Don’t Be Lame, Whole Foods Fig Garden, Fresno Needs This

  
The time has come, Whole Foods Fresno. Turn your dumb little cooking demo room into a craft beer bar. 

You know the little area, tucked into the corner of the bread department. The one you rarely use for anything – except for what you are using it as now: a backroom for your bread department:

  

This needs to have beer taps in it, not bread racks.

You may think that a craft beer bar inside a grocery store is not a thing. You would be wrong. It is a thing. In fact, Whole Foods leads the way in grocery store beer bars. They have several.

In fact, the Houston one even has a brewery! And the one down in Del Mar (SD) has really terrible cover bands playing:

Just imagine that inside Fresno’s Whole Foods – only with the Light Thieves playing.

Hybrid drinking holes

This Whole Foods craft beer bar need opens things up to another stellar idea.

On The Perfect Pour we somewhat jokingly floated the idea of having a beer bar inside a hardware store and also how there are not enough sandwich shops with beer.

This is a good start. I wouldn’t mind having a beer with my Gino’s sub. But what other Fresno places could use some beer?

Since a CSU rule prevents Bulldog Stadium from selling beer, that one stays off the list. Also, hair salons recently got the ok to serve alcohol [legally], so that’s taken care of. 

With that, here are some ideas to spice up some local places with a beer bar:

 Jury Duty. Yeah you might get more people to actually show up if there was the promise of one free beer (or wine) per day. Mmmmm, Goverment beerrrr.

Pep Boys. Just using Pep Boys as a place holder, it could be any mechanic in town. I would actually get my oil changed at the mileage Jiffy Lube suggested if I knew I could have a hoppy pale while waiting.

Costco. It would be cheap, as long as you bought two gallons at a time. … on second thought: fuck this. I don’t want to go into Costco any more than I have to.

So lets get that beer bar going, Whole Foods Fresno! Hurry, before Pottery Barn beats you to it. 

If you have a suggestion for a place in Fresno that could use a beer & wine bar, leave it in the comments!

Bagby’s Beer Is The Place Fresno Needs

Bagby Beer Company

There’s a lot going in Fresno right now. What with pavement being laid on Fulton, the Spanspek lineup being announced, the Mayor soon taking on a new soul-fulfilling job, Jenna Prandini being Olympic, Kelly Slater making his previously secret Fresno area surfing spot public.

Things.

Dude I missed some of those. I was in San Diego on a ‘beercation’ (it’s a thing) to attend the Festival Of Dankness. Saw some pretty rad beer related stuff. None more rad (and I will pull it back to Fresno) than going to Bagby’s Beer Company.

bagby-beer-oceanside

I was amazed by the coolness of this place. Three very different bars, all in one place, all with different micro climates. But it manages to keep it tied together. You know you’re in the same place but are still having different experiences.

bagby upstairs

The design was well done, downstairs, upstairs, inside, outside, desert, beach, California, ALL represented. A San Diego classic.

HOW IS THIS FRESNO, BRO?

The reason I bring it up on a Fresno blog is I CAN TOTALLY SEE THIS IN FRESNO! A Fresno version anyway. We deserve it. We can support it. We can have nice things.

Fresno is ready. Just look at all the beer stuff happening or about to happen around town. We are building a scene and the Tioga’s, Goldstein’s, House Of Pendragons, Spokeasy’s and Pine & Palms, won’t mind the good company.

SOMEONE WITH MONEY GET ON THIS

If you are a beer and business dude in Fresno, looking for inspiration, check out the article by the SD Reader on the beginning of Bagby’s and how it was built. You just might get inspired. I’ll be waiting with something hoppy in hand.

Cheers!

(One pic stolen from here and one from here)

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.

How To Deal With Self Service Beer At Me-N-Ed’s Pizza

self service taps

In case you haven’t noticed, the Bullard and West Me-N-Ed’s Pizza has been remodeled and added something Fresno has never seen: Self Service Beer Taps.

Run for the bluffs, post T-Ball pizza meetup, this may be too crazy for the kids!

SELF SERVING BREAKDOWN

Here is how it works. You order your food like always, but you tell them you are drinking like an adult. They ID you and start a tab. Then give you a magic wristband to wear.

You pick out a glass, search for the right beer (with pizza, I recommend an IPA, pale or Tioga’s Ed’s Red, but that’s just me), place your wristband against a certain spot on the tap, the tap gets ‘green lit’ and you can start pouring.

Wow. “Exciting” footage [sarc].

