I Rode My Bike To A Thing In Fresno and Nobody Flipped Me Off

I decided to ride my bike to a Fresno beer thing last week (Happy Anniversary, Pine & Palm Brewing). One, because obviously, it’s better to ride a bike with a couple pops in ya than drive. Second, because I always preach riding your bike in Fresno but don’t do it enough. So I did.

My destination? Pine & Palm Brewing. 2nd Anniversary Party.

My route? Fruit, North to Herndon. Herndon to Palm (via trail pictured above). Palm to Bedford. Bedford to brewery.

I begin on Fruit. The same section that some council asshat stopped a fully funded and approved road-diet on because he sat at a corner for an hour and allegedly didn’t observe any bikers. (Yeah, I’m still bitter)

Are We Getting Better Or Was It A One-Time Thing?

As I was stopped at the light at Fruit & Bullard, I chose to rest on the white line dividing the two lanes because there was a car coming up behind me that wanted to turn right so I wanted to give them space to do that. As the light turned green, I went back into the lane knowing there we no cars behind me so I could safely use the lane. But the car that was turning right decided not to and is now directly behind me.

Normally, Fresno drivers get pissed-off that they are having to wait for a bike, even though said bike as a right to be using the lane. I got over quickly for fear of a bottle being tossed at my head. When the car passed, there was no bottle. No finger. No “Get the fuck off the road!” The car uneventfully went by.

Fresnans just might be getting more mellow with sharing the road.

Let The Drinking Begin!

At Pine & Palm Brewing, having some beers, celebrating two years of the brewery in their new taproom, getting slightly annoyed at the soccer fans that have taken over the Taproom.

I now get word that there is a group of Perfect Pour people over at the newest Fresno drinking spot, just around the corner. I leave the soccer fans to their fun and head over.

A Bar In An Industrial Park!?

Yep. There is a new craft beer and wine bar in Fresno and it’s in an industrial park in Pinedale – well, I refer to it as Pinedale anyway. It’s called Tap & Cellar. Check it:

Great beer list. They have kegs of beer that you can’t find anywhere else in town. Good addition to the scene.

Time To Ride Back.

Before I get too deep into day-drinking, it’s time to bike home. I took a slightly different route back and discovered a small, but effective, path that comes close to the Herndon path:

This little trail runs along Harrison Ave, behind (to the West) of the Palm Bluffs area.

Finishing the ride at home, I was pleased with Fresnans because nobody seemed to get pissed at me – at least they didn’t make it known. There is hope. Maybe Fresno can be a bike-friendly place after all.

Fresyes Fest: Seven Things I’ll Do

Fresyes Fest! Saturday! I’m totally probably going! Gotta go, right? It’s North America’s best, real estate company festival! Gotta be top eight, at least.

The only problem with the event in the past is that it’s too awesome and successful. Fresno loves things to be free and bumping.

Organizers listened to whiny bloggers and doubled the size this year. There will be more room for activities!!

Alright. So, it’s cool, we’re going. But what time?

I base the time I go on two factors:

  1. Avoiding people.
  2. Set times for the bands I want to see.

Getting there at the beginning is the key to avoiding people. And there are two bands I definitely want to see: Sparklejet and Sharks Of Dance.

Unfortunately they play at totally different times. Here are the set times:

Sharks at 1:15 is excellent! Take in the set, have a couple beers, do an Irish Exit around 2:30 and go about the rest of my day in Fresno.

But wait. Sparklejet does not play until 5:30. That is a long time between shows. Too long when there is beer around. I can’t commit a whole fucking day to one place, I’m not 22.

Damn.

Not sure how to go about this. I guess I could leave and come back at 5:30 but that is unlikely. Once I return to my NW Fresno life, motivating to go back Downtown will be tough.

I dunno. Guess I’ll figure it out the day of. In the meantime.

Here are the seven things!

In addition to the Sparklejet set at 5:30 and/or maybe the Sharks Of Dance set, here is some other stuff I plan to do:

  1. Several times, badly joke to someone “Screw this FresYES Fest, I’m starting a FresNO Fest! As in, a NO Clovis people festival!”
  2. Find a corner to hide. I’d prefer one with fellow nerdy blogger/media or beer geek types, but I’m fine by myself too.
  3. Examine a Fresno inspired vendor booth. My go-to is Casual Glitz.
  4. Make eye contact with someone I know and wonder if I should stop and talk. Or do I just politely nod ”Sup” because they probably want to talk to me less than I want to talk to them.
  5. Try to figure out who are all these people. A lot of folks show up and you are like “Wait. Who is THAT guy? That guy lives in Fresno? And he is with THAT girl? She can’t be from here. What the hell is going on!?!”
  6. Eat tacos. I may even stave off tacos on Friday to make it extra special.
  7. Drink beer. The special release beer for this year’s festival that Tioga made is a hazy IPA called ”Pride of the Valley: Workd Champ IPA” in honor of local boxer and Champion, Jose Ramirez. I am definitely going to have that one. Then maybe I’ll have one more. Then stop, if I drove, or keep drinking if I take a Lyft. Be safe, Future Mikey.

