Epic Social Bar + Lounge
Jul19

Epic Social Bar + Lounge

More than a bar. Less than a Tweet-Up. It’s Epic Social Bar & Lounge. Housed in the former Stir/Barcode space on Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa, this wired lounge is serving up more than just libations. The idea, according to owner Bruce Le (his family has owned several Asian eateries in town) is to create an IRL social networking space. Well, that and get your groove on. The narrow bar has been opened up with the addition...

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Casino Bar & Grill | Bodega

It takes approximately five seconds to drive through the hamlet of Bodega — the town, not the Bay. There is no stoplight, but the posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour makes for a steady glow of brake lights as beach-goers and dairy trucks make their way somewhere else. It also takes approximately five seconds to give a mostly-incorrect retelling of the town’s claim-to-fame as backdrop for Alfred Hitchcock’s The...

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Fresh by Lisa Hemenway: PIX

BiteClub’s been reporting on Lisa Hemenway’s new venture, Fresh, for several months now. But last night was the first time I’ve seen the market/restaurant in full swing since opening in late September. It’s been a work-in-progress for a few weeks as staff were trained, shelves stocked and the in-store restaurant worked out. But on a bustling Wednesday night, the restaurant was at capacity, with locals munching...

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Norman Rose Tavern | Napa
Aug03

Norman Rose Tavern | Napa

The Norman Rose Tavern in Napa has solid chops both behind the bar and in the kitchen. The owners of popular Azzurro Pizzeria lend their culinary chops to a retro-modern American menu that speaks directly to the “oh I really shouldn’t, but I will” part of the soul. Best bets include a Buttermilk Fried Chicken sandwich with Watercress and peppercorn mayo ($10.95); moist Five Dot Ranch burgers (with add-ons like a...

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Barley and Hops Pub | Occidental
Jan12

Barley and Hops Pub | Occidental

“Can I get you a beer?” Six words that strike terror in my heart. Barley and Hops owner Noah Bolmer stands behind his small Occidental bar with a pilsner glass and a hand poised at the tap. I start to sweat. I’m a beer-ophobe ruined by too many keg stands and quarter beer nights. A worried look gives me away. Along with the gagging sounds. “I haven’t met a person yet that I couldn’t find a beer...

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Hopmonk | Sebastopol
Apr25

Hopmonk | Sebastopol

Editor’s Note: Though BiteClub has not returned to HopMonk since 2008, fans tell me the food has improved a great deal and is a solid choice for tasty pub grub. ++++++++++ BiteClub was ready to love Hopmonk. All the build up, all the hype, all the beer. What could go wrong? Apparently a lot. I’m willing to overlook a whole heck of a lot when a restaurant first opens. Kitchens need time to get the drill right. Staff need...

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