I can’t be the only one with a fragile hold on her sanity now that the holidays are in full swing. (I blame covering last week’s Black Friday frenzy, not sure what Traci’s issue is.) I have an antidote. Toys for Tots needs toy donations. Desperately. There is nothing better than the feeling of giving a gift to a kid who might not otherwise get one. It makes up for some of the consumerism that has taken over the holidays. It made me feel human again to drop a Game of Life board game in the empty Toys for Tots box last week after watching people rush Victoria’s Secret doors to get half-priced hoodies on Black Friday.
The need is especially great this year. See, the Marines that used to collect toys for the drive in Fresno are actually based in Lemoore, and they’ve been told to focus on the Kings County Toys for Tots drive. So a bunch of retired Marines are taking over the toy drive in Fresno, but they don’t have nearly the money or the connections. They need another 50,000 toys and they’ve got less than two weeks to find them. They expect to give out about 85,000 toys and wouldn’t be surprised if the demand was even greater, given the crappy economy and a drop in donations. The deadline is Dec. 16.
You can find a list of donation box locations here. They take cash donations too. This is perfectly acceptable reason to pat yourself on the back and feel good about something. Go for it.
Don “Doc” Casperson in 2009.
Sad news: Old Doc’s Discount Liquor is closing. The first location, at Cedar and Nees avenues, is already closed. The other one, at Bullard and Marks avenues, is scheduled to be open until Dec. 30.
Doc — Don Casperson — is 74. His wife, Elaine, has already retired from teaching, and another business partner has retired too. The couple is ready for a break. (Trivia tidbit: He got the nickname Doc because he has a doctorate in education. He came here to teach health science at Fresno State and opened a little liquor store on the side.)
Competition from the newly opened BevMo! and other places was not a factor, the couple says. You can read more about the decision to close in today’s column, but as Doc said:
“We’re just at the point where we can’t put the time and energy into it, and hopefully people will have very positive memories of what we’ve done since 1979.”
The Bullard and Marks store is having a sale. Now might be a good time to stock up, and say goodbye.
Forget the Black Friday craziness at big-box stores. Plenty of you out there are vowing to buy local this holiday season. More money stays in the local economy when you do that (and it’s easier to find unique gifts, I think). So let’s make it easy for a Fresno-minded shopper to go Christmas shopping this year. What is your favorite local store to shop at? What do you get there?
Full disclosure: You’re helping me do my work by responding to this. We’re planning a shop local story in a future Sunday paper and your input will help guide what goes into it. I’m looking for your favorite locally owned stores to shop at in different categories, including:
Gifts for the home
And heck, anything else that comes to mind. The more examples of cool stuff you’ve found, the better.
Photo: Fresno Bee photographer John Walker
If the thought of cooking fills you with dread — or you just don’t want to do all those dishes — local businesses have plenty of options for you. Many grocery stores and restaurants are selling premade Thanksgiving meals that you reheat at home. Read more about that here. Many local restaurants are open on Thanksgiving Day too. This is a popular day, so if you plan on going, you must have a reservation.
The Manhattan Steakhouse & Bar will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. They’ll be serving turkey, of course, but if you’re not a fan of the traditional Thanksgiving main dish, you can pick from filet Mignon, pistachio-crusted halibut, tender rosemary lamb rib-eye, grilled swordfish and prime rib. Prices range from $29 to $39, depending upon the dish. Each meal comes with Thanksgiving favorites, such as candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, dressing and green beans. You can see the whole menu here.
Plenty of other restaurants are open Thursday too, including the School House Restaurant & Tavern, the Elbow Room, Erna’s Elderberry House, several restaurants in and near Yosemite Nation Park, Mimi’s Cafe and Marie Callender’s. You can read about what they’re doing here.
Photo: Ross Taylor, Associated Press
The Black Friday shopping craziness is coming. In fact, it should be called Black Thursday this year because most of the big stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day. Fashion Fair mall and many department stores will open at 8 p.m. Thursday, for instance. Craft store Michaels will open at 4 p.m. Will you be there?
With Black Friday encroaching on the time usually reserved for turkey and pumpkin pie, the debate over early openings has reached a fever pitch this year. On one side, there’s the multiple generations of families in town for the holidays who have made a tradition of going shopping for great deals and spending quality time waiting in line together. In the other corner are the people vowing not to shop. They believe retail workers should have one holiday to stay home with their families, and abhor the expression of consumerism and greed.