So, no matter what time I figure out, I’ll be there. I’m sure you and half of Fresno will be too. Maybe we can buy each other a beer.

After all, it’s double the free. Double the beer stations. Double the places to hide.

*Great info that answers every question you might have about this year’s event can be found here.

Needed: A Modern Times Taproom In Fresno!

There is no point to continue convincing Fieldwork Brewing to open a  taproom in Fresno. They used up their last available state allowed  5th tasting room spot on some boring Nor Cal place. So I have to move on.

But I am not stopping!

I will always lobby for some cool California brewer to open up a remote taproom so that we can add to our craft beer options, thus helping Fresno overflow its glass of radness.

So, let’s find a new one to convince to come here. A new California brewery to annoy until they open up in Fresno. That pick?:

Modern Times Brewing out of San Diego.

Why? They have excellent beer. Super cool marketing. Admirable philosophy towards beer culture and being independent. Plus, they have amazingly cool taprooms.

California allows breweries to have five taprooms. Modern Times has three in California, one in Portland (doesn’t count) and one being built in Escondido. So there is a spot left. I want that spot to be Fresno’s.

It’s like an Arthop night but all the time.

The taprooms are works of art. Not all the same, each reflects the personality of the town they are in. A Fresno one would be so fucking rad. It would be a place to brag about.

Look at the main one in Point Loma, nicknamed “Lomaland Fermentorium”, complete with the (pictured above) Michael Jackson & Bubbles mural made entirely of post-it notes:

Aren’t the existing Fresno taprooms enough?

Full Circle has its charms and good beer. Tioga is getting cooler as they are expanding. HOP PK is new and awesome and going down well with Fresnans. Pine & Palm just moved to a bigger cooler location. Tactical Ops is doing their thing near the airport. Zack’s Brewing and 411 Ales are opening later this year (knock on wood).

So brewing and taproom things are happening. It’s great. But we deserve more. Hell, Visalia has a Barrelhouse remote taproom. Fresno has none. We need one before Bakersfield, Merced and Madera all have one and we don’t.

Someday I want to see this on Modern Time’s Instagram feed:

You see that? They also serve excellent coffee. Fresno appreciates its coffee, we know this.

A remote taproom by Modern Times in Fresno would be epic. We can have things. Dammit, Fresno deserves things. We like-a the beer. It all fits.

I’ll go ahead and start working on a cool Fresno taproom nickname now, MT. Let’s make it happen.

*Picture credit to Sunset.com.

Places I Ate and Drank At In Fresno A Lot This Year

Year-end lists are the most unoriginal thing in blogging. But dammit, they are popular and fun.

So here I am, listing some places I regularly went to eat and/or drink at in Fresno this year so maybe you can go there too and keep them open for me so I can continue to enjoy. Cool? Cool.

EATING

I have a goal to learn how to cook more things in 2018. Until this happens, there’s take out. Lots of take out.

TOP FIVE TAKEOUT:

  • Berrock Shop. The obvious thing to have here are the berrocks and chicken pot pies, but don’t forget the burgers and tri-tip sandwiches.
  • Jack’s Urban Eats. Yep, it was exciting when they installed taps. Yep, they have good tri-tip sandwiches too – regular AND BBcue style.
  • Formally Maria’s Taco Shop. No fuss. Just straight, fast, solid Mexican food. Plus I still have memories of it being a Taco Bell.
  • China Bistro. The SW corner of Bullard & West, tucked back behind a fountain. Good soup. Good everything. Sweet people.
  • Mama Mia’s – Palm & Bullard. All the things are good. Especially fond of the gnocchi. A little greasy but I think it’s supposed to be, yeah?

Almost making the list are Habit Burger and sadly: Chipotle. By the way, these are all places you can sit and eat, I just primarily use them for takeout. Speaking of…

TOP FIVE SITDOWN:

  • Casa Corona – Bullard & West. One of the better bar atmospheres in NW Fresno, and they finally got a decent IPA on tap (Luponic Distortion), food is not bad either.
  • Eureka Burger. This is my go-to place. Usually a good beer selection and always good food, I usually have the Fresno Burger or chicken nachos when it’s “hoppy” hour.
  • Popolo’s Pizza. I will forever miss the old location and salad bar. But the new place still gives me enough to keep coming back. I’m partial to the baked sandwiches.
  • Edo-Ya. At times, the best sushi in town and the teppanyaki is great too. We all know about EdoYa, come on, just go. L.A. Roll is amaze.
  • Pismo’s. I’m not fond of fish dishes and I still like this place. On point with atmosphere, food and service. Can’t really afford to go very much but always enjoy when I do.

