8 Epic California Road Trip Stops

IPA10K

Don’t overlook Napa’s sister county, a region rich in mom-and-pop establishments, artisanal wineries, towering Redwood trees, and charming small towns. … Drive to Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve for a hike and then spend an afternoon at The Barlow, an adaptive reuse of a large-scale apple cannery plant filled with craft breweries, distilleries, food producers, and art galleries (for dinner, we love Zazu, the beloved restaurant of celebrity chefs Duskie Estes and John Stewart).

 

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By Paul Rubio |  Conde Nast Traveler | May 2017

 

Runners chase their suds at inaugural Beer Mile Invitational in Sebastopol

IPA10K

Canned or bottled? Warm or chilled? Beer brand. Pour angle. Cap-removal technique. Post-race hurl.

There’s a lot more to running and drinking than the average person might suspect.

But these were no mere amateurs participating Saturday in the inaugural Beer Mile Invitational at The Barlow in Sebastopol…

 

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By Mary Callahan |  The Press Democrat | April 2017

 

Inaugural IPA 10K & Beer Mile Comes to Sonoma County

 

IPA10K
Destination Races, the Sonoma-based event company behind the Wine Country Half Marathon, is bringing back the “run, sip, explore” concept to Sonoma County – but this time with hops instead of grapes. On April 14-15, runners and beer lovers alike are invited to participate in Destination Races’ inaugural IPA 10K (6.2 mile) and Beer Mile Invitational at The Barlow in Sebastopol…

 

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By Jess Poshepny Vallery | Sonoma Magazine  | March 2017

 

Farm-to-Table Life: Zazu Kitchen + Farm

 

zazu

It was just another Sunday morning at the Stewart-Estes home in rural Forestville. John Stewart fed the pigs, rabbits, chickens and duck, as Duskie Estes made breakfast for the couple’s two daughters and the family dog, Chloe. … For the duo, who opened zazu 15 years ago, energy trounces easy. Even in Sonoma, land of handmade, farm-to-table food, this couple goes to the extreme. Best known for their artisanal ways with pig, their menus often read simply, such as bacon-wrapped dates drizzled in sweet saba, chitarra pasta draped in slow-simmered pork-cheek sugo, and golden roasted pork chop atop faro and fagioli beans…

 

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By Carey Sweet | Sonoma Magazine  | February 2017

Sebastopol Ped Line one step closer to reality

 

sebastopol ped line

The City of Sebastopol received approval from CalTrans to move forward with four color-coded, self-guided walking tours. Known as Ped Lines, these walking tours create safe paths for pedestrians to take around the city, instead of driving. … The city required Caltrans approval, as the sidewalks and streetscapes along Highway 116 are owned by the state transportation agency. The Barlow development, which owns the sidewalks along McKinley Street, also gave Cittaslow permission for Ped Line markers to be placed on the sidewalks…

 

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By Amie Windsor | Sonoma West Times & News  | February 2017

Get Your Goat: Sebastopol Brewery Rides IPA Wave

 

If there is such a thing as “peak IPA,” it hasn’t happened yet. Crooked Goat, a microbrewery and tap room that opened in Sebastopol’s Barlow last August, already has plans to open a second tap room in March. Located on the opposite end of the unit, with the brewing facility in the middle, the new space will have more lounging options, according to head brewer Will Erickson (pictured), in contrast to the spartan, metal-shop setup of the current bar…

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By James Knight | North Bay Bohemian  | February 2017

Vacation With Your Valentine: America’s Most Romantic Retreats

 

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, chances are you have already made plans to stay at a romantic retreat with your loved one. But if you’re still undecided, there’s really no time to waste, with the availability of lodging and dining reservations across the country are disappearing nearly as fast as you can say “Happy Valentine’s Day.” For a few last minute suggestions, here are five of America’s best places to consider visiting for your next romantic getaway…

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By Randy Yagi | CBS New York  | January 2017

These 5 Ice Cream Spots in Wine Country Are Worth Braving the Cold

 

We don’t care that it’s cold outside. These only-in-Wine-Country artisanal ice creams made from bourbon, goat milk, sheep milk, or nitrogen, are worth the risk of frost bite.

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By Carry Sweet | 7 x 7  | January 2017

Mendocino’s Alsace Wine Festival

 

A spirited club: We’re hard pressed to name any winery without its own wine club. Now, it seems, distillery memberships are the next new thing. Sebastopol’s Spirit Works Distillery just launched a Spirits Club for customers who sign up for four, eight or 12 shipments per year.

