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.

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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.

Pot Is Making You Lose Your Damn Focus, Fresno!


Our Mayor is thinking he will defy a state law and probably not allow pot dispensaries in Fresno. Screw the millions in revenue. Don’t need it. We got all them millions already. We good.

Even the SO-CALLED liberal newspaper, The Fresno Bee, doesn’t support legal pot.

Welcome to California’s Bible Belt.

To be clear, this rant is coming from a NON pot smoker. [for realz] I don’t inhale.

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Mayor Brand sent two Fresnans to Colorado to check out how things were doing there with the legal pot. Turns out, they couldn’t figure out if it was good or bad. 

So police chief, Dyer (one of the people the Mayor sent) just gave a blanket “No, bro” reco to Brand. This was enough for our Mayor to conclude he’s going to say no because that seems safe.

Is Dyer running the city or Brand?

Come on, Fresno. Wake up to the fact we are in California. We need to be progressive.

“Oh golly, I hear a pot dispensary might get broken into every once in a while.” THIS IS YOUR CONCERN!? We’ll be ok, snowflake. Fresno can handle this.

Do you realize children get shot in this city for being in their front yard at the wrong time of day AND YOU’RE FUCKING WORRIED ABOUT A BUSINESS GETTING BROKEN INTO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!? As if other businesses don’t get broken into.

Holy shit, man. It’s called priorities. Get them. Maybe take care of our meth, poverty and gang problem before focusing on shutting down LEGAL pot.

Have you ever heard of a guy in Fresno carjacking somebody or shooting somebody because he was super fucking baked? No, of course you haven’t!

Reporter: What happened here, officer?

Policeman: The male suspect was seen getting super high earlier and then started stabbing everyone and stole a car.

You hear how ridiculous that sounds, right?

Please worry about real stuff, Fresno. Take advantage of being in California and mellow out. 

At Least One Reason To Start Heading To NE Fresno, Right Now!


Let’s face it. There is not much substance to NE Fresno.

It’s just houses. Churches. Schools that should be in Fresno Unified but are somehow in Clovis Unified. And strip malls – sortaish nice strip malls, but still strip malls.

But there is one cool thing the NE has that all Fresnans can enjoy: Trails.


Trails that are fed by Woodward Park, in fact. River trails. Park trails. Trails along avenues. NE is totally bogarting Fresno’s trails!

I strolled down one, last weekend, and I advise you to get down there right now because it’s pretty and Portland-y and green. It’s all green.

Yo, did you know there is a legit river running along the city limits? Yeah? Well, there is. And things are flowing:


Go check it out. Or just stay in your house and talk about how Fresno sucks.

Alright. I admit it. The NE has one more thing, outside of trails: Fresno’s most elegant bottle shop: The Fort:

Ohhh shit, an Oscar Blues “Pinner IPA” sixer for $4.99. Gotta go find a beer trail.

The Bay Has Way More Goats Than Fresno

That is a map of every goat in the country. How they were able to count them, you’d have to ask the Wonk Blog.

What is most interesting to me is the amount of goats the Bay Area has. Like, WAY more than Fresno and the Valley does.

And I don’t think it’s a hipster “goats are a natural lawnmower that cuts back on greenhouse gases” kind of thing. San Francisco just likes goats.

Whatcha all doing over there? …With the goats. Mark this as a day San Fransisco is more hick than Fresno.

Fresno. Are We Total Assholes For Loving Our Drive-Thrus? Maybe…

Future Starbucks Drive-Thu
Future Starbucks Drive-Thu
Pictured above is the new drive-thru being built for a new-old Starbucks opening soonish at Herndon & Marks. Remember way back when there was one there and there was a campaign to save it but it closed anyway?

Yeah, well, it seems it closed because there wasn’t a drive-thru. Now there will be one and I’m sure it will be filled with cars soon. They are even tearing apart the property to do it. You’ll be able to spy on the people across the street in the Taco Bell and McDonald’s drive-thru from your Starbucks spot.

More drive-thus tainting the Valley air? That’s fine. Best to forget the Sierras are there. Out of sight out of mind. Now I don’t feel as guilty about not going up there as much as I should.

Fuck you, clean air! And while we’re at it: Fuck you, Sierras! I can kinda see an outline of the mountains, so I’m sure it’s cool. Can’t be that bad. Drive-thru it is! Dude I am not getting out of this vehicle right now, the new Green Day just came on New Rock!

Honestly, I will walk into a place more than use the drive-thru. I tell myself that it’s because I’m saving the air, but really it’s when the drive-thru is too busy. Plus, sometimes I don’t like the person working the drive-thru looking into my truck and seeing what a mess it is.

Not using the drive-thru and having the discipline to walk inside is kinda like when you’re thinking you should go on a diet but eat all you want anyway. Tomorrow I’ll stop going through the drive-thru, today I feast on convenience.

But wait a damn idling second here. How bad is it really for the air when we use the drive-thru as compared to parking and walking inside? Well, the best thing I could find was a study they did up in Canada at a Tim Hortons (a sorta Canadian version of Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks). This blew my mind:

“The study concluded that a Tim Hortons restaurant with no drive-thru actually produces higher emissions per vehicle than one with a drive-thru, because of emissions from starting up vehicles, traveling to and from parking spaces, and congestion that occurs in the parking lot.”

WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?! Mind. Blow. I couldn’t find a local study on this so we’ll have to accept a Canadian one. Crazy.

Really, it points out that we should be walking or biking to our Taco Bells and Dutch Bros. But eh.

So if you must MUST drive your truck with sexy rims to Robertito’s at 2 in the morning, don’t feel as bad about idling in line. Just feel bad about that California burrito and two adobada tacos you’re about to put down.

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)