Where do you stand?
Below are opening times for major stores (and for the record, Costco, Sur La Table and RadioShack deliberately are not opening on Thanksgiving Day).
Opening times on Thanksgiving Day:
6 a.m. Kmart (Kmart has opened at 6 a.m. in the past, but this year it won’t close during the middle of the day. It will stay open for 41 hours through Friday.)
4 p.m. Michaels
5 p.m. Toys “R” Us
6 p.m. Best Buy
Remember the Gluten Free Please! Bakery in Clovis? That business is no more, but don’t worry gluten-free fans, the P*DE*Q Bakery has taken it over and is keeping the gluten-free options. The bakery is at 435 N. Clovis Ave., Suite 106, at Herndon and Clovis avenues next to Jimmy John’s.
It serves P*DE*Qs, of course, the locally made Brazilian cheese bread — short for pão de queijo — that is gluten free. Everything else is gluten free too, including sandwiches, pizza slices, 12 kinds of cupcakes, muffins and pizza dough that you can take home and roll out. The bakery also carries five kinds of fresh gluten-free bread, some of them vegan.
The bakery also sells some other gluten-free brands in its cooler, including chicken nuggets, onion rings and pie crust.
Ever since friendly Flavia Takahashi-Flores launched her business across the street from Fresno High in 2011, it’s been taking off. That location will stay open, by the way. Flavia is gearing up to sell a 36-pack of P*DE*Qs in area Costco stores. She’s also working on three more products — a gluten-free version of Cheez-It crackers, pizza dough and a multi-grain bread — that she hopes to sell at stores soon.
Update: Happy Veterans Day! In addition to the free Hooters meal below, several other restaurants are thanking vets and active-duty military for their service with free or discounted meals. Applebee’s lets vets pick one of seven free meals. California Pizza Kitchen will give them a free pizza. Chili’s has a vets day menu. There’s all-you-can-eat pancakes at Denny’s, 25% off your bill at Famous Dave’s, and a free meal from this menu at Olive Garden. (In fact, there’s so many options that if you have a favorite restaurant, just google it and see what it’s doing for the day.)
There’s a million and one jokes I could make here, but why don’t I just leave that to your active imaginations and get right to the point? Hooters restaurant is giving free meals to veterans and active-duty military personnel on Veterans Day, Monday. As long as you buy a drink and show your military ID or proof of service (yeah, bring in your medals, that would be cool), you can get a free meal up to $10.99 in value. Anything on the menu, including the chicken wings. The Fresno location is here. The company views the free meal as “small but earnest way to say ‘thank you’ for your service.”
While you’re at it, Hooters is encouraging customers to buy an extra copy of the 2014 Hooters calendar. (Yes, it’s exactly what you think a Hooters calendar would look like. Definitely NSFW.) They’re encouraging people to hand write a message on the calendars and they’ll ship them to U.S. military stationed overseas. (Unfortunately it looks like the calendars are only designed to appeal to men serving overseas. No eye candy calendars for the women in our military.)
The sudden disappearance of the Taco Bell at McKinley and Blackstone avenues took some readers by surprise. One minute it was there, the next it was “GONE!!!” as one reader said to me in an email. Yes, it was torn down, and yes, it’s coming back.
The building was getting old and the owner wanted to add more seats (and said something about moving a transformer) so it was easiest to just knock the whole thing down and build anew, says franchisee David Olson, who owns most of the Taco Bell locations in Fresno. They’ve got this process down so well that it takes just 90 days to rebuild. They plan to be open during the first few weeks of January (provided weather doesn’t slow construction and the holidays don’t slow permits).
The new Taco Bell will be the company’s latest design with more “pizzazz,” more fun lighting outside and with 88 seats (about 25 more than before). For the record, the same franchisee did a knockdown and rebuild of a Taco Bell at Jensen Avenue and Highway 99 that just reopened last month, but nobody called me about that one.
Dunkin’ Donuts is coming to Fresno … eventually. The popular donut store announced last month it was looking for franchisees in the Fresno area to open restaurants. And now one has opened in Barstow.
The chain is pretty popular on the East Coast, though most people seem to know it more for its coffee than its donuts. I remember my family getting one of those fold-up boxes full of Munchkins — donut holes — on long drives as a kid and sharing them around the car.
Dunkin’ Donuts may be a relatively new concept to many Fresnans. So, those of you who have been to one, what do you remember about it? What did you get?
