Summer Sweat 2018: The Fresno Thing To Do This Weekend

It’s time for Summer Sweat again!

My favorite music-related event of the year (well, since FUSE Fest is tucked away hiding in a Downtown basement somewhere).

I love Fresno events that fucking own that they are a Fresno event! That’s right, an outdoor event, during the hottest time of the year. Call it Summer Sweat. Bring the damn sweat!

SUMMER SWEAT DETAILS

TIOGA SEQUOIA STAGE

TEZZY RADIO STAGE

I will check in on this in between sets on the Tioga Stage and getting Fulton Street IPAs. But I would be lying if I told you I knew what the hell was going on there.

DJ Burns will be there. I sure hope it’s my friend Doug from 3rd Grade whom we all still call “Burns” and he has secretly been DJ-ing for years. Probably not.

OTHER THINGS TOO

There will be food and vendors of various sorts, check the flyer above for the list. All I need to know is there will be food and I’m cool. I am here for the music and beer.

I’ll try to update this post when I know the set times and if there are any special beer releases Tioga has up its sleeve.

Oh wait, here are the set times:

I am definitely centering things around Pinkeye’s set with an eye on Macondo’s.

The thing I like about Summer Sweat above all the other music related events and festivals in Fresno is that it doesn’t get uncomfortably packed with Fresbros or anybody else, it’s about the music, it’s approachable, there is the good beer. Enough said.

See ya out there, sweating and breathing heavy.

 

Chicken Shack Fresno – Things To Know Before You Go

Chicken Shack Fresno

I have not been to the new Chicken Shack in Fresno, on Fulton Street. Just letting you know right now. This is not a personal review. It’s compiled. Hell dude, I didn’t even take the above picture, the Fresno Bee’s Bryant-Jon Anteola did.

That’s fine. We can figure out if this place is worth checking out all the same.

Location

1108 Fulton Street (formally Fulton Mall). Corner of Fulton & Mariposa. Located close to the Fresno Courthouse, Chuchanski Park and Club One Casino.

So it’s a good place to eat if you have jury duty in Downtown Fresno.

Heck, it could even serve as a place to eat if you’re seeing a show at Selland Arena or Warnors Theatre.

Hours: 10 AM – 9 PM every day.

The first Chicken Shack started in Hanford. They also have a food truck too that was very popular at this year’s Grizzly Fest. But the location we are talking about is the Fresno one.

Menu

They have beer! Oh wait, we should talk about the chicken first.

Of course, there is chicken. Next level fast-food style chicken, whatever that means. Lots of burgers too. And salads. And wings. Here is their full menu.

Some things that people have Yelped:

“They have a great set up inside and a patio to eat on as well as some good chicken fingers! I ordered the #2, it’s big enough to share if you’re just wanting to watch some Tv, drink some soda, and have a bite to eat.”
-Eric Larsen

“Got the buffalo fries, they were great. Chicken tenders cut up on top of shoe string fries. Big enough to share. Husband ordered the double shack burger combo which is HUGE and delicious. The bun was fancy haha.”
-Brianna Wilson

“I have had better chicken at a Rallys…”
-Daniel Marshall

Okay, well, not everybody enjoyed it. But overall I hear many good things.

ABC 30 did a video about the place when it first opened that might be of some help:

Beer, yes, I almost forgot. They have craft beer!

There are not a ton of food places like this, that have any kind of craft beer selection. As a beer geek that gets super annoying. A Chicken Shack, there most certainly is some Tioga Sequoia on draft, so we can drink local at the very least:

Are there things for vegetarians?

Not really. I guess you should not expect much since the place is called “The CHICKEN Shack” but you might deserve to expect something, ya know. I guess you can at least get one of their salads, without meat. Veg eaters are used to improvising when eating out.

Best Time To Go To CHICKEN SHACK FRESNO

Obviously, the best times to go to restaurants, new, old or popular, are the off times. Between 2-5 or 11:00-11:30 AM. I have heard tell that they can even be busy during the week after 2.

Pro tip: You can call-ahead your order. Much less waiting that way. (559)-724-9857.

Here’s Where Things Get Weird

They painted the building blue. Which is cool because it is not ‘Fresno Beige’ and we need less beige around here. And they have a pretty good sign that fits well enough.

Then came the oddness.

(Photo by Daniel A Draper)

They painted panels of art around the building.

You see, the Chicken Shack happens to be located on “Renoir Corner”, which I didn’t know was a thing until now. It’s named that because of the Renoir sculpture located on that corner. So hence, the inspired panels.

But it just looks… off. The combination of the art panels, the blue and the sign that does not blend with this, makes it look a little hokey.  Now mind you, this is WAY better than just plain beige, so I guess I should shut up. Love the effort!

