New businesses are popping up around Sonoma County like flowers in spring. As we speak, 27 new businesses are either open or getting ready to open their doors. From wineries and breweries to French bakeries and luxury hotels – and more Mexican food than you can shake a stick at – we can’t wait to check out these new additions to the Sonoma County scene.
Gerard's Paella, Santa Rosa: He's earned a cult following at farmers' markets, has a full calendar of catering gigs, and is a local celebrity - he won Bobby Flay's paella challenge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. But that's not enough for Gerard Nebesky, who is now opening a brick and mortar Gerard's Paella on 4th Street in downtown Santa Rosa. Located in the former Persona pizza/salad space, Nebesky will not only serve his famous paella, but also Spanish tapas. Gerard's Paella is slated to open in March. 701 4th St, Santa Rosa, gerardspaella.com.
Downtown Santa Rosa is about to get another grown-up hangout spot: The Jade Room. The creation of Andrea Ballus, owner of Sift cupcake shop, the Jade Room will offer sparkling wine, small bites and, as BiteClub puts it, a "cool, casual place where folks can gather share a bottle, share a plate, taste and compare local and international wines, and just have a good time!” The bar will serve cheese, charcuterie, oysters and other small plates and specialize in sparkling wine, with beer and still wine options. They'll offer bottle service and also special, fresh fruit, herbs and citrus for guests to blend their own cocktails. Slated to open in February. 643 4th Street, Santa Rosa, thejaderoomsr.com
Parish Cafe, Santa Rosa: Santa Rosa foodies are about to get a chance to celebrate Mardi Gras every day when the Parish Cafe opens downtown. It'll be the second location for the New Orleans-style cafe, which is currently serving up chicory coffee, beignets, crawfish and po-boys in Healdsburg. Owned by Louisiana native, and chef, Rob Lippincott, the satellite location will be at the site of the former La Bufa Mexican Restaurant. The Parish Cafe has repeatedly been named one of the best places to have breakfast and/or brunch in the county by food critics and we're sure it'll maintain that title with the new location. 703 4th St, Santa Rosa, theparishcafe.com.
Perch and Plow, Santa Rosa: One of the most awaited restaurant openings in Santa Rosa, Perch and Plow offers small plates and craft cocktails that look like works of art. Located above the former Flavor Bistro, overlooking Courthouse Square, Perch and Plow has a contemporary yet comfortable feel to the decor, with colorful artwork by local artist Bud Snow. The food includes ceviche, seasonal salads, fish stew, and large plates like steak frites and seared halibut. While the wine list has a nice selection of local vino, a cocktail is a must - whether you order a Macadamia Mai Tai or a Carbonated Moscow Mule, the drinks are bound to be a liquid feast for the senses. Open. 90 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, perchandplow.com
Cascabel, Santa Rosa: The newly opened Cascabel is already impressing guests, including BiteClub Eats, with its flavorful Mexican cuisine. Located in Montgomery Village, Cascabel is one of two locations (the other is in San Rafael). It's owned by Maher and Tareq Fakhouri, who also operate the nearby Crepevine, and Caesar Vasques serves as chef, bringing authentic dishes to diners. Vasques creations include barbacoa pancakes, chicken tinga enchiladas with mole poblano, conchinita piblil, coconut cheese flan and arroz con leche. The restaurant also offers happy hour and have a large list of tequila, beer and wine. Open. 909 Village Ct, Santa Rosa, cascabelbayarea.com/santa-rosa
MOD Pizza, Santa Rosa: Founded in Seattle in 2008, MOD Pizza offers an "original superfast pizza experience." The growing chain, with locations nationwide and in the UK, offers a hip and casual pizza experience. Guests build their own 11-inch pizza, selecting from 30 toppings, which is prepared and baked while you wait. It's like the Chipotle of pizza. Not in the mood for pizza? Opt for a build-your-own salad. For gluten-free enthusiasts, they have pizzas for you, too. Looking for a job? They've been named one of the best places to work in the country for millennials Fortune. Coming to south Santa Rosa soon. modpizza.com
Mi Ranchito, Sonoma: Popular Mexican Mi Ranchito will soon open its third location in Sonoma County, in the town of Sonoma. The 4,100 square foot restaurant, the former home of Plaza Tequila, features a huge patio and large bar area, where they will serve up hearty Mexican food, including tacos, sopas, salads, ceviche, burritos and more - including low carb options. Locals are hoping they'll get the same treatment guests at Mi Ranchito's Cotati and Santa Rosa locations rave about: 99 cent tacos on Mondays, happy hour with $3.50 margaritas, and a Tequila Club, which encourages guests to taste 100+ tequilas (responsibly) to fill up their tequila passport book and earn discounted drinks and other perks. 19315 Hwy 12, Sonoma, miranchitocotati.com
El Huerto, Sonoma: Tucked away inside Maxwell Village, between a Great Clips and a Little Caesars, El Huerto is offering Sonomans a fresh take on healthy eating. The café, owned and operated by Susan and Adrian Coronado, aims to encourage diners to "eat fresh." Their menu is chock full of Instagram-friendly snacks and meals, including acai bowls, crepes, fresh pressed juice, and another favorite for Instagrammers: avocado toast. This isn't the Coronado's first foray into business. They operated a smoothie and crepe kiosk at Northgate Mall in San Rafael prior to opening El Huerto. Open. 9213 Sonoma Hwy, Sonoma, visit on Facebook.