Honorable Mention to Yardhouse, Benadiction (best breakfast) and to South Gate Brewing for being the best out-of-town but not THAT out-of-town place.

DRINKING!

I love craft beer so you won’t find a place here that doesn’t have it.

  • Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden. It is THE Fresno brewery hangout/event space/beer release place. Great beer and Downtown views.
  • Goldstein’s. Always a great selection of beer, nice atmosphere. Only wish I could go more when it’s not so packed and hard to order beers. (Bar pictured at top)
  • Spokeasy’s. Maybe the most genuine beer bar in town. Favorite thing is to wait for a keg to “blow” so you can see what new beer comes on while you sit there – they have a small tap system so it enables them to run through kegs rather quickly, keeping the draft list always fresh.
  • HOP PK. It’s brand new and I have only been once but this one has been so long in coming and so needed that I am including it. Looking forward to more visits in 2018.
  • Pine & Palm Brewing. It is so tiny but still fun if you are a beer geek. Good news is they are expanding very soon, excited to see what’s next.

Honorable mention to Full Circle Brewing. I wish they could magically move their building over by Tioga and Zack’s, I’d be there all the time.

So that was 2017. The number one Fresno food & drink thing I am looking forward to in 2018 is Zack’s Brewing opening their taproom on Fulton. There is a rumor it could possibly maybe open by May, fingers crossed.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts on The Fresnan this year!

Fresno’s Place To Be Thanksgiving Weekend!

Welcome back to Fresno, person that moved away and only returns on big days. If you are looking for Livingstone’s to be open so you can run into some girl from High School you haven’t seen in 15-years, sorry it’s still closed – making bathrooms compliant for the 21st Century is not easy. But Stones will be back for you next year *knock on wood*.

So if Livingstone’s is not an option for you, where should you go to find your Fresno people to run into and to brag about how great your life is going in L.A. or Portland?  (Even though we both totally know that L.A. sucks and it was a mistake and you should have just stayed.)

I recommend going to Goldsteins.

Gold’s is the new Audie’s Olympic/Livingstone’s hang out until we can get those two back up and running. I am especially recommending it because they are having a very special Modern Times tap-takeover! This takeover includes kegs of MT beer that you can normally only get in the taproom in San Diego. #stoked

Being a beer geek, I’m pretty pumped and it is actually enough to get me out of my NW Fresno cave.

If you have been away from Fresno for a while, there are a couple other beer places I’d check out: Spokeasy’s, Pine & Palm, Full Circle and for sure, Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden!

While you’re at Tioga you can drive down newly asphalted Fulton Street and roam around trying all the coffee and things. So yes, my recommendation for Thanksgiving weekend is drinking things. Just make sure to get a Lyft and have fun.

Being as it is a thankful time, I’d like to thank you for reading my blog and say sorry for the inconsistency over the past few months. I love Fresno and blogging and I’m glad you are here, so thank you!

An Open Fulton Street Allows Fresno To Move On

I didn’t want this. The Fulton Mall open to traffic.

I wanted the mall to be cleaned up. I wanted the art refurbished. I wanted the fountains to be working. But I didn’t want cars. That wasn’t possible.

It became “street or the same”. The same was a bad option. Same was an ignored Fulton Mall with little to no working fountains, forgotten art and too many people not comfortable with parking in garages and lots where they can’t see their car.

So I then begrudgingly became a supporter of traffic returning to Fulton. Better a shiny new sidewalk with working fountains and freshly polished art, than overgrown trees and neglect with no end in sight.

Saturday is the big thing-a-ma-jig to celebrate Fulton Street opening. For me, it will be more of a wake for Fulton Mall. But, it will be one of those fun wakes. The kind where you have a couple drinks and celebrate the life the person lived. Just, in this case, the person is a concrete open-air mall.

At Least Fresno and Downtown Can Move On To Other Things

We have debated what to do with the Fulton Mall for over a decade on Flowing With Famous. It’s going to be weird no longer needing to talk about it. Sure we still need to watch how the shops and restaurants will do now that there’s traffic. But we all get to move on now.

What is next? What should Fresno tackle now? Chinatown maybe? It will (fingers crossed) get a Hi-Speed Rail Station. That could be the push Chinatown needs to start getting some much-needed attention and renovation. It’s my pick anyway. Leave a comment on what you think the next project Fresno needs to tackle.

In the meantime, we have a wake to attend. I’ll see you out there. I hear they’ll have beer and it’s a safe bet it will be tough to get a parking spot.

Shameless Harrison Ford Tangent Ahead!

BTW, the Draggin’ the Main theme gives me yet another chance to use one of my favorite clips from American Graffiti, a movie about life growing up in the Central Valley in the 50’s (Modesto to be exact), so it’s relevant to Fulton Street, mmka?

A movie with, none other than Mr. Harrison Ford. Please tell me Bob Falfa dragged Fulton once:

*Pic was stolen from here.