Just to jog your memory (and because it’s lunchtime and I’m hungry and I feel like punishing myself), here’s some of the yummy-sounding donuts, including seasonal ones, listed on their website:
This video made me squeal out loud, so of course I had to share it with those of you who might be having a cranky Monday. A new baby giraffe was born at the Chaffee Zoo last week. More on that here. The video features the less-than-week old giraffe (who didn’t have a name yet) getting under-the-chin licks and snuffling at Bee photographer Mark Crosse’s camera. The up-close-and-personal part is at the end.
I bet there’s some celebrating going on at Peeve’s Public House & Local Market right now. The business met its Kickstarter goal around lunchtime Friday, meaning it will move forward with opening Fresno’s first market carrying only local foods. The market is designed to be a showcase for Fresno foods and give a boost to its fledgling food businesses. You can read more about the plans here. Construction is scheduled to start Monday and the peeps at Peeve’s hope to have the market open by Nov. 24, just in time for Thanksgiving.
If Peeve’s didn’t reach its goal of raising $18,500 in pledges by Saturday, Kickstarter wouldn’t give them any of the money. As of Friday morning, it was still about $2,000 short. Fundraising on the page continues until Saturday afternoon (they’re at $19,106 as I write this). Any extra money raised will go toward paint and decor.
It’s been pretty cool to watch people proactively take on this cause without the folks at Peeve’s even asking. One customer pledged to get 10 people to donate $100 each. A taco night fundraiser by James Collier brought in lots of money and awareness. Raizana Teas held a fundraiser too. The sense of community and loyalty that surrounds Peeve’s is pretty impressive and it paid off today.
Fresno is seeing a mini explosion of Asian food restaurants (OK, three = mini explosion in my mind) in recent months. If you’re a fan of the cuisine, here’s some new places to check out.
- Rock & Noodles. This Japanese, Chinese and Korean fusion restaurant opened at 2225 W. Shaw Ave. in the former Mi Casa Mexican Food restaurant. (Mi Casa seems to have quietly disappeared). It’s all about the ramen noodles here. These are not Top Ramen-style noodles, but fresh-made Japanese noodles served in broth in a giant bowl with all kinds of veggies and meat. The restaurant also serves several Korean barbecue dishes and the chef is Korean himself.
As for the name, chef Dae Sung Park hoped it would attract a younger crowd. (He used the words “wild” and “young girls,” but for the record, I didn’t see any wild young girls at the restaurant. It’s totally family friendly.)
- The Lao Thai Restaurant opened a few months ago at 4937 E. Kings Canyon Rd. It took over a former Mexican restaurant space in the Asian Village shopping center. The menu here is huge. Feel free to ask owner Thongsouk Sihavong about anything on it, because she will gladly tell you. (Plus, she’s just bubbly and fun to talk to. That’s her at left.) There’s pho, and noodle and fried rice dishes. The Laab salad is a must try, the owner says. It’s essentially the traditional papaya salad with beef — raw or cooked. They also serve chicken wings flavored with spicy honey, basil or lemon grass. (They don’t have a website, so call them at (559) 251-2800 if you need to.)
The Madera Pomegranate Festival is this weekend and once again, there’s a wacky video promoting it. This one is a parody of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” song. If you were to add a subtitle to the video it would be “Madera elected officials prove they’re not stuffed shirts.” Seriously, you can see Mayor Robert Poythress dancing around in a fluffy pink coat, there’s skydiving with pomegranates and other shenanigans. City Councilman Donald Holley steals the show with his serious-faced dancing in a suit and tie. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Madera Municipal Airport. More details on that here.
Peeve’s Public House & Local Market has the pub part of its business up and running. Now it’s gearing up to open the local market. The business, which you can read more about here, is launching a Kickstarter.com campaign to open a market in the former jewelry store connected to the business.
Peeve’s staff and supporters have a vision: A downtown market where they can sell local eggs, honey, kimchi, ice cream and other products. It will double as a “hey, look what we have in Fresno” showcase and a way to help local foodie businesses grow. Peeve’s needs to raise $18,500 by Nov. 2 that will pay for renovations and coolers. People can make pledges as small as $1 online via Kickstarter. If Peeve’s doesn’t reach its Kickstarter goal, nobody pays a dime. Lots of people start Kickstarter campaigns (and lots of them fail). But it looks like Peeve’s stands a good chance of making it. They’ve already raised more than $10,000. And if you know fans of Peeve’s, you know they’re a loyal, downtown-loving, forward-thinking group of people who are mobilizing.
