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.

Finally. A Guide To Help Us Be Like The Palm Avenue Bikers


I have a bike (pictured). It can get dusty. But I have one. It’s just a fixie. Which means I was cool 6 years ago. And now? Well, I have a bike only good for beer & Redbox runs. And I can only stop Flintstones style.

I need a new bike. A road bike. I may even want to be like one of those people with the bike outfits, riding down Palm Ave. But it looks like a whole thing, ya know? Like work or something.

Well thanks to IFHT, there is an entertaining step by step guide to show me and you how we can be like a Palm Ave Biker:

I definitely need a Recovery Beer just watching that.

If you’re ready to start adding road bikes and putting “yourself” on display riding Palm Avenue, make sure to hit up local places like Steven’s, Sunnyside, Fresno Schwinn, Rubber SoulHerb BauerCyle Path, and get riding.

Places In Fresno That Need Better Beer!

One of the problems with being a beer geek (me) is, you get spoiled with good beer. So spoiled that it becomes almost impossible to drink mainstream beer.

Plus it gets very tiring looking down your nose at people drinking pisswater. [insert laughing emoji here]

A beer geek tends to push eating-out choices to places that serve good beer. But you can’t do that every time. Compromises must be made. Food wins out over good beer. On occasion.

So here are some Fresno spots I often wish had better beer.

Edo-Ya. It’s hard not to make this all about Japanese and Mexican restaurants because they are kind of the worst when it comes to beer choices.  Unless you are at Kuni Sama. That is actually a legit beer geek place AND it’s in the Taint District!

Casa Corona – Bullard & West. I kinda love the bar there (even though it skews old). It has not changed since I was a kid (not that I drank there when I was a kid, just saying). And it didn’t even change when it switched from El Torro. But DAMMIT their beer selection sucks a King Burrito.

Sequoia’s – Tower District. KIDDING! Totally kidding. It’s fine, it’s fine, the beer is fine. It’s fine. Totally fine.

Maroo. Same problem Edo-Ya has. But they do have Hite beer, which is fun to say and order. “Hite! I’ll have a HITE!”

Heroes Comics and Mossette’s Baseball Cards.  All my nerd things in one place. I know they don’t have a liquor license, just wishful thinking. To be able to hang out in these places with a bar and a good beer? Dream fulfillment.

Doghouse Grill. Any chance I have to rip that place, I take it. I have not been there in some time, but I’m guessing their crappyass selection has not changed.

Home Depot. Okay, again I am including a place that doesn’t serve alcohol but I really hate going to this place. Having a beer while I’m trying to find the proper dishwasher hose clamp, would really lessen the hate. Plus, when I have to come back for the inevitable 2nd or 3rd time (because I did not get the right size of clamp the first time), I’ll enjoy that 2nd beer even more.

Please leave your choice in the comments because I would love to hear them.

Speaking of beer, there has been a lot of local beer talk lately by the Fresno Bee. You may want to check out their dedicated beer section. We even had them on The Perfect Pour, a couple weeks back, to talk about it.

Let your ears have a listen. Cheers!:

 

Palmdon, Jackrabbits, Fig Orchards and El Torre Chingon

Palmdon

Palmdon Drive? Palm. don. Can we agree it’s the worst street name in Fresno? I get it, I get it, it’s a blend of Palm & Herndon. Yeah well it’s terrible.

I don’t think it’s a legit street name. When you look it up in Google Maps, it will show where Palmdon Drive is but it won’t place the name on the street. I think the street sign holds as much validity as an “Only Bulldog Fans Can Park Here” novelty sign.

This block used to be a fig orchard. NW Fresno used to be filled with fig orchards. They are all but gone now. I lived in the neighborhood behind it when I was a kid and that fig orchard was our park.

I used to hit golf balls, play wiffleball, let my dogs run around and attempt to catch jack rabbits, and even hide from tween life. In later years it became a place to have “fig parties” but that’s a story for another time.

Now it’s just offices, car dealerships, Starbucks and of course, the Univison Tower:

The Tower

Back in 2009 we dubbed it: “El Torre Chingon” (That Fucking Tower).

Not really sure why I feel like it would be better if there were still fig orchards around. It just feels wrong that they are all gone. Particularly this one.

Naming the street “Palmdon” doesn’t help.

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.

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.