In addition to the beer taps, the place got cleaned up and is sporting a lot of wood.

remodled me n eds

Gone are the video games that the location had. So you might encounter a pissed off child at first. But give them a taste of your beer and it might shut them up.

(Disclaimer: thefresnan.com does not endorse childhood drinking in any way but just needed a mildly humorous line to place in the blog post).

HOW DRUNK CAN I GET?

You can get up to 32 ounces (two pints) but you can ask for more if they can see that you can take on additional juice. It electroniclly tracks how many ounces you’ve poured yourself – Big Brother is monitoring how much you drink, man!

There are 29 taps plus a cider or two and a couple of handles with something called “wine”. I don’t know what that is but I hear it contains alcohol so I guess it’s cool.

A REVIEW

This kind of system feels like a trendy thing, but I’m sure more will be popping up. And this one isn’t going away anytime soon.

It’s still pretty busy, as all new Fresno things are at first. But it’s managable. And if you don’t feel like pizza, you can just show up for the beer. They even have a seperate counter now to handle just the beer.

Not having to wait to get a bartender’s attention is a nice change. Although I can see it getting annoying having to get up everytime you want more beer. 

I wouldn’t want every bar having this system. But it’s fun, glad it is in Fresno, I’ll be back – even if Big Brother is watching how many Luponic Distortions I can put down.

Southern California Is Too Hot? This Pleases Me.

Fresno Life
Fresno Life

Yes I am dangerously close to posting about weather too much. But dammit I need to again. Because something awesome has been happening as a bi-product of the current heat wave…

People in L.A. and San Diego are losing their shit.

Yeah, those same assholios who only think about Fresno to mock it for being SO HOT. Those same douches are filling their social feeds with pictures of their dashboard thermometers and even their Barbecues:
Continue reading “Southern California Is Too Hot? This Pleases Me.”

How To Be OK With The Fresno Heat

Generated by IJG JPEG Library
Le Reina Paletas Photo stolen from VidaEnElvalle.com

You’re not a Fresnan until you’ve suffered through enjoyed a Summer in Fresno and the time has begun to ready yourself for the Fresno Sun.

We’ve gotten through our first heatwave and I’m officially adjusted to. It just takes one solid three day run of upper 90s plus and I’m locked in until the end of September.

“But how can I obtain this ability to get through a Fresno Summer as an asshat such as yourself, Fresnan?” Well, here are my suggestions on how to deal with it and help make it better.

  • Crank your air. Sure, this is a no duh, but good air conditioning is pretty big. If you’re lucky enough to have a good solar system, then crank the crap out of that AC unit, bro, you have won Fresno.
  • Just don’t go outside from 2 to 6. Who wants to be outside from 2 to 6:00 anyway? It’s not like there is anything going on. That is unless you have access to a pool. If you have access to a pool, 2 to 6 can be rather awesome.
  • Paletas. These help a great deal. I am especially found of the ones from La Reina De Michoacana (even though I can’t ever pronounce the name of the shop). Bring cash and be ready to take home a dozen, at least.
  • Beer and water. Fresno has plenty of good beer options now (could always use more though) and we still have… SOME water. Drink both of these things (yep at the same time, hydrate) and the heat goes away. Drink enough beer and everything goes away (except your gut).
  • Patios at night. The Fresno Summer creates a perfect atmosphere for hanging outside at night. Add the previous mentioned swimming pool and beer to that mix, and you’ve got one very magical Fresno evening.
  • Get geeky about temperatures changes. This is a personal nerdy one. Follow, from day-to-day, what time temps change and see if you can tell the difference in a two degree temperature drop or rise the next day. You know when people say “Oh it doesn’t matter once it’s past 100 degrees.” Actually it does. And I’m nerdy and trained enough to tell. I’m trying to develop a skill, don’t laugh, it can be done and soon you WILL have the skill too.
  • Get with some trees. Drive up into the mountains for part of the day. Sure, you can do the same with the beach or The Bay. But it’s a lot easier to just run up the hill and maybe jump into Bass Lake, Shaver or Lewis Creek or push on into Yosemite. Have you had a beer and a lunch at South Gate¬†yet? Do it.
  • The SJ River. Oh yeah, we have a river too. Pretty nice one that is officially in Fresno and stuff. There’s just not enough good spots to access and enjoy it. But wait, cue the San Joaquin River Parkway folks because they have all the spots a Fresnan can use to get in that river thingy that we forget is there.

There you go. It’s a start. Grab a beer and take in that 103 degree day. If it drops to 101 tomorrow you’ll be trained to enjoy it.