You can see the video that details the campaign at the bottom of this post (check out Peeve the dog stealing the spotlight during the credits). And if you’re not on board with Kickstarter, there’s two other ways you can help Peeve’s reach its goal.
The first is with tacos. Local foodie James Collier is hosting a taco night fundraiser at Peeve’s Tuesday. In addition to the tacos, if you donate $10 or more, he’ll buy you a beer (possibly Tioga Sequoia’s limited release, Bangarang Red IPA). And Raizana Teas is hosting a fundraiser Wednesday. More on that here.
Here’s a costume that will make you cringe. You can dress up for Halloween as Miley Cyrus, complete with the “twerkin’ teddy” that she wore during that unforgettably trashy performance at the VMAs. The SPIRIT Halloween store at Shaw and West avenues (and probably other places) sells the odd one-piece teddy-bear thing she ripped off midway through her performance. It costs $39.99.
No word on whether the stores are selling the unflattering flesh-colored bikini. But they are selling the foam finger. This one has red nails. (I hope no one donates this to one of those thrift shop stores downtown that carry so many Halloween costumes. You know where that foam finger has been.) And let’s be clear. The Miley Cyrus costume is an adult women’s costume, not a girl’s. (Please, please, please don’t let a child’s version exist.)
SPIRIT also carries the Robin Thicke black-and-white striped suit and an employee at the Halloween Express store on Sunnyside reports that men are buying the Beetlejuice costume without the mask so they can dress up as Robin Thicke.
Ever since a former colleague dressed up as a “White House leak” I’ve thought that current events and pop culture references make some of the most entertaining costumes. SPIRIT actually tracks this stuff and reports that Snooki was a popular costume two years ago (at $6.97, it’s really cheap). The Saturday Night Live Spartan cheerleader costume was big in 2001. So what are you planning to dress up as this year? Any costumes referencing current events or pop culture? (Maybe I’ll include them in a column I’m working on.) How do you dress up as a government shutdown anyway?
As if this whole government shutdown wasn’t ridiculous enough, a press release landed in my inbox yesterday illustrating just how strange the current situation is. The release was from the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau reminding people that 132 private vacation rentals inside Yosemite National Park are still open. (And according to its website you can still travel through the park to get somewhere else.)
But it was this sentence that stood out:
Due to the park’s closure, visitors traveling through Yosemite National Park during the government shutdown have no access to restaurants, public restrooms or shopping, nor are they permitted to stop their vehicle to stretch their legs, give their pet a potty break or to take a picture of the spectacular Yosemite Park views.
Anyone wonder if they’re going to actually enforce this. Can’t you just picture a ranger putting his hand in front of a camera paparazzi style? “No, El Capitan is not available for pictures right now.” And Yosemite is a big place. Is Fido just going to have to hold it?
It all might old news by this afternoon if Congress comes to an agreement, but C’mon Congress, Fido needs to pee!
The Downtown Club is reopen and you don’t need a membership to eat there now.
After closing in February due to falling membership and growing debt, new owners have reopened the Downtown Club restaurant at 2120 Kern St. It’s open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.
Much of the restaurant looks exactly the same. It’s still got the bright and airy feel, and a quiet atmosphere perfect for talking business. The new owners have kept some of the old menu items, including the steak salad and the club sandwich. Some of the staff have been rehired too, including a chef of 35 years, and Karl, the smiling doorman and valet (whose shoe shine business has moved to the Patterson building on the mall, by the way).
What’s different? The prices have been lowered so most are between $11 and $14. And they’ve added some new dishes to the menu, including a popular grilled chicken fatoush salad, a salmon BLT and a Mediterranean veggie plate. The menu will continue to evolve. The bar isn’t open yet, but will be as soon as the business gets its liquor license.
This time around, it’s not a board of directors, but a group of investors running the show. Nick Farid — who will probably come by your table to chat if you eat there — is one of several partners who bought the building and the business. They also bought a struggling business in Selma and turned it into what is now Famous Shish Kebab. They bought a closed restaurant in Fowler and opened Kebab City there.
There’s another new business going in next door. Remember Mabel’s Kitchen? Her old location closed, but she’s gearing up to serve breakfast and lunch in the former Kern Street Coffee space. I’ll keep you updated on that one as she gets closer to opening.
