Duke’s Spirited Cocktails is coming to Petaluma

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When I first put to print that Duke’s Spirited Cocktails of Healdsburg was expanding to Petaluma, into the old Tuttle Drugs location, I was told through the grapevine that they were not ready to make any official announcements. Well, that was back in mid-April and unless I missed it, I never saw any official announcements. Nonetheless, Greg Randall noticed a “Public Notice of Application to Sell Alcoholic Beverages” from the window of 132 Keller St. that listed Duke’s Tiki as the incoming business. So although they do not seem to have made an official announcement, I’d say the cat is out of the bag that Duke’s will bring a tiki bar to Petaluma. However, according to what someone was told while visiting Duke’s in Healdsburg, the new location likely won’t open until 2020 as they are first working to expand the north county location. Hopefully they won’t wait too long because it’s hard to beat the wave of excitement when Petaluma diners learn there is a new and exciting place opening soon.

Closures coming

We have good news and bad news from hidden gem Twisted 2. The good news: It was recently featured in Wine Spectator magazine. I’m not sure what for, but it must have been about what we already know, which is that Julie Warner’s food is spectacular and Dick Warner’s wine pairings are second to none. Located in the breezeway of the Lan Mart, which runs between Petaluma Boulevard and Kentucky Street, Twisted 2 only has a few tables and is only open Thursday-Saturday for dinners, so reservations are required and these days are getting harder and harder to come by.

This is due in large part to the bad news: The Warners are selling Twisted 2 and moving on to greener pastures, to be closer to their kids and grandkids. They don’t have a buyer just yet but will likely close their doors within a few months even without a new owner. We have already made two separate dinner reservations in order to say thank you and goodbye — I suggest you do the same. In case you missed my past article, dinners are a four-course prix fixe menu, but with a choice for each of the courses for $78 and a wine-pairing option for $120. Considering how good the food is and how healthy the pours are, it’s actually a bargain. I cannot stress enough that you should opt for the wine pairing because nobody pairs like Dick does and nobody has a selection of nearly unavailable wines quite like Twisted 2. You can also purchase just about anything you taste, which is a great way to find special wines for later. You can visit to view a recent menu, although with Julie picking fresh veggies daily and constantly updating her larder, so you may find things slightly different on the night you visit. We don’t even bother checking the menu ahead of time anymore because of our trust in Julie’s menu choices. So, more importantly, call 789-9914 for reservations but have several dates picked out. The restaurant is tiny so it’s rare you’ll get your first choice.

Giacomo’s Ristorante & Pizzeria has also announced that they are selling, but will remain open until the end of the year. Filling Petaluma’s east side Italian cuisine needs for as long as I can remember at 2000 Lakeville Highway, the kitchen and staff are ready for retirement.

Mark your calendar

Island dress is encourage, or at least your best Hawaiian shirt, for this weekend’s Hawaiian Luau “Penngrove Style,” hosted by the Penngrove Social Firemen, the same folks that bring us the Penngrove Parade and Barbecue each year. In its 10th year, this year’s Luau is Saturday, Sept. 7, with social hour starting at 1 p.m. followed by supper at 3 p.m. The talented volunteer chefs of the Penngrove Social Firemen will serve up Kalua pork, Hawaiian chicken, Asian salad, Hawaiian rice, yams and dessert. Entertainment is provided by Taimalietane Islands of Polynesia troupe. There will also be a raffle for a Hawaiian vacation for two (six days, five nights to Honua Kai Resort Hotel in Ka’anapali, Maui, with airfare and car rental included). Tickets are $10 each or six for $50. Luau tickets are $25 in advance either through, by pre-sale at JavAmore Café (10101 Main St.) or charge by phone at 794-1516. Children 6-to-12 years old are $10. There will be limited available at the door.

According to the website, “Proceeds help the nonprofit Penngrove Social Firemen to maintain and improve Penngrove Park and Clubhouse. Penngrove Social Firemen was formed more than 50 years ago to support the community. The nonprofit group owns and maintains the Penngrove Park and Penngrove Community Clubhouse for the enjoyment of all.”

