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Welcome back, Wishbone in Petaluma

In their first Facebook post since March, Wishbone hinted on Aug. 21 that they might have a big announcement in the works. Then on Sept. 3, they posted that they will once again “open the doors for an extended encore performance,” surely in reference to the fact that they kept their doors open for quite a while last time while looking for a buyer of their restaurant. They announced that starting this Friday, Sept. 10, Wishbone will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for good coffee and a limited and “lovely” menu, for both café counter and patio service. On Sept. 4, they continued with, “The espresso machine will be singing, the griddle will be cranking, the music will be slightly too loud and the mimosas will be flowing.” (841 Petaluma Blvd. N. Their website is not currently up.)

Chefs Stephane Saint Louis and Steven Vargas at Table Culture Provisions in Petaluma. (Photo: Jessi Conover)
Chefs Stephane Saint Louis and Steven Vargas at Table Culture Provisions in Petaluma. (Photo: Jessi Conover)

Table Culture Provisions

So, if you are like me, your first questions upon hearing the Wishbone news was whether Table Culture Provisions was sharing the space, as they did when they first started at the location, or if they had moved on. I got a chance to catch up with TCP co-owner/chef Stéphane Saint Louis just prior to press and this is what he could share with me. The deal for the business simply did not work out, but TCP and Wishbone parted as friends and wish each other the best. Additionally, although tight lipped about the details, he promised to keep Petaluma readers in the loop about some even bigger news that is just over the horizon for TCP. You heard it here first, and Chef Stéphane promises you all will the first to know once they can make their announcement public.

Bidding is animated during the live auction portion of the Petaluma Educational Foundation's annual fundraising BASH. (Argus-Courier file photo)
Bidding is animated during the live auction portion of the Petaluma Educational Foundation's annual fundraising BASH. (Argus-Courier file photo)

The BASH

Petaluma Educational Foundation’s “BASH” had to be switched again from a live event back to virtual but that doesn’t mean the celebration will be any less. The BASH is PEF’s big yearly fundraiser, usually raising several hundred thousand dollars for their programs. (Visit pefinfo.com for more information.) The BASH will livestream their event broadcast on Saturday, Sept. 11, from 6 -7 p.m. Currently, the online auction is open and although the Taste of Town raffle tickets are sold out, the “Restaurant Raffle” may be a different offering. Additionally, along with some great vacation packages, and a plethora of other prizes, there are a lot of restaurant gift certificate auction items still up for grabs. For those that may not win an auction or raffle item, please consider still giving by choosing the “Give” button on the BASH’s event site – pefbash2021.afrogs.org.

Keller Estates in Petaluma. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Keller Estates in Petaluma. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Keller Estate harvest celebration

It’s harvest celebration time at Keller Estate, one of the most beautiful vineyards in the area. On Sunday, Sept. 12, starting at 11 a.m., Keller will be pouring their newest release – 2018 brut rose, along with a selection of other Keller favorites. From 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., paella will be served by Paella del Reyes. We have attended this event several times in the past and have always had a wonderfully relaxing time. And as we have found out over and over again, Keller’s wines pair well with everything, from fine dining to paella to barbecue ribs when we judged the Ribs for Kids competition with Anna Keller. Tickets are still available for sale at kellerestate.com for $75, however, club members get two tickets complimentary. So, if you have ever been interested in joining, this is as good of an excuse as any.

The picturesque view from Grand Central Cafe. (HOUSTON PORTER/FOR THE ARGUS-COURIER)
The picturesque view from Grand Central Cafe. (HOUSTON PORTER/FOR THE ARGUS-COURIER)

Flamenco at Grand Central

Always keeping things exciting, Grand Central Petaluma (226 Weller St.) has just announced tickets for their Sept. 26 “Flamenco! Live!” event. The show starts at 3 p.m. and tickets are $25. Food will be available to purchase, likely including Grand Central’s recently announced selection of warm empanadas. The event is not yet listed on their website, so visit their Facebook page for more information.