You may have heard that 278 people have been sickened from raw chicken contaminated with salmonella, likely from a Foster Farms plant. More on that here. There’s no recall. No deaths. And if handled and cooked properly in your kitchen — as all meat should be — it won’t make you sick. In fact, here’s what the company says on its website:
“Salmonella is naturally occurring in poultry and can be fully eradicated if raw product is properly handled and fully cooked,” said Dr. Robert O’Connor, the company’s food safety chief and head veterinarian.”
So, if you had some of the chicken in question at home, would you eat it? Or is there too big a psychological barrier there to get over? Clearly, 278 people (more or less) didn’t cook it properly. My colleague, health reporter Barbara Anderson, has some chicken from the batch in question in her freezer and says she just couldn’t enjoy eating it without wondering if she’d cooked out all those nasty little suckers. How about you?
For the record, chicken needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 165. More safety tips here.
Shila Korean BBQ is bringing its cook-your-own-meat, all-you-can eat concept to Clovis. The restaurant opened a few days ago in the new Clovis Crossing Regional Shopping Center at Herndon and Clovis avenues.
It’s the type of restaurant many of you have seen in other cities. Customers order three items at a time from a long list of options, including pork belly, barbecue chicken , beef sirloin, beef tongue, mixed vegetables and bulgogi — a popular thinly sliced beef marinated in a Korean sauce. It all comes to the table raw (usually marinated) and customers cook it themselves at little gas-powered grills built into the center of the table. The full menu is on Shila’s website here.
The restaurant has two kitchens. One that is kept cool for preparing the raw meat and another where all the sides are prepared. It also alleviates the risk of cross-contamination with meat juices.
Prices for adults vary from $11.99 to $24.99. Kids pay less. Instead of charging more for kids older and less for younger kids, the owner decided it would be easier — and more fun — to gauge how much the kiddos eat by height. So when you walk in, kids can stand next to measurements on a wall. If your kid is 33 to 41 inches tall, you’ll pay $5 for lunch, for example, more if the kid is taller.
How can you be hungry and obese? How can we grow so much food yet still have people who go hungry? A free screening of the documentary “A Place At The Table” at 5 p.m. Saturday at Chukchansi Park answers these questions and others often asked in our Valley. Fresno Metro Ministry and the Grizzlies Community Fund bring us this film, along with food trucks, a farmer’s market and info booths. Judging from the preview below, this promises to be an intriguing look at food issues in our country. (And it’s streaming on Netflix if you can’t make this showing.)
Since tomorrow is Saturday — which is way too often known as sleep-in-and-be-so-lazy-that-you-go-out-to-breakfast day in our house — let’s talk about breakfast. Where is your favorite spot to get breakfast? And what do you get when you go there? Tell me in the comments.
I’ve got breakfast on the brain because Fresno has two new breakfast places that I’m writing about in next week’s column. You’ll see more in Wednesday’s paper, but here’s a quick rundown.
Lots of people were devastated when the Train Depot restaurant burned down to a pile of rubble in April, but the popular breakfast and lunch spot reopened earlier this week. Now the restaurant is at 3045 E Ashlan Ave. near First Street (a few doors down from the yummy Alla’s Armenian). The owner has brought back the train-inspired decor, complete with a toy train chugging around the top of the room past paintings of Fresno. They’ve recreated the ticket booth too. It’s open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. More details on the restaurant’s Facebook page here.
Remember where the Batter Up Pancakes used to be on Figarden Drive? A new breakfast place has opened in the same spot (if you remember, that location closed, but Batter Up’s Cedar and Nees location is doing swimmingly, I hear). The Waffle Shop at 4025 W Figarden Dr. is owned by the same guy who owns the Waffle Shop on Blackstone Avenue near Gettysburg. It’s one of the 13 owned by the Sacramento owner.
As you can guess, it specializes in waffles: classic waffles, strawberry almond waffles, bacon waffles with bacon inside and on top, even gourmet waffles with strawberries and vanilla ice cream. There’s other breakfast and lunch dishes, including sandwiches, burgers and chicken-fried steak. It’s open 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
So where will you be eating breakfast this weekend?
Dinner is served at the new Capo’s by Giuseppe Gallo’s. Photo by Bee photographer Eric Paul Zamora.
