slide it up.

Who Else Likes Fresno Video?

Years ago, doing this blog, there wasn’t much Fresno video content out there to talk about. Any time somebody shot a video at all Fresno-ish that wasn’t horrendous, it became post worthy.

Things have changed. Video is easier to do. ¬†Although, I don’t¬†shoot local shows like I used to, so it must be tough for me.

So, I thought I would check in on some folks I remember that were just getting started in the game. Folks like Windsong, Blare, Ppl and Meza Films.

Shots of Downtown Fresno and Eva Scow? I feel like I will like this:

Yep. I did. Now who has some rad drone shots of Downtown Fresno?

Thanks, Terry. Please don’t fly over my pool at 10 o’clock at night – you will not like the footage that comes back. And by the way, did NOT see that as a video that would be possible 10-years ago.

Don’t forget, Arthop is Thursday:

It’s exciting seeing all the creativeness going on in the video space in Fresno. I’ll keep watching if you keep making stuff.

The Beer That Should Be Served In Fresno Movie Theaters

Tioga taps via WhoseCraft.com
Tioga taps via WhoseCraft.com

So I hear that beer is coming to some Fresno area theaters. Yeah I know, Tower Theatre has had it all along during festivals and monthly films, but it’s not your everyday theater. This is different.

This is megaplex beer. A beer you can have while watching a Marvel, DC or Star Wars movie. That sounds pretty damn rad to me.

If things go as planned, Fresno’s Manchester and Clovis’s Sierra Vista, will be serving beer (and wine too but, whatev) starting in August or September.

Since I am part of a craft beer show, I feel a beer obligation, a ‘beerglation’ if you will, to help out with the tap-list. I assume they will have draft beer served in plastic cups of some sort.

Here is what I think the tap list should be and I’m choosing ALL LOCAL, baby! Because #drinklocal. I am going to guess and say there will be ten taps, so I picked ten.

This is not MY dream list, but the most accessable list matching with the best local beer.

REGAL MANCHESTER 16 CENTER TAP LIST
  • 99 Golden AleTioga Sequoia Brewing. This is the kind of beer every beer drinker can enjoy on one level or another. The most universal you can put on tap. It’s a BEER.
  • Bog Man BrownHouse Of Pendragon Brewing. Browns don’t get enough attention, which is odd since most people are OK with them. There needs to be one on tap.
  • Hard Root BeerRiley’s Brewing. If you like your sodas hard, this one is that, plus it’s super tasty.
  • Mt. Whitney Extra Pale Ale – Tioga Sequoia. Best pale in town (if you like them on the hoppy side) and won’t get ya to messed up – aka: you can drink more.
  • Pacific PorterPine & Palm Brewing. Fresno’s newest brewer and showing a lot of potential. This one is getting good buzz too.
  • Tenaya RedSouthgate Brewing. Everything is super nice from these guys, this red is no exception.
  • Lancelot IPA – House Of Pendragon Brewing. At times it is the best IPA in the Valley, hands down.
  • Blonde BomberTactical Ops Brewing. Everybody loves blondes, yeah?
  • Hobo PilsnerDust Bowl Brewing. Excellent pilsner and it’s another universal beer that would sell well.
  • Slauncher Imperial IPAKaweah Brewing. You gotta have at least one beer that’s going to kick ya hard… plus I have yet (I hear it’s pretty damn tasty) to try it and I just want to have it available in town somewhere.

Is this realistic? No. It’s probably going to be Bud Light and Shock Top or something with similar crapness. But a dude can hope.

LETS NOT EFF THIS UP, GUYS

Hopefully, no matter what beer it is, this brings Fresno one step closer to getting one of those kick-ass Alamo Drafthouses:

Pretty rad. They do have about 22 of those Alamo places spread out through the Southwest and one in SF, so it’s a possibility for Fresno.

We must mind our manners though and show people, like Alamo Drafthouse, that we deserve good beer in our movie theaters. Do you think we can do that, kids?

Let me know what beer you would want to have “on” in a movie theater or if you think Fresno can handle beer & wine at the movies! Leave a comment or Tweet me – @thefresnan.

(photo cred: WhoseCraft.com)

Follow Up: A Visit To The New Popolo’s Pizza

New Popolo's Inside

Of course we waited for a table. It’s new and this is Fresno, dammit! Even if it’s an old-new place, we are packing it. The re-birthed place that we (and a lot of Fresnans) waited for is Popolo’s Pizza.

Hey, I know I know, I just reviewed another old-new pizza and beer place in Fresno, but we cried when the old Pops closed so I had to follow up and bring everything full pizza circle.

The Walk In

They still have the box car. There are booths! They seem to have transferred some of the wood paneling from the old place. The paneling looks a bit out-of-place if you had never been in the old one, but it felt good seeing as a veteran of the Blackstone one.

Also like that they kept the arcade going and the food hasn’t changed nor the prices. Welllll, the salad bar is different but more on that in a second.

This Is The New Stuff

Popolo's Pizza Bar

A bar! There’s a bar! You can see the taps now (they were hidden at the old place). Plus more beer! There is also much more seating! And an outside patio! I have not been on the patio yet but it looks cool and I hear it is dog friendly.

Salad Bar Disappointment

Popolo's new salad bar

It just does not measure up to the old one, does it? Nope. Sad little trays instead of pretty bowls amongst ice. BUT WAIT! A quote from Popolo’s themselves (on The Fresnan’s Instagram page) about the salad bar:

“The salad bar is ‘under construction’ still at the moment. Keep an eye out for the improvement one it. It won’t disappoint.”

YES! Somebody listens to bloggers in this town.

