Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Restaurant and bar news: Who’s coming, who’s going

caposSome big changes are happening in the restaurant and bar world, so I figured it was time for an update of who’s coming and who’s going (or already gone, as the case may be).

Coming: Capo’s by Giuseppe Gallo’s will open at the former The Venue and Twist space at the Park Place shopping center at Palm and Nees avenues. This is the same Giuseppe Gallo’s Italian restaurant over at Willow and Nees in Clovis. That restaurant is busting at the seams and since it can’t expand where it is, the owners decided to add a second location in northwest Fresno. Capo’s is scheduled to open during the last week of August.

Gone (for now): Fresno Brewing Company closed last week. The coffee and craft beer hangout on the Fulton Mall attracted cyclists, downtown cheerleaders and generally hip people. The owner closed it for “personal reasons,” but a city official wants to reopen it soon serving meals. Read more about that here.

Coming: High Sierra Grill is taking over the space that Bentley’s left empty at Bullard and West avenues in the Pavilion West shopping center. This restaurant is owned by the same people who own the Yosemite Falls Cafe restaurants. The limited menu will serve tri-tip, sandwiches, burgers and salads. Half the restaurant is walk-up-and-order-and-wait-for-a-cashier-to-call-out-your-number quick service. The other half is sit down and be waited on. It’s scheduled to open Aug. 26.

As usual, I’ll keep you updated as the restaurants get closer to opening. You can find lots more local restaurant info in my weekly columns here.

Tonight: Hires, Loves It! and Yogoman Burning Band

164901_10151163899264364_46548610_nIt’s hump day, which means, technically, the weekend can start any time after 5 p.m. If you’re looking to go out tonight, there are a few music options.

  • Florida singer-song writer Matt Hires plays Y101‘s Unplugged series. At The Standard. 7 p.m. Free, but space is limited. 21 +. This would be my choice for fans of soulful acoustic radio pop.
  • Ska/soul/brass band fun w/Yogoman Burning Band. At Audie’s Olympic. 9 p.m. $5-$10. Probably the most raucous show of the night. For those who wannt to do some drinking and don’t mind getting a little sweaty.
  • Austin Americana band Loves It! plays Fresno Brewing Company. 8 p.m. Free. All ages. Should be a low-key kind of show. This would be my choice for the night, were I not already committed to a bowling league. Also: The guy in the band looks a bit like Metallica’s Cliff Burton. So …

Gig review: Napoletano Tap Takeover@F.B.C.

Dovves@F.B.C. (photo from Matt Napoletano) Fresno Brewing Company has done a good job of establishing itself as a hub for the craft beer set (also as a more-than-decent music venue, but that’s a different post). For those who care about things like IBUs and ABV percentages, this is the place to go and last night was perfect case in point. The Napoletano brothers (Matt and Nick) took over for the evening and showed off some of their favorite brews, including some kind of super-special keg of Tioga-Sequia’s Sugar Pine Cocoa-Vanilla Porter. I had the Obsidian Stout from Deschutes Brewery.

There was also some music, fire-eating and general good times had.

Read more

Mark your calendar: Fuse Fest 2012


Fresno’s biggest music festival is back for its fifth year next month. That’s the Fresno Urban Sound Experience, or simply Fuse Fest, happening Sept. 6-8.

The lineup was announced this morning and true to form, it’s packed with local music of all genres — from Achievement House to Your Hero is a Villain, with Before Perils, Light Thieves, Patrick Contreras, Collecto, Niilo Smeds all in the middle. There’s Kat Jones and Blake Jones (no relation), plus the return of Sparklejet. There’s a grand total of 37 acts.

You can get the full band list at, Fresno Famous or The Fresnan.

This year’s festival is stretched out through three days — starting off with an ArtHop event at The Hashtag on Sept. 6, followed by the festival’s first night on Sept. 7 which has a cluster of venues that includes Fulton 55 (two stages), The Lamp Post and Iron Bird Lofts. On Sept. 8, the festival moves to Arte Americas, CMAC, Frank’s Place, ‘Fishbowl’ Stage at Warnors Theatre, Fresno Brewing Company and Tokyo Garden.