If you like trying out new restaurants, you’re in luck. Eight restaurants in the Fresno area are in the process of opening, many of them with big names behind them. Some have opened. Some are coming soon. You can read more about the perfect storm of events that has them all opening now in today’s front page story. But, if you just want to eat good food, here’s a run down of who’s opening.
Westwoods BBQ and Spice Co., 8042 N. Blackstone Ave.: The founder of Tahoe Joe’s, Pismo’s and Yosemite Ranch is overhauling the former Claim Jumper space in River Park. The menu will be a modern take on traditional barbecue, including dishes inspired by other parts of the country and world, as well as feature some lighter options. Half the restaurant will be quick service with customers ordering at a counter; half will be full service.
Look for a giant retro sign facing Highway 41 that reads “BBQ” with an arrow. “You will forget that Claim Jumper was even there,” restaurateur Dave Fansler says.
Tentatively opening before the holidays.
Downtown Club, 2120 Kern St.: The decades-old hot spot for the city’s movers and shakers closed in February, but restaurateur Nick Farid plans to reopen it. Farid also runs Famous Shish Kebab in Selma. The new restaurant will open Oct. 1.
He plans to rehire the cooks and create a budget-friendly menu with a mix of American, Mediterranean, Italian and Asian food. He will change the menu every three months.
Shenanigans, 6650 N. Cedar Ave.: This restaurant and bar will open in the former Fibber McGee’s spot near Herndon Avenue. Chef Paul Palomino, former owner of Palomino’s in the Tower District, is developing the menu for the lunch and dinner spot. One of Shenanigans owners is the owner of The Office 1560.
Walmart’s new grocery store format opened its latest location in Clovis Wednesday. The Walmart Neighborhood Market is at Fowler and Shaw avenues. It’s not the first (the one at Willow and Herndon has been open a few months). But they’re still new to a lot of people and we’re probably going to see more of these stores (including one slated for the old Cedar Lanes spot in Fresno) so I figured I’d take a little tour. Here’s what you need to know:
- The most important thing: It’s a grocery store, not a regular Walmart. There are no electronics and no clothing, despite the fact that people come in every day looking for those things. This one is about one-third the size of a Walmart Supercenter. It’s in a former Albertsons.
- You can find just about every food you find in a regular grocery store, including organic produce, fresh-baked bread, pet supplies, household goods, cosmetics. It also has a pharmacy.
- It has both self check-out and regular check-out stands. Six of each.
- It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Check out the little boxes at left. Those are in the cosmetics section and hook onto your cart, apparently so you don’t squish your blush brush. (Or so little Billy doesn’t grab your nail polish and launch it across the store?)
So, what do you think, blog readers? Will you shop at a Walmart Neighborhood Market?
So I’m working on a Halloween spending story and came across this at a SPIRIT Halloween store at Shaw Avenue and First Street. I can’t decide if these zombie, nose-picking babies are gross, scary or funny. Actually, you know what really creeps me out? Do you see the little photo bomber hiding to the right of the right-most nose picker, the one who has one eye peeking out? That almost looks like it’s real, like he’s waiting til I turn away to start following me or something…
Peeve’s Public House & Local Market officially opened Monday on Fulton Mall. You may remember my sneak preview post about the coffee shop/pub/restaurant/local market. What I didn’t talk much about in that post was the food that will be served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It’s “hyper local,” meaning as many things as possible are sourced locally. Peeve’s serves Lanna Coffee and Raizana teas. The smoothies served Monday, for example, have nectarines from the Masumoto family farm in Del Rey, kale from Kristina’s Natural Ranch Market and Fresno state grapes and watermelon. (And they plan to run with that hyper local emphasis even more, getting locally milled flour and T-shirts that are sewn here.)
Peeve’s will have a limited menu with very few options to choose from — say, a burger and a vegetarian option for dinner — but it will change almost daily. It will serve chilled soups in summer and hot soup in winter. A Fresno State sweet corn chowder was on the menu Monday. Peeve’s has hired Sean Dunn, formerly of Water 2 Wine and Love & Garlic catering, as its chef.
The guest chefs will be a highlight of Peeve’s. About every two weeks, a local chef will be invited in to serve dinner. Friday, it will be “The Dusty Family,” otherwise known as the Stewarts who run Dusty Buns. Seatings are at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and the three-course meal costs $35. Reserve a seat by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. More on that here.
The public market portion of Peeve’s selling local food products will be open in about six weeks.