Best Of 1997

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Michael Amsler

On Tap: Readers picked Paige Kirwan as the best bartender.

Home Away from . . . .

AT 4:30 P.M. on a sultry Thursday afternoon, only a handful of people are gathered around the copper-topped bar at the Bear Republic Brewing Co. One man, whose only comment to the counterperson is "Parched," sits sipping a tall amber beer, deeply involved in reading a novel. Down from him, three buddies dip fresh french fries into pools of exotic mustards, while a few stools away our favorite patron is reading the Independent aloud to friends. The two small televisions are on silently, the rain-threatened sun beams upon the colorful back-wall mural depicting Healdsburg's past and shines briefly upon the many flags and bicycle paraphernalia decorating the rest of the empty, airy dining room behind the bar. This is a place for friends to gather--no big deal, no special event, it's just after work and they're not yet ready to go home. To be drunk here would be anathema; to eat a good burger, tip back one or two housemade brews, and amble off--the norm. A woman with a notebook, a filthy purse, three dollars, and a since-discovered ridge of lipstick on her chin is left alone to sweet peace and contemplation. This is the place. Bear Republic Brewing Co., 345 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg. 433-2337.--G.G.

[ MetroActive Central ]

From the March 27-April 2, 1997 issue of the Sonoma County Independent

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