Listen to a review

Early on in this month’s Flowing With Famous podcast, Joshua Tehee gives me/us a review of the place. Definitely worth listening to if I do say so myself:

Eventually I’ll get around to eating some Chicken Shack food. If you have gone or plan NOT to go, feel free to leave me a comment on how it went or why you won’t go.

I Rode My Bike To A Thing In Fresno and Nobody Flipped Me Off

I decided to ride my bike to a Fresno beer thing last week (Happy Anniversary, Pine & Palm Brewing). One, because obviously, it’s better to ride a bike with a couple pops in ya than drive. Second, because I always preach riding your bike in Fresno but don’t do it enough. So I did.

My destination? Pine & Palm Brewing. 2nd Anniversary Party.

My route? Fruit, North to Herndon. Herndon to Palm (via trail pictured above). Palm to Bedford. Bedford to brewery.

I begin on Fruit. The same section that some council asshat stopped a fully funded and approved road-diet on because he sat at a corner for an hour and allegedly didn’t observe any bikers. (Yeah, I’m still bitter)

Are We Getting Better Or Was It A One-Time Thing?

As I was stopped at the light at Fruit & Bullard, I chose to rest on the white line dividing the two lanes because there was a car coming up behind me that wanted to turn right so I wanted to give them space to do that. As the light turned green, I went back into the lane knowing there we no cars behind me so I could safely use the lane. But the car that was turning right decided not to and is now directly behind me.

Normally, Fresno drivers get pissed-off that they are having to wait for a bike, even though said bike as a right to be using the lane. I got over quickly for fear of a bottle being tossed at my head. When the car passed, there was no bottle. No finger. No “Get the fuck off the road!” The car uneventfully went by.

Fresnans just might be getting more mellow with sharing the road.

Let The Drinking Begin!

At Pine & Palm Brewing, having some beers, celebrating two years of the brewery in their new taproom, getting slightly annoyed at the soccer fans that have taken over the Taproom.

I now get word that there is a group of Perfect Pour people over at the newest Fresno drinking spot, just around the corner. I leave the soccer fans to their fun and head over.

A Bar In An Industrial Park!?

Yep. There is a new craft beer and wine bar in Fresno and it’s in an industrial park in Pinedale – well, I refer to it as Pinedale anyway. It’s called Tap & Cellar. Check it:

Great beer list. They have kegs of beer that you can’t find anywhere else in town. Good addition to the scene.

Time To Ride Back.

Before I get too deep into day-drinking, it’s time to bike home. I took a slightly different route back and discovered a small, but effective, path that comes close to the Herndon path:

This little trail runs along Harrison Ave, behind (to the West) of the Palm Bluffs area.

Finishing the ride at home, I was pleased with Fresnans because nobody seemed to get pissed at me – at least they didn’t make it known. There is hope. Maybe Fresno can be a bike-friendly place after all.

Fresyes Fest: Seven Things I’ll Do

Fresyes Fest! Saturday! I’m totally probably going! Gotta go, right? It’s North America’s best, real estate company festival! Gotta be top eight, at least.

The only problem with the event in the past is that it’s too awesome and successful. Fresno loves things to be free and bumping.

Organizers listened to whiny bloggers and doubled the size this year. There will be more room for activities!!

Alright. So, it’s cool, we’re going. But what time?

I base the time I go on two factors:

  1. Avoiding people.
  2. Set times for the bands I want to see.

Getting there at the beginning is the key to avoiding people. And there are two bands I definitely want to see: Sparklejet and Sharks Of Dance.

Unfortunately they play at totally different times. Here are the set times:

Sharks at 1:15 is excellent! Take in the set, have a couple beers, do an Irish Exit around 2:30 and go about the rest of my day in Fresno.

But wait. Sparklejet does not play until 5:30. That is a long time between shows. Too long when there is beer around. I can’t commit a whole fucking day to one place, I’m not 22.

Damn.

Not sure how to go about this. I guess I could leave and come back at 5:30 but that is unlikely. Once I return to my NW Fresno life, motivating to go back Downtown will be tough.

I dunno. Guess I’ll figure it out the day of. In the meantime.

Here are the seven things!