Petaluma Blacks for Community Development invites everyone to join them for their annual picnic, this Saturday, Sept. 7, from noon to 4 p.m. for hamburgers and hotdogs at McNear Park (near the tennis courts). You may not have heard of PBCD or maybe you’ve seen them in the Butter & Egg Days Parade and wanted to know more about their organization. This is a great opportunity to get to know the members of an organization that has been part of the Petaluma community for over 40 years. Guest are asked to bring a side dish or dessert to share, while plates, cups, utensils and drinks will be provided. Please RSVP to Gloria Robinson at 707-762-7744 or Stephanie Wilkinson at so they can get a proper headcount.

Lagunitas Beer Circus is also celebrating 10 years on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 5 to 10 p.m. at the Petaluma Fairgrounds. This event is strictly 21 and over as it is an “adult” circus offering guests a chance to “see things you can’t unsee.” Obviously, there will be Lagunitas beer on tap (the first one is on the house with additional available for purchase), as well as several guest breweries and plenty of food trucks to keep you fat and happy. The circus itself will include burlesque shows, aerialists, side shows, face painting and over 100 other performers. Main music acts include Gogol Bordello, Lyrics Born and Golden Dawn Arkestra as well as roaming marching bands and other musical acts. Finally, there will be both olden-timey and new-age midway games as well as prizes handed out at the costume contest. Visit for tickets ($40) plus all the info on rules, transportation options, etc.

This year’s Lagunitas Beer Circus is presented by Petaluma Phoenix Center, whose mission is, “to foster the emotional, physical and social development of the young people we serve by enabling them to create and engage in programs for music, the arts and health and wellness, while preserving and improving the historic Phoenix Theater as a resource for youth and the community at large.” For more information on the Petaluma Phoenix Center, including their health clinic, which is open to youth every Thursday from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Phoenix Theater, visit the “programs” section of their website at

For those looking for something less beer and more wine, Keller Estate will be holding its Harvest Celebration on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at their vineyard off of Lakeville Avenue. Usually only open for reserved tours, this is one of the rare opportunities to visit the winery and experience its great view. This event celebrates the yearly bounty by offering the fall wine selection along with paella, which will be served promptly at noon. Tickets are $75 and are available at

Brewsters Beer Garden, in partnership with the Good Time Bros, will host Agave Roast on Monday, Sept. 16, starting at 4 p.m. “Agave Roast is an educational carnival for agave lovers to learn more about the beautiful world of mezcal and tequila.” This is also a minimal waste event as well as a fundraiser with some of the game proceeds to benefit the Tequila Interchange Project which is a movement to encourage higher standards for agave sustainability and a healthy ecosystem in mezcal and tequila production. Mezcal El Silencio, La Luna Mezcal and Tequila Tapatio will be creating specialty drinks from mezcal and tequila. Along with educational spirit tastings, there will be boilermakers featuring HenHouse beer pairings, Silencio slushies, Mezcal bloody Maria and michelada bar and Brewsters chef will have all-you-can-eat barbecue on hand. Additionally, there will be all sorts of games with prizes. This is a 21+ human only (no dogs) event, with limited tickets ($25) available at

Trades on Tap is a fundraiser put on by Rebuilding Together Petaluma, with donation of space at Lagunitas on Tuesday, Sept. 17, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 at or by calling 765-3944 and include Mexican food by Don Poncho’s, music by the Pulsators, a silent auction and plenty of room for dancing. Beer and wine purchases will benefit Rebuilding Together Petaluma, which offers “free, vital home repairs for extremely low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly and disabled, veterans and families with children. Your support will help our Petaluma neighbors live in warmth, safety and independence.”