La Escondida, Sonoma: A new food truck has appeared on the Sonoma scene: La Escondida. Co-owned by 22-year-old Carlos Mendoza and business partner Efrain Balmes, the venture was funded with a micro-loan from local nonprofit, La Luz Center. Mendoza, a Sonoma native, earned his kitchen chops at acclaimed local restaurants Oso and El Molino. The dishes, which include not only tacos and burritos but housemade tamales, are all Mendoza's mother's recipes and are made from scratch. La Escondida is open for dinner and late night eats nightly in the Barking Dog Roasters parking lot at 18133 CA-12, Sonoma, visit on Facebook
Las Palmas Ranch, Sonoma: The Mexican food just keeps coming in Sonoma County and we have no complaints. Moving into the former Taqueria y Torteria Timilpan on Sonoma Highway in Sonoma, Las Palmas Ranch will serve hearty, homemade Mexican food. Slated to open any day now, the property is undergoing renovations, including a facelift to the roomy, shaded, pet friendly patio. Opening soon. Las Palmas Ranch is located at 18976 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma.
Tip's Roadside, Kenwood: The folks who brought us the "tri-tip trolley" (Tip's Tri-Tip is the official name), a food trucks serving tri-tip sandwiches throughout Wine Country, are opening Tip's Roadside in Kenwood. However, owners Andrew and Susie Pryfogle will be serving up more than just tri-tip at their new spot. They call the concept "Wine Country Comfort Food," which will feature a touch of Southern charm mixed with locally sourced ingredients. While the menu is still being perfected, the Pryfogles have hosted pop-ups to test new recipes, which include smoked tomato risotto, prosciutto-wrapped shrimp, eggs adobo, and bourbon brownies with bacon crumble. Opening in Kenwood in mid 2018, tipstritip.com
West - Handmade Burgers, Sonoma: One of the most anxiously awaited openings in Sonoma Valley is a burger joint: West - Handmade Burgers. Owners Nicole Benjamin and Garrett Sathre are best known as the masterminds behind Handmade Events, which hosts pop-ups across the country - an event they hosted in Brooklyn, New York, hosted 6,000 guests! But, it's all about the burgers with this new venture, which is a passion of Sathre, who owned Bubba's Fine Diner in San Anselmo. The menu, which is described as "a tiny menu, done right," will feature veggie burgers, truffle burgers, and more. "We'll grind our own meat and be specializing in flat top burgers," says Benjamin in an interview with the Sonoma Index-Tribune. They won't serve alcohol, but they'll serve handmade shakes. Opening soon. 18375 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma, visit on Facebook
Jean Edwards Cellars, Sonoma: Sonoma's Vine Alley is about to get a new tenant, Jean Edwards Cellars. Owners Karen and John Troisi retired early from their careers in New Jersey to pursue a winemaking dream and crafting Bordeaux wines from Napa Valley with the support of winemaker Kian Tavakoli (Opus One, Clos Du Val). The new tasting room, in the former location of Sigh, is a modern space with leather furnishings, minimalist design and a welcoming vibe. Jean Edwards Cellars is also dog friendly, including the wine club, which has different club levels such as "Bad to the Bone" and "Pawprints." Jean Edwards Cellars grand opening is February 18. jeanedwardscellars.com