In addition to the Sparklejet set at 5:30 and/or maybe the Sharks Of Dance set, here is some other stuff I plan to do:

  1. Several times, badly joke to someone “Screw this FresYES Fest, I’m starting a FresNO Fest! As in, a NO Clovis people festival!”
  2. Find a corner to hide. I’d prefer one with fellow nerdy blogger/media or beer geek types, but I’m fine by myself too.
  3. Examine a Fresno inspired vendor booth. My go-to is Casual Glitz.
  4. Make eye contact with someone I know and wonder if I should stop and talk. Or do I just politely nod ”Sup” because they probably want to talk to me less than I want to talk to them.
  5. Try to figure out who are all these people. A lot of folks show up and you are like “Wait. Who is THAT guy? That guy lives in Fresno? And he is with THAT girl? She can’t be from here. What the hell is going on!?!”
  6. Eat tacos. I may even stave off tacos on Friday to make it extra special.
  7. Drink beer. The special release beer for this year’s festival that Tioga made is a hazy IPA called ”Pride of the Valley: Workd Champ IPA” in honor of local boxer and Champion, Jose Ramirez. I am definitely going to have that one. Then maybe I’ll have one more. Then stop, if I drove, or keep drinking if I take a Lyft. Be safe, Future Mikey.

So, no matter what time I figure out, I’ll be there. I’m sure you and half of Fresno will be too. Maybe we can buy each other a beer.

After all, it’s double the free. Double the beer stations. Double the places to hide.

*Great info that answers every question you might have about this year’s event can be found here.

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.

Places I Ate and Drank At In Fresno A Lot This Year

Year-end lists are the most unoriginal thing in blogging. But dammit, they are popular and fun.

So here I am, listing some places I regularly went to eat and/or drink at in Fresno this year so maybe you can go there too and keep them open for me so I can continue to enjoy. Cool? Cool.

EATING

I have a goal to learn how to cook more things in 2018. Until this happens, there’s take out. Lots of take out.

TOP FIVE TAKEOUT:

  • Berrock Shop. The obvious thing to have here are the berrocks and chicken pot pies, but don’t forget the burgers and tri-tip sandwiches.
  • Jack’s Urban Eats. Yep, it was exciting when they installed taps. Yep, they have good tri-tip sandwiches too – regular AND BBcue style.
  • Formally Maria’s Taco Shop. No fuss. Just straight, fast, solid Mexican food. Plus I still have memories of it being a Taco Bell.
  • China Bistro. The SW corner of Bullard & West, tucked back behind a fountain. Good soup. Good everything. Sweet people.
  • Mama Mia’s – Palm & Bullard. All the things are good. Especially fond of the gnocchi. A little greasy but I think it’s supposed to be, yeah?

Almost making the list are Habit Burger and sadly: Chipotle. By the way, these are all places you can sit and eat, I just primarily use them for takeout. Speaking of…

TOP FIVE SITDOWN:

  • Casa Corona – Bullard & West. One of the better bar atmospheres in NW Fresno, and they finally got a decent IPA on tap (Luponic Distortion), food is not bad either.
  • Eureka Burger. This is my go-to place. Usually a good beer selection and always good food, I usually have the Fresno Burger or chicken nachos when it’s “hoppy” hour.
  • Popolo’s Pizza. I will forever miss the old location and salad bar. But the new place still gives me enough to keep coming back. I’m partial to the baked sandwiches.
  • Edo-Ya. At times, the best sushi in town and the teppanyaki is great too. We all know about EdoYa, come on, just go. L.A. Roll is amaze.
  • Pismo’s. I’m not fond of fish dishes and I still like this place. On point with atmosphere, food and service. Can’t really afford to go very much but always enjoy when I do.

Honorable Mention to Yardhouse, Benadiction (best breakfast) and to South Gate Brewing for being the best out-of-town but not THAT out-of-town place.

DRINKING!

I love craft beer so you won’t find a place here that doesn’t have it.

  • Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden. It is THE Fresno brewery hangout/event space/beer release place. Great beer and Downtown views.
  • Goldstein’s. Always a great selection of beer, nice atmosphere. Only wish I could go more when it’s not so packed and hard to order beers. (Bar pictured at top)
  • Spokeasy’s. Maybe the most genuine beer bar in town. Favorite thing is to wait for a keg to “blow” so you can see what new beer comes on while you sit there – they have a small tap system so it enables them to run through kegs rather quickly, keeping the draft list always fresh.
  • HOP PK. It’s brand new and I have only been once but this one has been so long in coming and so needed that I am including it. Looking forward to more visits in 2018.
  • Pine & Palm Brewing. It is so tiny but still fun if you are a beer geek. Good news is they are expanding very soon, excited to see what’s next.

Honorable mention to Full Circle Brewing. I wish they could magically move their building over by Tioga and Zack’s, I’d be there all the time.

So that was 2017. The number one Fresno food & drink thing I am looking forward to in 2018 is Zack’s Brewing opening their taproom on Fulton. There is a rumor it could possibly maybe open by May, fingers crossed.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts on The Fresnan this year!