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.

Annex Kitchen Is The #1 Place I Have Not Eaten At In Fresno

So I guess I am not cool but I have not had one scrap of food from The Annex Kitchen in Fresno.

I have recently started keeping a running list of restaurants I need to eat at in Fresno. Places I have heard other people talking about or ones that just look good to me. The Italian inspired cuisine of the Annex Kitchen is at the top of the list.

Believe it or not, Fresno has many places to eat and not all of them involve tacos. I dunno if Annex Kitchen has tacos, they probably do. This is Fresno, we love tacos, tacos are great, don’t think I’m hating on tacos. But, you know, it can’t be tacos every day all day. Can it?

why is Annex Kitchen at the top of the list?

PEOPLE SAY GOOD THINGS: Well, not everybody says good things because there are a lot of dickbags of Yelp. The kind of people that expect everything and give nothing. So I will overlook those reviews and take this one from some out of town person named Linda:

Went to Fresno for my first time on a business Work trip. My co-workers and I wanted to go a nice dinner that night so of course with us not being familiar with Fresno. Yelp is my go to. Found this place and reviews were good so thought we give this place a try.

The ambiance of the place when we walked in was nice. I love everything about it. You can either dress up or dress casual. The service was great and the food was just as good.

I got the squid ink noodles and it was delicious! My co-workers got the steak and they loved it! I tried a piece of the steak and it was cooked perfectly! 

I would definitely recommend this place. Too bad I don't live in the area but next time when I'm back for my business trip this will be the first stop to eat .:)

Sounds like someone needs to move to Fresno. And I can’t imagine I will be trying the ‘squid ink noodles’ but maybe.

A Fresno native chimes in with a five-star review from CUC “Cookie Monster” on Yelp:

When I left Fresno a few years ago, I thought to myself, "I am never coming back here." Boy was I wrong! Thanks to a very good friend getting married, I had to pay this central city a visit. During the weekend, I was able to meet my preceptor again and catch up over delicious food. She's Italian so I trust her taste in food. She knows what she's talking about. I miss her.

YAY! I guess I won't mind coming back again if there's another reason and if/when I do, I expect to find another yummy gem in Fresno.

This place is making people want to come back to Fresno. Must be freaking good.

FOOD PEOPLE GO THERE: Chefs and Food Network people like Tyler Florence and Simon Majumbar have annexed and seem to have really liked it. I heard that it is, or is going to be, on a cooking channel show. So, you know, that’s cool and stuff.

IT’S NOT FAR FROM THE HOUSE: This is a key point for me. I can get whiny if you make me go too far from the house, especially when I’m not getting paid for it.

IT’S ACROSS THE STREET FROM MY BANK/ATM: Paying in cash is best.

WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE LIST?

It may look like it but this is not a paid post. I don’t think I know anybody that works at The Annex Kitchen or that owns the place. It is just sitting there on top of the list and I want to go soon.

Speaking of the list, I will share it at another time, in another post. Maybe once I have gone to Annex Kitchen. I will tell you this though, there are places on my list that have tacos, of-fucking-course.

*Picture taken from here.

How Are We Going To Make Fresno “Cool”, Yo?

We have a problem here. A problem I bounce around in a post from time to time but never take on directly.

What will it take for Fresno to be considered a cool city?

If you’re thinking “Hey, but wait, I already think it’s cool!” I don’t disagree with you, but we both have to acknowledge that we are in the minority, chief.

How do we make Fresno appear cool to an outsider? This is what I’m talking about. To a Fresno State grad, we lost to brain drain? What can we do to win that person back? It’s a question that Fresno creatives have been wrestling with for many years.

First. The Immovable Object.

We are land locked, no getting around that. Except that we are not as landlocked as Denver, or Boise, or Dallas, or Every City Not On The Ocean. We can go to the beach for a morning surf session and be back in town for a late lunch.

So while this is tough, we have workarounds, it could be a lot worse.

The air sucks. It does. But, the past couple years, it feeeeels like it has gotten better?  And if California can (continue?) to lead in clean air…stuff and things? Maybe I’m being naive but I feel like future technology and regulations will make the terrible air a thing of the past. But we definitely need to be a lead-city on clean air initiatives.

Booze May Be An Answer.

Here might be a cool city suggestion we can work on:

Rooftop whiskey bars, eh? I definitely like the idea of rooftop things – like the pic at the top of the post from a Phoenix rooftop bar. And adding a niche element like whiskey is the kind of thing that pushes something from being “Oh that, you can find that in every city.” To “Oh that is rad, I wish we had one of those in our city.”