An Evening on the River is a fundraiser for the Petaluma River Park, whose mission it is to build a public park for “recreation, education, conservation, culture and community” on the 20 acres of McNear Peninsula, which sits in the middle the Petaluma River, just east of the D Street drawbridge. This event is Saturday, Sept. 21, from 5-9 p.m. at Foundry Wharf (625 2nd Street.) This is a 21+ event, with childcare available at Martial Arts USA’s nearby location. Cocktail hour is hosted by Griffo Distillery and Leghorn Wine Company with dinner provide by none other than War Wagon BBQ, one of my favorites. Everything will be sourced locally, from appetizers to dinner to the dessert bar. There will also be vegetarian options and other more strict dietary options, if you let them know ahead of time. We had War Wagon BBQ cater a recent event and not only was the barbecue excellent, but the veggie dish they put on for our vegetarians was a real hit too. They are also surprisingly creative with their cuisine and are so much more than just your standard barbecue. There will also be a live and silent auction with many one-of-a-kind items and experiences. Tickets are $80 and are available at

In the scene

Griffo Distillery couldn’t contain the excitement at landing a space in Petaluma’s historic downtown, where they will soon open a tasting room. The feedback from fans was immediate and unanimously positive; it seems everyone is looking forward to supporting one of our local favorites. Even other bars, such as Whisper Sisters, extended congratulations and welcome to the neighborhood, which is just what we like to see from our Petaluma purveyors. Everyone really is a cheerleader around downtown, all supporting each other, knowing that with each new success, our downtown’s culinary reputation is buoyed even higher. You can read more in the accompanying article.

A post on their Facebook page announced that North Bay Café now offers to-go as well delivery. I am not sure if they have their own delivery folks or are using a delivery service, but have heard nothing but positive reviews about the breakfasts and lunches and assume the recently announced dinner menu will produce the same results. These guys have been around for a little while now, next to Peet’s Coffee on the Boulevard, and are high on my list of places to visit.

Jodie Rubin is my eyes and ears out in Bodega Bay, which is much appreciated because I don’t get out there as often as I’d like. Recently, Jodie sent me a photo of an ABC license notice in the window of the old Sandpiper Restaurant, in Pelican Plaza, at the hard right bend in Highway 1 towards the north of “town,” where the highway pulls away from the bay. The name listed, “Huria’s LLC”, gives little insight into what is coming but this space has sat empty for a couple of years. Hopefully something creative and delicious is on the horizon.

Tasty tidbits

Sonoma Portworks has extended its “boozy milkshake” samplings through the end of September due to popular demand. These adult milkshakes may sound a bit peculiar at first, but trust me that the DUET sherry, with hints of hazelnut, goes well with the Madagascar Vanilla from Three Twins Ice Cream. I have used the DUET mixed with heavy whipping cream to top Thanksgiving pies and it is always a hit. The tastings are free, for both their elixirs and their boozy milkshakes. The tasting room at 613 2nd St. is open from noon-5 p.m. Thursday-Monday.

The Seed Bank announced that seed garlic from Bernier Farms (Dry Creek) will arrive this week. Garlic is one of the coolest things to grow, not only because you’ll then have your own fresh garlic, but it’s also one of those things, like peanuts, that is kind of mysterious to some folks. We buy it in the store, but unlike things such as carrots or tomatoes, we rarely think about how they are grown. Yet, they are relatively easy to cultivate in our climate and make for a super rewarding crop. And who knew there were so many varieties? The Seed Bank will have six varieties: Inchelium Red, Italian Red Rocambole, Lorz Italian, Native Creole, Spanish Roja and Susanville. The Seed Bank can also give you advice on how to best prepare your garlic beds.

The Germans are coming

Because you may need some time to dust off your lederhosen and dirndl’s, this is your advanced warning that Brewsters Beer Garden plans to celebrate Oktoberfest all weekend long, Sept. 28 and 29. Brewsters will have music by Big Lou’s Polka Casserole and Schwabenland German Band, fun and games, including stein holding and yodeling competitions, plenty of great beer to wet your whistle, which should all whet your appetite for German inspired dishes of schnitzel and beer sausage.

Although not technically an Oktoberfest, the Petaluma River Craft Beer Festival, will also be held that same weekend, along Water Street on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 1 to 5 p.m. Look for more details on that in my next column.

If you have any food, drink, restaurant or farm news to share, contact Houston Porter at

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