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.

The BRT Is Not For Me Or You, Fresno


In case you were asking “What the hell?!” while avoiding all the lane closures and construction while driving down Blackstone lately, BRT is being built.

Suck it up, chief! It’s just a freaking little closure here and there. Big whoop.

You might be thinking “But dude, I don’t ride the bus. The BRT is no help to me.” Yeah, well, I don’t either. 

Riding the bus seems complicated. What if the bus I’m getting on is going to take me to the wrong place? …like Clovis. Talk about screwed, cowboy.

But that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you or I ride FAX or will ride the BRT. It’s not just for you and me. 

We can’t all be cruising Blackstone in a slick 96 green Saturn complete with the head-turning spoiler. Some Fresnans need that bus action. The BRT will give riders a better experience.

Plus, you don’t have to ride this new BRT to enjoy its benefits. Look how slick construction guy is:

 
That guy doesn’t give a rake if he needs to get on a bus or not. He’s just hanging out in that Jetsons style bus bench, waiting for some action.

(Graphic stolen from Better Blackstone)

Something To Tear Fresno Apart: Raisins Or Craisins?

There is an issue bubbling underneath the surface of Fresno that is not talked about. Something that needs to be discussed. Something that, if not dealt with properly, could tear apart the very fabric of this great city.

Are craisins better than raisins?

Raisins OR Craisins
Raisins OR Craisins (pic : andnowuknow.com)
To be more specific: Which is better on salad, craisins or raisins?

“Why bring it up now?” you might ask. “There is so much our city has to deal with, why drag this out into the streets at a time like this?”

I’m sorry, but with the pending opening of the new and improved Popolo’s Pizza (with the best salad bar in Fresno), this raisins or craisins debate needs to get settled today! We tried to sort it out in a recent episode of The Perfect Pour, but we got nowhere and only produced more tension.

popolo's is coming

You might think “Well of course it’s raisins! Fresno County is the Raisin Capitol Of The World, for damn sake!” Agreed! Eat local, I say. Why give money to faceless pricks back East? Pricks, who by the way, are probably using way too much water to produce one stupid craisin!

THERE’S A DROUGHT, PEOPLE! READ A CALTRANS ELECTRONIC BILLBOARD SOMETIME!

Debate over, right? Rejoice as Popolo’s new salad bar, the trendsetter for all Fresno salad bars, will finally feature raisins over craisins!

It’s not that easy. 

There are a lot of people that prefer craisins. Especially on their salad. Shocking but true. Take a look next time you’re at a salad bar. There’s a good chance the topping option will be craisins. I blame the millennials.

In these rough times, we must remember what got us here. What is the one fruit that is the soul of our city? For Fresno, the choice is clear: Raisins.

This Popolo’s Pizza problem needs to get sorted out, Fresno

popolo's pizza front

UPDATE: Consider this sorted out; statement from Popolo’s:

We’re excited to announce, that Popolo’s Pizza & More! will be relocating to 7835 N. Palm Ave. #106, off of Palm & Nees in Fresno!

As saddened as we are leaving our Blackstone & Herndon location that we have occupied for almost 31 years, we feel that the matters we’ve been faced with these last couple of months, has forced us as a family to make this decision.

Our new location will have a large banquet room, patio, arcade and a beer & wine bar. With relocating to Park Place, we will be able to keep our existing delivery area & expand it, and also still be close to our previous location where our customers who live or/and work close to the area or travel from across town can find us a short drive up the street.

We want to say “THANK YOU!” to all of our amazing family, friends and customers for all of your support & patience during this difficult time. We will keep everyone updated as much as possible for all of the new & exciting things to come!

Thank you,
The Greene Family!
Popolo’s Pizza & More!
New location coming June 2016!!!!!!!!!!

[ORIGINAL POST]:
You are not going to take this lying down in your soft, sinking booth, are you, Fresnans? Popolo’s Pizza is temporarily closed. My breadstick craving gizzard is weeping. No salad bar. No pizza. No tube televisions to watch. No booth dividers to remove. Checking the taps in the waiting area is pointless. POINTLESS! *drops to knees* WHY, GOD, WHY!?!

It apparently has something to do with the building’s foundation. The floor of Popolo’s currently looks like this:

Popolo's Pizza floor

Did you see that!? The gap between the floor and earth? What is there like a hidden creek running beneath Pop’s? There is not supposed to be a crawl space in that building. So yeah, I can see why it might not be wise to be open with that lurking underneath.

Luckily they don’t own the building so it’s not on them to fix it. But they are not making any money right now and I’m am sitting around waiting to give them mine in exchange for a Van Ness Extension (hold the peppers).

This. This is serious guys. Oh these sad lonely booths:

empty popolo's pizza booth

I would look damn good sitting in one of them. Proudly making a plate of potato skins disappear and ordering another Tioga Sequoia XPA #DrinkLocalBro.

So what’s the update on the place? Let’s get this figured out, dammit! Well I got this from Popolo’s Pizza themselves:
Continue reading “This Popolo’s Pizza problem needs to get sorted out, Fresno”

The End Of A Fresno Nerd Era

Hi Fresnans. Welcome to the last official post on The Fresnan.

We…alright, it’s time to drop the “we” bullshit. I will no longer write new posts on The Fresnan. A little local blog journey, that never felt like it got out of beta mode, has come to an end.

[Actually this little Fresno blog is back, but let’s see where this goes…]

I feel douchey doing a closing post but I always hate it when things I like (blogs, TV and radio shows, whatever) just end without a goodbye or a series finale. So this is for that little group of readers that happen to have liked this blog through the years.

