Uncle Harry’s Closing Will Not Stop Me Going To Fig Garden Village. Not Yet.

Maybe you heard that Uncle Harry’s Fig Garden Village location has closed. Not because the location wasn’t doing well or because Uncle Harry’s didn’t want to renew their lease. They did.

But the owners of Fig Garden, based in New York, wanted them out in favor of some national high-end paper store (wedding invites and such). Uncle Harry’s was not shy in posting about this in their window:

This Is Not The First Time

A very similar thing happened to the Ripe Tomato (you remember that place?) when Pieology wanted their spot, their local ass was encouraged to leave by the owners.

This has got some people fired up about these big city folk chipping away at the local charm of Fig Garden Village. I’m not real happy with it either.

But I am not at a point where I will protest by not shopping or eating at Fig Garden. Not yet. Hell, Jack’s Urban Eats just got taps, bro!! How can I give up on it now?!

But there is a tipping point somewhere. A line of demarcation. A point at which they push out one too many local shops in favor of a national chain.

Will it be Wassabi’s? The Elbow Room? Hungry Bear? Patio Cafe? Yeah, maybe it would be Patio Cafe. I’m really not sure. But they are starting to piss me off and a lot of other people too.

What would the tipping point be for you? Is there one?

Joshua Tehee (of the Fresno Bee) and I have a discussion about this on this month’s Flowing With Famous podcast. Listen in here.

THE Bands You Will Regret Missing At Grizzly Fest


I won’t be at Grizzly Fest on Saturday. Probably. But YOU should totally go because you are way cooler than me and deserve to treat yourself to the best music festival in Fresno. Well, best since F.U.S.E. Fest went on hiatus.

Yeah, I probably won’t make it because it’s Saturday and that means I’ll be making one worthless trip to the hardware store and a second trip to get the thing forgotten on the first trip.

I’m going to miss a lot of badassness. Fresno’s own Fashawn will be there, along with plenty of other national acts. I kinda don’t give a shit about those. I like the Fresno bands.

Some of the Fresno music will include Slow Season, Amoret, White Glove Service and one of the biggest Fresno bands of all time: 40 Watt Hype. They have a new video out, btw:

There are more Fresno acts but the two I will miss out on the most are Sagey and Wee Beasties:

Make sure you go and report back to me on social media (@thefresnan on Twitter and Instagram. trenchrun22 on Snap) and tell me all the badass sets I missed.  I think I’ll be busy getting drunk while watching house paint dry.

Now please watch the most genius use of Fresno landmarks ever:

A Motto That Would Make Just As Much Sense As “In God We Trust” For Fresno City Chamber

So Fresno City Councilman, Gary Bredefeld, apparently has the time to request the City Of Fresno ignore the whole “separation of church and state” thing and vote that the Fresno motto be changed to “In God We Trust.”

Jesus. [smh]

Do we all really need to be thinking about worthless stuff like this? Are things that boring around council chambers? That’s not even an appropriate motto for Fresno.

I can think of some other ones that would make just as much damn sense as “In God We Trust” for Fresno. Let’s see a few.

CITY OF FRESNO:

  • In Grapes & Almonds We Trust.
  • Live and Let Die.
  • Yes. Tri-Tip Is An Actual Cut Of Meat.
  • Tornado Free Since 1976.
  • We Have Water Meters Now.
  • Just Win, Baby.
  • This Area Is Patrolled By Turner Security.
  • Tacos Next 17 Exits.
  • The Force Is Stong In Our Family.
  • Most Of Our White People Moved To Boise.
  • You’re Right Back In The Mess.
  • Make Mine A Double.
  • Snakes. Why Did It Have To Be Snakes?
  • Cher Slept Here.
  • Home Of The Uncle You Barely See.
  • Welcome To Flavor Town.
  • You’d Think This Is Paula Abdul’s Hometown But It’s Not.
  • Traffic Signals Are Just Suggestions.
  • Pat Hill’s Fu-Manchu Controls the Northern Part of the City.
  • Same As It Ever Was.
  • Roth or Hagar? We Say Hagar.
  • I Can See The Mountains Today.
  • We’re As Confused As You Are.
  • Hey Bud, Let’s Party.
  • No Spoilers! We Missed The Walking Dead Last Night.
  • Our Mom Thinks We’re Pretty Cool.
  • We Haven’t Even Eaten Lunch Yet.

Hey we’re having fun here and I don’t mean to bash good God fearing folk. But a statement about God (as cool a dude as he is) is just not needed here in the City Council Chambers.

Your Jesus time and energy would be much better spent feeding hungry people, supporting those less fortunate, backing your fellow church member during personal tough times and helping Fresno in other ways.

So thanks but no thanks.

Check out Gary Bredefeld talking about this subject on Even Onstot’s show over at KSEE 24. I haven’t watched it yet and I doubt God has either.

