What Will Happen To The Chicken Pie Shop Building?

Fresno’s Chicken Pie Shop is now closed for good. What are we going to do with that building?

Respect to the Chicken Pie Shop. A Tower and Fresno icon of breakfasts, chicken pies and green booths is now gone. Thank you for your service and your uniqueness. You will be missed.

Okay, now, what is going to happen to that building?

This a a major spot in the Tower District. A large building. On Olive. Next to all the things. It would be bad for the Tower District and bad for Fresno if it were to sit un-leased for a long time. We must figure this out.

Can it be a Trader Joe’s?

This is what everyone wants. If not a Trader Joe’s then something like it.

Yeah, Trader Joe’s is not realistic. Neither is any kind of market like a Trader Joe’s. Nice thought though.

How about…

Oh man, all of those suggestions are good.

Bitwise is so invested in Downtown now, I’m not sure they would come back to the Tower. They totally should though and that would be a good spot to do it.

Another stage for performing, whether for music or plays or comedy, would be perfect.

A craft beer tasting room or co-op?

Yeah, I would be into a Modern Times opening a tap-room. Very much so. It would be best if it was a local brewer. But the only one right now that could pull it off would be Tioga. Maybe Dust Bowl or South Gate. This is my favorite suggestion.

But what could a new tenant do to the building? It’s the Tower District and don’t they have a Committee that must approve of the things and such?

In this month’s Flowing With Famous, we suggest that David Fansler, creator of legendary Fresno restaurants Tahoe Joe’s, Yosemite Ranch, Pismo’s and Westwood’s, should open a theater district themed restaurant. But I don’t think he knows how to create a restaurant South of Shaw, so nevermind.

Let’s Get To Leasing!

Well then. We have an open space in a major location in the Tower and some good suggestions on what could become of the location. Somebody get to work on something.

In the meantime, I gotta see about acquiring one of those iconic Chicken Pie Shop booths.

*Photo by Josef Cramer

We Need To Think Differently About Me N Ed’s Pizza, Fresno

No this is not a post about the Best Pizza In Fresno. It’s a post about Me N Ed’s Pizza. [zing]

Kidding, kidding. I love that damn pizza. Me (Whomever this “Me” character is) and Ed, make a great pizza. A Fresno pizza. Not the best pizza in the world. Not the best pizza in Fresno.

But, it’s the most FRESNO pizza.

What is one of the things you do when someone from out-of-town comes to visit? Show them some Fresno stuff, duhhh. Like:

  • The electronic billboard at Blackstone & Shaw.
  • The corner of Barstow & Fruit where Brandau watched traffic for a few minutes, didn’t see a bike and stopped a fully funded road rehab from happening.
  • The AT&T Store that used to be a Grandy’s.

After that big tour, you’re going to want to take your guest out for some food. Fresno food.

First, you have some tri-tip (either from your backyard grill or [insert your favorite place to have tri-tip here]. Then you have tacos [probably from a place on Belmont]. Then some pilaf [probably your Mom’s]. Then it’s Me N Ed’s Pizza.

Here is the part we need to think about differently

Do NOT frame it as THE BEST PIZZA! It won’t work.

No outsiders will ever think Me N Ed’s is the best pizza. I’m not saying that because I think it’s bad or isn’t the best pizza. I’m saying that because EVERYBODY thinks the pizza from their town is the best.

Me N Ed’s could be the best pizza and it wouldn’t matter. Pizza is the most subjective food in … food. Whatever pizza a person grew up with is what they think is the best pizza and will be closed off from accepting somebody’s pizza as being better.

Close the brick oven, this is how it is and will always be. Everybody’s opinion about pizza is the right opinion. No use trying to change it.

So, when you do order up some Me N Ed’s delivered or head down to a location where you can pour your own beer, like my favorite one at Bullard & West, frame the argument differently.

Say, “This is our take on pizza. It’s a very Fresno thing
[well, Valley and Lakewood thing]. It is local. We love it (mostly). You probably won’t and that is okay.”

Order your Valley Veggie. Order your pepperoni & canned mushroom. Move on.

*Picture stolen from Me N Ed’s Twitter feed.

