Fresnans. This is your culture podcast. It is called Flowing With Famous. Mr. Joshua Tehee of the Fresno Bee and I have been doing this for many years, mostly talking Downtown Fresno and interesting Fresno culture and music stories. This month’s episode is no different.
We revisit the Fulton Mall groundbreaking and our feelings for that day. We stay in Downtown Fresno and talk about the Culture Arts District and if South Stadium is a good name for that area of Downtown.
The Audie’s Olympic era has closed and we reminisce about the historic Tower District music club which leads us into the Band Of The Episode: Let’s Go Bowling.
The playing of Let’s Go Bowling sparks yet another version of the game: What’s The Greatest Music Act In Fresno History?
We then talk about last month’s Fresyes Fest at Tioga and how we may be getting too old and if there a culture shift in Fresno nightlife. Plus Josh saw Justin Beiber… so that happened.
Fresno is a town of parkers. We love to drive someplace and then park there. Where can I park my thing at the thing? It better be a damn close spot too.
If we could park inside of the business we are going to, we would. This is the only way a Fresnan could be completly satisfied. You would think that the old Woodward Park Drive-In would still be around just for that fact. You were forced to park inside.
Since we love to park so much, you know that when there is the slightest thing off about a parking lot, we are going to complain about it DAMMIT!
So here is what I consider to be the five most annoying/worst parking lots in Fresno:
1.DOG HOUSE GRILL
Easy pick here. The parking at Dog House Grill might be more talked about than the parking in Downtown Fresno. There is no lot in town that makes locals heads shake more.
It makes one wonder how the lot ever got approved by the city, because they do have a policy about such things. Well, Doghouse Grill is a special case. For reals, in order to get approved, owners told the city they would create a lot off-site. They never got around to that lot.
This is how I believe their parking approval happened:
City Of Fresno: Dudes. The size of your parking lot doesn’t even cover your employees. This isn’t going to fly. Doghouse Grill: Oh shizzz. Well, what if we make a lot off-site and have a shuttle going back and forth? City Of Fresno: I guess that’s cool. Just make sure I get some of that sweet tri-tip action first. Doghouse Grill: Deal!
2.SAVEMART – BULLARD & WEST. Mix old people drivers with tight limited space and blammo. Prepare for that milk you just bought to expire as you wait for Old Man Fresno to move out of your way…very slowly. I can feel the tension now as I look at this pic:
Like many of you, I was at Fresyes Fest at Tigoa Sequoia on Saturday. But I came really close to not being there. You saw that line waiting to get in, right? Yeah I saw it too. Forget that noise.
But wait. I gotta blog about something. I guess I will go stand in line and all that crap.
Plus I really like good beer. And it was THE event in Fresno this past weekend.
No it wasn’t the last two nights at Audie’s (although it was pretty epic, I hear). And it wasn’t even Easter. It was Fresyes Fest. Sorry, Jesus, it’s true.
So the main thing I noticed while in there? It wasn’t the food trucks taking up Fulton Street. Or the fine beer TS pours. Or the pro stage. It wasn’t even Swear Bear emptying cups:
It was all the weird, unfamiliar people. Where did all these random Valley folks come from and who are they!?
Seriously though: Who the fuck were they?! And I use fuck in the sweetest way. Like, when a friend tells you their Great Uncle died last week. “Fuck. I’m sorry man.” That’s how I’m using it. Fuck can still be sweet and pack a punch. It’s versatile like that.
If you looked real close Saturday, you would have seen a few OG bloggers huddled in a shaded corner wondering where the time went. And yes, also still wondering who the fuck these people are.
Old Man Fresno rant!: “Back in my day, the only festival we had was the Fig Gig and that’s the way we liked it! No fancy hipster food trucks. No cute picnic tables inside a nice big Beer Garden. Our “beer garden” was a 50×50 foot taped-off piece of blacktop behind the Applebee’s, and that’s the way we liked it and we were happy to get it!”
That’s right, children. Fig Gig. It… it was something to go to. Technically. And we didn’t have to worry about lines or choices of beer. Sanger Light Bud Light and Bud Ice anyone?
Now you have FresYes Fest. And Grizzly Fest and Whatever Is Happening This Weekend Fest. I think Fresno is doing pretty damn good in the festival department now. Even if I don’t know WHO THE FUCK anybody is at these things.
You don’t know how good you have it, you Fresno Millennials. You have a downtown to be pumped about and a thriving festival scene. There used to be just Bud Light and caution tape.
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!
The Greene Family!
Popolo’s Pizza & More!
New location coming June 2016!!!!!!!!!!
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:
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:
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.
I dunno if you heard about this but Audie will soon no longer be running Audie’s Olympic club in the Tower District. Crazy, right?
Hey, don’t ask me what happened, I’m sure Josh over at Fresno Beehive has something up about it or soon will. Rumor has it that the Audie Camp is saying the owners of the building want to do their own thing there and are pushing him out. The Owners Camp (total rumor, bro, ok?) say they would like him to stay if he met with the obligations of the lease.
Totally not my business. All I know is I have spent a lot of time in Audie’s Olympic. Not as much as of late but I think maybe I’ve gone to… 90? 100 shows there? Yeah, sounds kinda right.
So with that, here are my Ten 9 Cool Ass Things [I Will Remember] About Audie’s Olympic:
The Tub Of Beer: Not every place in town has a horse water trough full of ice and cheap beer cans. Even if you are not hipster enough to like PBR (I apparently am not), you had to order one, just so you don’t stand out too much.
The Chalk Event Board: I am a real nerd about chalk boards. No self respecting craft beer tap room doesn’t have one. Audie’s has one. Checking out the board during band breaks is a classic past-time for me.
The Bathroom Door Sticker Art: I can only assume the girls bathroom is the same but I KNOW the boys has always been covered in band stickers. I really haven’t checked it out close enough to see if they are ever peeled off or if there are years and years of layers.
Audie Chilling In the Corner of the Bar: If you look real close, behind the soundboard, you just might catch a glimpse. Always felt like I was looking behind the curtain at the Wizard of Oz.
The Wall Carpet! Zanny I say (and probably helps with the sound). And all the stuff above the bar. ZANNY!
Pool Table/Merch Table: Of all the years going there, including when it was Club Fred, I think I saw the pool table actually functioning as a pool table, twice. Love picking up merch there so that is ok. Always bring cash for band merch, people, it seriously helps the bands survive.
The Sidewalk Scene: In between bands, more than half the club spills out onto the sidewalk in front of Audie’s. And most aren’t smoking, just getting some air and catching up with folks. Because have you tried having a conversation inside a rock club?
The Couches: It was super rare that I would get the couch in the center of the dance floor. I would occasionally get the one under the control booth. This was always a mistake because you never got up again.
Seeing Rising Bands: Whether it was a Fresno act or a touring act just trying to get noticed. There is no greater pretentious dude joy than to be able to say “I saw that band play at a small club in Fresno before they hit big.” Really this is [was] my favorite thing. And you get to talk to the bands outside during the sidewalk sessions.
Seriously, much love and respect to Audie and what he has done for the music scene in Fresno, it can’t be said enough. Safe travels on his next adventure.
Hopefully the space continues as a rock club. It just has too. Even if the wall carpet has to go.