McDonald’s

Rumor has it that McDonald’s, after a quick remodel, has their McDowell location back up and running. Sure, it’s slick and modern looking, much to the chagrin of those who prefer the nostalgic old versions, but hey, it’s their money so they can spend it how they want. As I have written before, and although I have not been a consumer of fast food for over two decades, partially out of habit and partially out of a desire to spend my money at “mom and pop” restaurants. But this particular location is iconic for anyone who grew up in Petaluma in the 1970s, ‘80s and 90s. And after posting my article on their remodel a few months ago, the owners of the property (but not the franchise) were kind enough to offer me some keepsakes from the demolish. I now have several bricks, some steel spikes and a couple of the red roof tiles that were synonymous with the McDonald’s buildings of the last century. I haven’t figured out what to do with them yet, so for now, they sit alongside several bricks from the Big Yellow House in Santa Rosa and several bricks from Mendocino Brewing Company’s original Hopland taphouse.

Fourth and Sea has sat vacant since the business closed last year. (Crissy Pascual/Argus-Courier)
Fourth and Sea has sat vacant since the business closed last year. (Crissy Pascual/Argus-Courier)

Fourth & Sea

While on the topic, Fourth & Sea Fish and Chips posted for the first time in 2021, and only their second post in over year, that they are still planning a come back. From their Facebook page on Sept. 4: “Hey folks! We're still looking for a location. So many locations that we have looked at are just not right for one reason or another. The perfect spot will come along. A lot of the spots we've looked at are often in need of code upgrades that make it economically impossible to make a living. Have you noticed how quickly McDonalds on McDowell was torn down and rebuilt? Lot's of investment and prior planning and knowing the ‘little guys’ can't compete. I would encourage you all to support your independent restaurants or Petaluma will look very different in the future.”

Following a car crash, damage was visible at the Bodega Country Store in Bodega on Monday, August 30, 2021. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)
Following a car crash, damage was visible at the Bodega Country Store in Bodega on Monday, August 30, 2021. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Bodega Country Store

Last week the Argus reported on a hit-and-run that demolished the front of, and closed down Bodega Country Store at the corner of Salmon Creek Road and Bodega Highway, in the inland hamlet of Bodega. The couple that runs the store has since started up a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of raising $100,000 to help get their store back open, and their livelihood back under their feet. So far, in just seven days, they have raised over $18,000. You can search for “Support Ari to re-build…” or use this link (https://tinyurl.com/yvd4kz82) to read more about the family’s store, as well as the history behind the building, things that go well beyond the brief news spot just about the hit and run. Theirs is a truly compelling story so if you have the means to help, they, and the Bodega Bay community, would certainly appreciate it.

A corner section of the Palace of Fruit in Penngrove, Calif., on Sept. 2, 2021, was boarded up after a car plowed into the market in September 2020 and set it ablaze. (Paul Bomberger/The Press Democrat)
A corner section of the Palace of Fruit in Penngrove, Calif., on Sept. 2, 2021, was boarded up after a car plowed into the market in September 2020 and set it ablaze. (Paul Bomberger/The Press Democrat)

Palace of Fruit

In a similar incident nearly a year ago, an out of control vehicle barreled into Penngrove’s Palace of Fruit and set it on fire, causing enough damage to have kept the facility closed to retail guests for the past year. Our sister newspaper ran a great in-depth article on Sept. 3, but the short version is that they still plan to reopen, but things such as county building plan approval and now uncertain lumber markets are hurdles the owners still need to navigate.

Wedding planned through Petaluma Foodies

Laura Lynne Courson Fernandez posted an really nice compliment to (and on) the Petaluma food scene when she posted to the Petaluma Foodies page on Facebook about her recent wedding. I am still unsure on where caterer Maria Parrish is based out of, but with a wedding held at the beautiful Straus Home Ranch and cake from Della Fattoria, this was certainly a well-planned out local wedding. Laura wrote, “My husband and I were married at Straus Ranch on June 25. We live almost five hours away from there, so I relied on this site to choose my cake maker. And I went on the recommendation of a local friend for my personal chef who prepared dinner for my 25 guests. I want to tell y’all what a wonderful job both parties did! Della Fattoria made our cake. It was hands down the best wedding cake I have ever tasted. It was moist, delicious and beautiful. Our chef was Maria Parrish. Wow. She provided not only our food for the reception but also dessert for our rehearsal dinner and brunch for the bridesmaids on day of wedding. I’m from South Georgia and wanted a good southern barbecue meal for the reception. Maria knocked it out of the park. The food was delicious, and people are still talking about it. She was a joy to work with. She provided all the little extras that I didn’t even think to ask for. The servers took great care of my guest and myself. I can’t say enough good about Maria. I would trust her for any of my entertaining needs.”

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