That unique, “can’t put my finger on it why it’s cool but I just know it’s cool” thing is really what we need to get at here in Fresno.

Touting our agriculture backbone. Being sunny almost every damn day. Embracing our sports, like the soccer community that gets bigger every year:

We’re just spitballing here.

The Cool Roots Are Taking Hold.

We have things already going for us. Not many cities can boast that they are a “basecamp city” to three National Parks. One of which, Yosemite, is considered by many to hold the most beautiful place in the world, Yosemite Valley – and I am in complete agreement with that.

There are other signs of coolness brewing as well. Bitwise pushing Fresno into the tech and startup scene is a big one. The rising craft beer and coffee scene. Branding ourselves as the Capitol of Tacos. These are the kind of things to ride into the cool town sunset.

So let’s tally up some of the cool stuff we got and the stuff we can do more of:

  • Agriculture.
  • Craft Beer – even more breweries.
  • Bitwise and tech.
  • Tacos.
  • Sports – including soccer.
  • Diversity.
  • Leader In Clean Air.
  • Outdoor city – more trails, parks, and owning the Sierra Nevada closeness.

This is but a humble start of a list by a blogger that only went as far as Fresno City College – a great community college, btw. I know only bits and pieces of things. So I choose you to comment and help.

What are some of your suggestions? Leave a comment! On the August episode of Flowing With Famous, myself and Joshua Tehee will parse them out and talk about them on the podcast.

Cool? Cool.

 

Would Mild Summers Really Make Fresno A Popular West Coast City?


Sunday had some pretty amazing weather, for a June day in Fresno. It was perfect… well until the windstorm later that evening. But BEFORE that, perfect.

This brought a much overdue thought into my head: Would the removal of consistent hot Summers make Fresno a truly desirable city? Is it the one thing that is holding us back?

Fresno heat-haters would say “Duh, dude!” But is it that simple?

Yes, bro, I know that Fresno has more problems than hot Summers. We got the gangs (although I’m pretty sure Oakland, SF, San Jose, Sactown, L.A. and San Diego all have those), a lot of stucco and a shitty looking Highway 99 corridor.

But I really don’t think people are truly looking down at Fresno for that.

Plus, Fresno has all the things you could want in your standard city: A diverse and creative culture, a rising Downtown, plenty of things to do on the weekend, three world class National Parks in the backyard, etc.

So it comes back to one thing: The heat.

You Have Heard Of This New Technology Called “Air Conditioning” and “Shade”, Right?

People afraid of the heat forget about the benefits. The perfect Summer evenings on a patio with a beer in one hand and a taco in another. Or the nights when it’s perfectly comfortable to swim and… have more beer.

Maybe Sactown is the only other West Coast city that can brag about that. Sorry, Portland & Seattle, we got ya on something.

Paying Triple To Not Experience A Hot Summer Is Crazy!

When a nice house in Fresno that costs $250,000 is going to cost $1,000,000 on the coast, I think “I’m good here, thanks.”

I admit, this past weekend of “coastal” weather was nice and I appreciated it. Enjoyed it. But I’ll go ahead and continue enduring hot Summers, for now, and not feel like an idiot when my mortgage bill comes. You can enjoy your 70s.

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

Top Fresno Street Names


Yep. This is a real post. The best Fresno street names according to me. Oh, and you will not find “Palmdon” on this list because there is no way that can be a legal name.

So. Take a cool name and add a little city importance, you get this:

  • Van Ness Extension. Like hell if we’re going to think up a new name. Let’s just slap “extension” on it, even though it’s over a mile away.
  • West. Because it actually goes North & South.
  • Ivy League School Series. Yale. Harvard and the other ones and stuff.
  • Bullard. When you drive through Fresno State’s fields you can go all fast and there is the slight danger of a tractor crossing your path.
  • Palm. Premier bike lanes in the city – suck it, Brandau.
  • Shaw. It sounds like something Wayne or Garth says, in place of “AS if!” “ShaWW right.”

via GIPHY

  • Fulton. Part of the lazy “just use San Fransico street names” series.
  • Blackstone. It has all the things; even HOOKERS! Wait. Blackstone still has hookers, right?
  • Fresno. Duh.
  • Friant. It’s also a dam. It’s dangerous. It totally flooded by Woodward Park the other day.
  • Weldon. Fun to say. Wel Don. Weldon. Weldadadon.
  • Fruit. Because fruit is what makes the cash around these parts and I have a totally “legally purchased” Fruit sign on my work bench.

Not making the list is Ashlan, Tuolumne and McKinley, because they are hard to spell.