Northgate Was Once The Most Important Shopping Center In Fresno


This week on the local Facebooks, all the olds were losing their shiz over this picture, unearthed by Tracy Parker, of the old UA Cinemas sign at Northgate Shopping Center.

Well, I guess I am an oldass Fresnan because I remember this sign too and the UA theater it belongs to.

The first memory that jumps out at me is being embarrassingly ‘carded’ trying to buy tickets to the Stalone flick, Cliffhanger. That’s right. I jumped through hoops to see CLIFFHANGER.

My favorite store in Northgate Shopping Center was Arthur’s Toys. There was a time it would have been Tower Records for sure (dammit I miss that Tower Records), but with some perspective now, Arthur’s Toys.

Looking for new cars that I could afford for my electric race track, that was my number one thing to do.

I may or may not have been old enough to remember some blue light specials at K-Mart, later turning into Circuit City.

There were quite a few meals at DiCicco’s (still there, I know, just saying). The only Italian place that mattered at the time. OKIE Frijole was good too.

THE THEME HERE BEING

Northgate was the go-to shopping center of the 1970s and early 80s. Like, how now you might find yourself at wherever the hell center your Target is at, Northgate was that. Pretty much for everybody in town too. Barstow & Blackstone was the Blackstone & Nees of its day.

It was even the premium spot to park your car, close to Blackstone, on “cruising nights” to hang out and be seen.

In honor of the old Blackstone UA, here is a Cliffhanger to cheese up your day, no ID required:

Fresno Is An Outdoor Retailer Trade Show City, Just Like Denver and Portland!

Bears Ears Buttes by Tim Peterson
There is a grand opportunity for the city of Fresno right now. A chance for Fresno to get a major trade show and to build a reputation for being an “outdoor city”.

Salt Lake City just lost the Outdoor Retailer trade show. This is a trade show for businesses like REI, Patagonia, North Face… hell, basically every retailer that does anything in outdoor retail. It’s sorta the everything in the industry.

What San Diego Comi-Con is for nerddom, this is for outdoor nerds.

The OR show has always been held in Utah. Since the 90s. But they are looking for a new city to move to by 2019 because Utah has been naughty.

Utah’s Governor, and other Republican peeps in Utah, lobbied President Trump to roll back the Bears Ears National Monument, a 1.35-million-acre conservation area in Southern Utah that Native Americans and other people who like Earth, have held sacred for years. Trump listened and rolled it on back.

Fuck off, Earth! Cattle and mines are more important.

So the Outdoor Retailers, people that were warning Utah not to do this, said they are packing up their back…packs and looking for a new city to dump all that trade show money into. The show dumps 32 million into SLC every year.

Denver and Portland (OR) are leading contenders at the moment. I say we make sure Fresno is in that mix too because Fresno is an outdoor city. Maybe we don’t act like it enough, maybe we don’t even know it, but we are.

We totally qualify to have the Outdoor Retailer trade show. Fresno is within a morning drive to all outdoor activities. ALL THE ACTIVITIES! So we got that as a qualification.

But do we have the kind of convention space to handle this?:

Hell, I think so.

Oh but wait, does Fresno have enough hotel rooms (or Air BnBs) to handle this? I don’t know, that is for city officials to figure out – I don’t create and maintain the trails, I just walk through and comment on them.

So I hope there is enough time for Fresno to get consideration. I don’t think anybody is threating to roll back National Park status for Yosemite, Kings Canyon or Sequoia anytime soon. *knock on wood*

Let’s do it! Let’s blaze a trail to Fresno for Outdoor Retailer!
Photo: Bears Ears, Utah | Credit: Tim Peterson

Olive Garden Opening In Fresno Is A Good Thing…There, I Said It.


I don’t go to Olive Garden. Well, I haven’t for a long time. I went to the Modesto Garden years ago because my Grandma wanted to. And yeah, I have been to the Clovis one. I’m embarrassed to admit I brought a date there once. There was no second date.

I purposely have not Gardened for a long time. Waiting an hour for a table to eat chain “Italian” food in Clovis is not my idea of a good night out – I don’t care how many unlimited bread sticks you throw at me.

Time GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

So why the hell should I care or think it’s a good thing that Olive Garden is about to open up its first Fresno location? [Located at Marketplace Shopping Center, BTW)

Because the Highway City area of NW Fresno does not have a sit-down, waiter comes to your table, restaurant. If the first one has to be an Olive Garden, so be it.

I would rather it be a local restaurant or something we have never seen in Fresno before. But it’s not. It’s an Olive Garden. Highway City will have to accept it. Something tells me they will and there will be an hour wait there too.

Some advice, though. Don’t take a first date there, dude. Impressed she will not be. Unless you can do a dance routine with your bread sticks.