Fulton Street Party Is All Fresno Music Goodness!

Fulton Street Party set list 2018

Fulton Street Party! Glad that Tioga is around, otherwise this might not have happened.

The Fulton Street Party is Saturday, celebrating one year of traffic returning to Fulton. It won’t be the hullabaloo that was last year’s party.

But thankfully, Tioga Sequoia Brewing pushes for something to happen and is making a day out of it, highlighted by the Battle of the Bands style competition happening all day with all local acts.

The two “best” bands will win slots at next year’s Grizzly Fest.

This will be a great snapshot of the state of Fresno’s music scene and it’s free to check out. Gaze at the flyer above for set times. I definitely have a couple picked out already.

Tioga will also have super fresh Fulton Street IPA (nice and hazy) flowing all day along, with other things going on within the block surrounding Tioga’s Beer Garden. Including the main stage for bands in the lot across the street from TS.

Sounds like a damn fine day to me. Hope I see ya there!

Maybe I’ll finally check out Chicken Shack.

Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Is Coming To Fresno

The Northern California brewpub chain, Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, is coming to Fresno at The Marketplace.

That’s the drunk whispers I am hearing. Fresno is adding another brewpub style place to eat and drink and it’s called Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse.

I thought Pete’s was going to be on the empty pad along Herndon (near 99), next to the Target and the Panera. Thankfully, Fresnan reader, Redd, pointed out that it will be next to the new movie theater being built during phase two of construction:

It was rumored that Southgate Brewing in Oakhurst was going to open up a second location there but they are planning on building at Avenue 12 & Highway 41.

When Does Pete’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Open?

Summer. Summer of 2019. That’s all I got for now. Things change I suppose. Fall through. Get drunk, stumble around, knock over a few street signs, wake up in the morning and forget it signed a three-year lease. But it seems it will happen.

What Is This Pete’s Brewhouse All About?

I had never heard of this place before but they have 13 freaking locations. They all seem to center around Sacramento but they don’t actually have a Sacramento location.

What Kind Of Food?

It’s brewpub food, people. We all know what that is about. I have not looked at the menu yet but I feel like there will be sliders. Lots of versions of sliders. Okay now, let’s look at the menu and see.

I’m shocked. I didn’t see any sliders. Lots of food. A bit more extensive than the standard restaurant brewery. Sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes too many dishes is a bad thing. At least there will be choices.

What Kind Of Beer?

For a beer geek like me, usually, the most exciting thing to look for is not the beer that the place makes but the guest taps. These are the beers they serve that are not the ones they make.

Usually, the beer that a brewpub makes is very generic. Just kinda OK. So the beer they offer other than theirs becomes the interesting part. Pete’s other locations seem to lean towards craft beer, which is a good sign.

They serve a lot of Norcal area beers so I assume the Fresno location will have locals like Tioga, Full Circle, House of Pendragon, Dust Bowl and maybe by that point Zack’s.

Fresno Is The New Brewpub Capitol.

Even though Fresno is still underserved for actual breweries, we seem to be doing just fine for brewpubs. We already have chains and homegrown.

We have Mad Duck at Campus Pointe. They are even opening a second location at Herndon & Marks that is being built as we read:

Mad Duck Brewery second location

We also have Sequoias (wish we could still call it Butterfield’s) with a Tower District location and an NE Fresno location. There is also the chain, BJ Brewhouse at Fashion Fair.

Brewpub or Brewery? What Is The Difference?

If you’re kind of fuzzy from drinking the night before and were wondering what the difference between a brewpub and a brewery is, I think of it this way:

BREWERY:

  • Focused on making their own beer.
  • Distributes their beer to other places.
  • Packages their beer for stores.
  • Food is not offered or comes second to the beer.

BREWPUB:

  • Food is the main focus.
  • Beer is an afterthought or feels almost like a gimmick to get you in the door.
  • The beer that they brew is safe and generic, does not push the limits of brewing.
  • Very little to no packaging of the beer, little to no distribution.

We have roughly the same amount of brewpubs as we do breweries in Fresno. That is odd and I hope the brewery side passes up the brewpub side soon.

Until then I will still be sampling both because beer research is essential to local blogging. Says me.

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.