Abbot’s Passage Supply Co., Sonoma: It's not your typical tasting room, that is for sure. Abbot's Passage, the creation of Katie Bundschu (pictured), of Gundlach-Bundschu fame, is a wine tasting salon, retail boutique, and maker space tucked away just off the Sonoma Plaza. Start with a casual tasting of single-vineyard field blends, including the 2014 Points Unknown Rhône blend, which scored 91 points in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, or opt for a more formal, guided tasting with food pairings. If you're feeling crafty, Abbot's Passage offers weekly maker workshops, which recently included "living jewelry" (creating rings from succulent plants). After indulging and crafting, shop the boutique, which focuses on American-made, California-crafted home goods, clothing and accessories. Open. 27 E Napa St, Sonoma, abbotspassage.com
Frenchie, Sonoma: What started as a "mobile food car offering French picnic food and provisions" will soon become a brick and mortar venture in the heart of downtown Sonoma. Frenchie will serve as a general store for Northern California food artisans and will offer lunch and dinner, including French-style baguettes, cheese and charcuterie, Nicoise salad, croque monsieur, crepes and other French favorites. Currently, they're hosting pop-ups at their soon-to-open spot just two doors south of the Sonoma Plaza. 521b Broadway, Sonoma, frenchiesonoma.com
Les Pascals, Glen Ellen: The village of Glen Ellen is about to have its own French patisserie and boulangerie: Les Pascals. Soon to be located in a charming yellow building across the street from the Glen Ellen Village Market, Les Pascals is the project of Christine Hansson, proprietor of the historic Chauvet vacation rental property. Hansson is teaming up with Pascal Merle, the pastry chef and master chocolatier of Carmel's Lafayette Bakery, and breadmaker Sean Perry, both of whom will offer their creations at what is promised to be an "authentic" French bakery experience. Les Pascals is slated to open in March at 13758 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen.
Stockhome, Petaluma: Husband and wife duo Roberth and Andrea Sundell (pictured) are bringing a taste of Sweden to Petaluma this winter. The Sundells, longtime Petaluma residents, are the owners of San Francisco’s PLÄJ restaurant, where they serve seasonal dishes with a traditional northern touch. At their Petaluma restaurant, they will be offering a menu inspired by Swedish street food favorites, which, thanks to the immigrant population in Sweden, include flavors from all over the world and especially the Middle East. Menu items will include kebab plates (served with saffron rice or french fries), lamb, beef and chicken shawarma, falafel and levantine salads such as Fattoush with naan bread, Tabbouleh and beet salad. Sides including baked eggplant with chermoula, raisins, pistachio, bulger, cilantro, yogurt, and grilled tomatoes with tzatziki, burnt leeks and dill will also be available. A main attraction at Stockhome will be the wall of Swedish candy, sold in bulk. And we’re not talking Scandinavian Swimmers from Trader Joe's — this is the real deal “Lördagsgodis” (“Saturday Candy”). Our Swedish online editor is eagerly awaiting the opening this winter. 220 Western Avenue, Petaluma, stockhomerestaurant.com.
What A Chicken, Petaluma: You can guess by the name what this new restaurant in Petaluma specializes in. What A Chicken serves up a menu that blends Mexico and the South, including hearty portions of grilled chicken (and pork) ribs, burritos, wraps, salads and tacos. They also make aqua frescas and offer wine and beer. The restaurant has already garnered a five star rating on crowdsourced review website Yelp, where Yelpers have called the food "fantastic" "friendly, warm and welcoming" and "delicious." Open. 706 E. Washington St., Petaluma.