Let The Mourning Begin

I was surprised to feel something after going to the new Pops. I felt a sense of loss. The closing of the old place finally hit me.  It’s never coming back. I will never set foot in there again.

No matter how nice and cool they make the new one. No matter how many nods to the original and no matter how smart a move it was (and I can’t blame them a bit for it), I miss the old place and always will.

Thank you Popolo’s for keeping the place alive, even in another form. And thank you old Popolo’s for giving me all the tube TV, icy salads, beer, big booths and pizza feels for all those years.

The Portals Into Fresno: Which Is Best?

Fresno Sign by David Husted

What are the best entry points to Fresno?

Let’s say you are escorting a person into Fresno that has never been here before and you want to make the most Fresno-y impression. Where are you getting off the freeway? What do you want them seeing first?

Many things to consider here. Do you go for the cleanest? The most representative? Most relevant? Most interesting?

Simply, what entry point would you use?

Shaw and 99. You’ve got the Forestiere Underground Gardens, the convenience of getting off Highway 99 and In & Out. But it looks like shit. Weeds and fast food. Could be a decent spot if they cleaned up the area around Underground Gardens and made it more of a park and light touristy area. But they aren’t.

Blackstone and Friant/Nees (AKA River Park). For some this would be impressive. If you’re going South on Blackstone from Nees it looks sorta nice. And there are those that just like new stuff. They like shopping. They like chain stores. This Fresno portal has all of that.

Herndon and 99. There is a bunch of new businesses there on the other side of the tracks. Northernmost entrance. Rademacher even plays a song about it, so that’s something – one of my favorite all-time songs by a local band, btw:

Shaw and 41. Well the Silver Dollar is no longer there so that’s all screwed. But there is Heroes Comics and Rocket Dog and that’s a rad representation of Fresno, in this nerd’s mind. Plus right there is Shaw & Blackstone which is considered the cross-streets of the Valley.

The Airport. I guess if somebody is flying in you don’t have much of a choice. I don’t see too many United flights landing at Sierra Sky Park. As it has been written, I am fond of Fresno Yosemite International (yep, flying to Mexico counts as “International”, look it up, bro). Plus Swear Bear greets travelers over the PA, touting Fresno’s awesomeness.

Herndon and 41. No chance for me here. It’s just an excuse to wedge in an old “Cross Streets” video from Dumb Drum:

The Amtrak Station. I kinda like this one. Nice area of Downtown. You can pop onto a freeway and get anywhere in the city in 15 minutes.

Tulare and 41. Maybe when the Farmers Market food court was there but I don’t want a Starbucks and Office Depot representing the entrance to my city.

Highway 99 and Fresno Street. It has Fresno street in the name. Center of Downtown and about where Fresno literally started. The Chuk is right there. The Downtown Fresno skyline is staring back at you. But it’s kinda sketch.

Shaw and 168. Fresno State. Doghouse Grill. Save Mart Center. The new Campus Point thingamathing. Looking kinda good here. WAIT! Clovis is on the other side of the freeway. Fuck. That. Way too close.

TOO DAMN MANY CHOICES

I wanna go with the Airport. But I think a place where you drive into Fresno would be a more accurate way to figure this out. Hummmmmm.

Screw it: Shaw & 41. Not the nicest for sure but best represents the City as a whole. I guess. Not real excited about that.

What do you think? What was missed? I’m expecting some comments on this one. Don’t make me look like a douche and leave me with no comments on this post, Fresnan.

(Fresno Sign photo by David Husted)

How To Deal With Self Service Beer At Me-N-Ed’s Pizza

self service taps

In case you haven’t noticed, the Bullard and West Me-N-Ed’s Pizza has been remodeled and added something Fresno has never seen: Self Service Beer Taps.

Run for the bluffs, post T-Ball pizza meetup, this may be too crazy for the kids!

SELF SERVING BREAKDOWN

Here is how it works. You order your food like always, but you tell them you are drinking like an adult. They ID you and start a tab. Then give you a magic wristband to wear.

You pick out a glass, search for the right beer (with pizza, I recommend an IPA, pale or Tioga’s Ed’s Red, but that’s just me), place your wristband against a certain spot on the tap, the tap gets ‘green lit’ and you can start pouring.

Wow. “Exciting” footage [sarc].

In addition to the beer taps, the place got cleaned up and is sporting a lot of wood.

remodled me n eds

Gone are the video games that the location had. So you might encounter a pissed off child at first. But give them a taste of your beer and it might shut them up.

(Disclaimer: thefresnan.com does not endorse childhood drinking in any way but just needed a mildly humorous line to place in the blog post).

HOW DRUNK CAN I GET?

You can get up to 32 ounces (two pints) but you can ask for more if they can see that you can take on additional juice. It electroniclly tracks how many ounces you’ve poured yourself – Big Brother is monitoring how much you drink, man!

There are 29 taps plus a cider or two and a couple of handles with something called “wine”. I don’t know what that is but I hear it contains alcohol so I guess it’s cool.

A REVIEW

This kind of system feels like a trendy thing, but I’m sure more will be popping up. And this one isn’t going away anytime soon.

It’s still pretty busy, as all new Fresno things are at first. But it’s managable. And if you don’t feel like pizza, you can just show up for the beer. They even have a seperate counter now to handle just the beer.

Not having to wait to get a bartender’s attention is a nice change. Although I can see it getting annoying having to get up everytime you want more beer. 

I wouldn’t want every bar having this system. But it’s fun, glad it is in Fresno, I’ll be back – even if Big Brother is watching how many Luponic Distortions I can put down.