WHY IS IT ENDING?
There are several reasons I feel it’s time to stop The Fresnan. The biggest reason is I’ve blogged myself into a corner, so to speak.

The main content for the blog has evolved, over time, into posts about the music scene. Mostly posts about what show is happening that particular night. This requires me to be writing on a near nightly basis (Friday and Saturday usually being an exception). That kind of blogging schedule is no longer sustainable for me. With work and family, the only time I have to write is late at night. I simply can’t keep up with it any more.

Now maybe changing the format back to the way The Fresnan was in the begining (more posts about general Fresno culture and media) would free up some nights here and there. Problem solved, right? Not really. I seemed to have lost the ability, or energy, or drive, to write about that stuff. Just lost it.

Facebook and Twitter have robbed a lot of that spark blogging once had as well. And that’s a factor. But really that’s a cop-out. Good blog content can still trump social media, I just can’t come up with enough good content to be relevant anymore.

I’ve always wanted to write more things like profiles of Fresno bands and bands that were coming to town. More journalistic style local content of stories that don’t ever reach the media. But lack of skill and time always prevented me from that.

STATS
To those that don’t know, asking a blogger about their exact stats is kind of frowned upon. It is sorta of an un-written rule amongst bloggers.

But since we’re done, I’ll tell you that there are currently 152 subscribers to The Fresnan and the blog averages 156 unique views a day.

I’ve never actually turned a profit doing this. There have been a couple years when links or banner ads have paid for the site, but I have never earned a dollar in my pocket.

The biggest post ever on the Fresnan was when I (in a tounge-in-cheek way) said that we should open up River Park to traffic. It was an attempt to make the argument for opening up the Fulton Mall to traffic, look silly. It got about 750 hits in 12 hours. One of the few things that went locally viral on this blog.

BLOGGER RESPECT
Over the years many blogs have come and gone. I’m not proud to admit it but, I always enjoy it when new blogs come out strong then fade out just as quickly.

I know what it’s like, you get that early little bit of success and recognition, think you’re hot shit, then realize it takes a lot of grinding, day after day, to keep a blog relevant. Then you give up. I guess that’s what I’m doing now, I just grinded it out a lot longer than most.

Much respect should be given to local bloggers Mike Oz, Joshua Tehee and Heather McLane. Through the years they (and some others) have motivated me to be a better blogger. Not so sure the “better” part worked, but they motivated me. They’ve been doing it for as long as me and GET what blogging is. It’s not an article, it’s not a column, it is its own thing. Glad to know they are still out there fighting the good fight.

Bryan Harley needs to be recognised too. He did The Fresnan logo for free and was also part of the Dumb Drum blog that was a motivator as well. Old timer bloggers like Ed Stewart also pushed me. Incredible people and commentors, Blake Jones and Dale Stewart, I really have to stop and say thanks to as well.

In the early years, the biggest motivator and influence for local blogging, for me and for most everybody else, was Jarah Euston and Fresno Famous. This was the beginning of blogging for Fresno and I can still remember her writing a “how to blog” post that I used to teach myself how to actually do this.

BANDGEEK
If there will be a gap left by The Fresnan not posting anymore it’s the end of the Friday “Bandgeek” posts. This one I feel the most guilty about abandoning. It was personally rewarding but took two to four hours to write every Thursday night. It was tough. I remember some times too when I would lose the post (delete it accidentally or have it freeze up and go away) after writing for two or three hours straight, then have to do it all over again.

If you want sources to find out what’s happening in music on the weekends, make sure to check:

There’s more but that will get you started. By the way: SUPPORT FRESNO’S MUSIC SCENE! There is a lot of talent around here, especially for a small city, get out there and see it.

OTHER PROJECTS
Sorry but I will not be off the indie media radar totally. I still love doing the long runing podcast I’m a part of: Dorktown. I will be recording shows like always and posting Dorktown and podcasting related material on the blog.

This is easier for me to do because it can be done when time allows rather than having to make time for it on a nightly basis. Plus, I get to podcast with two of my best friends in the world (Producer Becky and “Bells”) so it’s easy to motivate myself to do it.

I also plan to still use my spot on Fresno Famous (I use the handle “Wiffle”) to post stuff when inspired to and have re-booted Flowing With Famous podcast with Josh Tehee. Additionally I will keep the Fresnan Twitter account active (ironically) by RT-ing and linking to relevant Fresno stuff.

I will keep The Fresnan going in ‘archive mode’ for a while too and try to keep the links updated.

So please support that stuff and Dorktown Podcast if you’re a supporter of The Fresnan. Support for Dorktown especially would mean a lot! I hope that not posting on this blog will force more creative content on Dorktown. Time will tell.

FRESNAN OUT
So thank you so much for reading this. Fresno is a good city that has potential to be amazing and that’s what I love about it. Support things like Creative Fresno and anything and everything creative in Fresno.

Thank you thank you, thank you.

-Mikey “The Fresnan”

Post Takeover – FUSE Fest 2012: It Begins

Fuse

FUSE Fest 2012. It all starts tonight with a festival pre-party happening at The Hashtag on Wishon Row. See various FUSE Fest artists doing hella short sets, plus get your festival passes for Friday and Saturday along with FUSE Fest merch.

You can also get a sweet program you can use to start planning your festival routing. It's music nerd stuff and it's fun as hell. If you don't get a program you can start planning with this.

Get hyped by listening to all the pre-festival podcasting:

It's like Christmas Eve for Fresno music nerds. Can't wait for it to start.