HenHouse Brewing Co., Petaluma: Well regarded for their unique beers (including saison), HenHouse Brewing will open their second location in the town where they got their start: Petaluma. The new location will be in the former home of Petaluma Hills Brewing Company. At the Petaluma location, they'll produce super limited production beers, focusing on barrel-aged, funky and sour fermentation. They'll also offer their signature beers in the new brewery, which they have lovingly nicknamed the "Palace of Barrels." It's expected to open any day now. Opening first quarter of 2018. 1333 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma, henhousebrewing.com
Adobe Road Winery, Petaluma: Downtown Petaluma keeps getting hotter, and the hip-factor will only increase when Adobe Road opens their new 15,000 square foot winery and tasting room along the Petaluma River. And it's going to be more than just a winery - they'll have a motorsports museum (Adobe Road owner Kevin Buckler owns one of the most successful racing teams in the world), an event center and commercial kitchen. Guests can sip wine by the bottle, served alongside wood-fired pizza, on the riverfront patio. Coming soon to Petaluma. adoberoadwines.com
Third Bay Brewing Co., Petaluma: If it's not a winery opening, it's a brewery opening, and for Third Bay Brewing Co., that brewery has been a long time coming (a decade!). The nanobrewery creates customized, craft beers by request, including for weddings, nonprofits and home use. They're essentially a beer caterer. The brewery expects to produce about 1,000 barrels annually and offers the whole package: delivery, set up, bartending, and drinkware. Upon opening, the brewery will also welcome the public into a tasting room, with a garage theme, to try 10 rotating taps. Beer enthusiasts will be able to take home favorites via growler. They expect to open in April. 1250 Petaluma Blvd North Petaluma, thirdbaybrewing.com
Barley & Bine Beer Cafe, Windsor: Beer lovers in Windsor can toast until their heart's content with 38 tap options at the new Barley & Bine Beer Cafe. Owned and operated by Healdsburg natives Jeff Reitz and Lindsay Osborne, Barley & Bine Beer Cafe offers a cool industrial decor, a family friendly scene (they have a play area for kids), and onsite games including shuffleboard and foosball. In addition to beer, they serve a rotating menu of seasonal pub grub including grilled sandwiches, flatbread pizza, cheese plates, and nachos. Open. 7765 Bell Rd, Windsor, barleybinebeercafe.com
Flavor Fiesta, Windsor: Boba, also known as bubble tea, is all the rage in Sonoma County right now and the newly opened Flavor Fiesta in Windsor is right on trend. The colorful café serves not only boba in various flavors, but also coffee, tea and flavored teas, shaved ice cream, fresh pressed juices, and protein smoothies. As if that isn't enough to satisfy tastebuds, the café also offers desserts with global flavors from Mexico, Asia and Latin America, and local treats. Open. 8499 Old Redwood Hwy #108, Windsor, windsorboba.com
Robert Young Estate Winery, Geyserville: In 1963, Robert Young became the first to plant cabernet sauvignon in Alexander Valley, a wine growing region in northern Sonoma County now synonymous with the big red varietal. The winery currently offers tastings in an old barn, which has been utilized by the family for six generations. However, that will change when the Scion House opens. The new, 2,260 square foot tasting room will be surrounded by cabernet sauvignon and feature a tasting room, private tasting areas, a communal area to sip vino, and an outdoor fire pit. The new space seeks to create a "warm, casual and authentic setting," according to the winery. It's set to open in the summer and will be open by appointment only. 4960 Red Winery Rd, Geyserville, ryew.com
Duke's Common, Healdsburg: One of the best chefs in the county (Shane McAnelly) has teamed up with one of the best craft cocktail bars in the county (Duke's Spirited Cocktails) to create Duke's Common, a late night dining spot in downtown Healdsburg. Located in the old Scopa space, Duke's Common will serve "global street food and killer cocktails," according to BiteClub Eats. McAnelly, of Chalkboard and Brass Rabbit fame, has created a menu that is "meant to be an affordable option on the square," and includes chicken and shrimp skewers, burritos, fried chicken sandwiches, and pizza. Duke's Common will open in February. 109 Plaza St Ste A, Healdsburg, drinkatdukes.com
Hotel Trio, Healdsburg: After checking out all these new businesses, you'll need to rest your head, and luckily there are new hotels opening in Sonoma County, including Hotel Trio in Healdsburg. The $24 million hotel, named after the three winegrowing regions that surround it (Dry Creek, Russian River and Alexander Valley), will have 122 guest rooms and is walking distance to downtown. The rooms include full kitchens and - drumroll - a room service robot that will deliver snacks, towels and other necessities to guests. Hotel Trio will also have a bar, meeting room, outdoor pool, BBQ area, lounge, patios, fireplaces, the list goes on... It's a Marriott property and is slated to open in May. 110 Dry Creek Rd, 95448 Healdsburg, hoteltrio.com
Harmon Guest House, Healdsburg: The newest addition to the Piazza Hospitality family, which owns Hotel Healdsburg and H2hotel, Harmon Guest House is a boutique, 39-room, eco-friendly property named after Healdsburg founder Harmon Heald. One block south of the Healdsburg Plaza, it's been described by the San Francisco Chronicle as an "eco-chic enclave" for its use of reclaimed wood, minimalistic decor, locally made furnishings, and bohemian touches. A private, guest-only rooftop bar will offer fire pits and a happy hour featuring cocktails crafted by Spoonbar. Don't feel like walking around? Grab a bike from their on-site fleet or bring your own for check at the valet. Opening spring 2018. 227 Healdsburg Avenue, Healdsburg, harmonguesthouse.com
This guide was originally published on Sonoma Magazine.