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By Mary Orlin | The Mercury News  | January 2017

Spirit Works Distillery Announces Promotion of Lauren Patz to Head Distiller

Sebastopol, CA, January 5, 2017 – California grain-to-glass craft spirits pioneer Spirit Works Distillery announces the promotion of Production Manager/Distiller, Lauren Patz, to Head Distiller.  With the elevation of Patz into production and distilling leadership, Ashby Marshall, Distillery Co-Founder and former Head Distiller, is shifting to a new role as Brand Director, responsible for leading the overall brand vision, direction and voice of the Distillery as it continues to grow and evolve.

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By Spirit Works Distillery | January 2017

A guide to Sonoma County Distilleries With Public Tasting Rooms

William Faulkner, who fancied mint juleps and hot toddies, said “civilization begins with distillation.” With this in mind, Sonoma County is a great civilization, a burgeoning mecca for craft spirits producers. Sonoma County has approved more distillery licenses than any county in California, said Francesca Schott of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board, and the number of distilleries grew roughly 200 percent between 2013 and 2015. To help fuel your holiday spirit, we’ve set you up with a tour of spirits producers with public tasting rooms where you can sample the goods.

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By Peg Melnik | Press Democrat  | December 2016

West County Wishlist: Six Women-Owned Shops Worth Your Dollar

With its winding two-lane roads, picturesque farms and quirky small towns, West Sonoma County is one of the most alluring regions of the North Bay for day trips and getaways. It’s also a fantastic destination for shopping, thanks to a recent crop of unique galleries and boutiques founded by awesome local entrepreneurs. Here are six West County shops where you’ll find exceptional gifts to delight your loved ones or to treat yourself, while supporting small businesses and artisans…

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By Chelsea Kurnick | Sonoma Magazine  | December 2016

Local Holiday Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Are you working away on your holiday gift list and stumped for ideas? Here are some of my favorite items from around Sonoma County. There’s something on my list for everyone!…

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By Adrienne Shubin | Sonoma Magazine  | December 2016

50 Best Dishes in Sonoma County

Fifty Sonoma County dishes may seem like a lot, but to be honest, it wasn’t easy to whittle down our list from the hundreds of incredible and iconic meals we’ve had from Cloverdale to Cotati…

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By Heather Irwin | Sonoma Magazine  | December 2016

9 Under-the-Radar Chefs to Know in the SF Bay Area

With so many outstanding restaurants in the Bay Area, it’s tough for chefs to stand out…Together, these nine unheralded chefs are playing a key role in helping our local food scene continue as one of the most enriching anywhere in the world…

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By Trevor Feltch | Zagat  | December 2016

Food & Wine: Ultimate Holiday Handbook – 53 Recipes You’ll Want to Share

If you’re planning a holiday party for a crowd, stick to stunning roasts, simple side dishes and make-ahead appetizers. Whether you need…

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By Justin Chapple | Food & Wine Magazine  | December 2016

72 Hours in Sonoma County: The Ideal Wine Country Intinerary

When you live in Sonoma County, you’re never lonely for out-of-town visitors. Family, friends, college roommates, even casual acquaintances, are all eager to catch up with you and take in all the region offers. Thanksgiving through New Year’s is high season for houseguests, with the number of invading out-of-towners larger than the kids’ gift lists…

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By Sofia Englund | Sonoma Magazine  | December 2016

Highway 116: 9 Essential Stops Along the Russian River

Fall and winter, when the summer crowds are gone, is an ideal time to travel Sonoma County’s Highway 116 between Sebastopol and the coast — past harvest-colored vineyards and groves of redwoods. This route is known as the Gravenstein Highway (although names on signage will change a number of times) after the Gravenstein apple, once a mainstay of the local economy…

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By Jill K. Robinson | San Francisco Chronicle  | October 2016

The 2016 Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink

Fortune and Time Inc. sister publication Food & Wine teamed up to bring you our third annual list of the women who had the most transformative impact in the last year on what we eat and drink. This group of entrepreneurs, activists, and idealists is making its mark up and down the food chain.

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By Christine Quinlan, Daisy Alioto, Carson Demmond, Elyse Inamine | Fortune | September 2016

Retro Fashion for Real Women at Mad Mod Shop

Fans of vintage-inspired clothing should make a mad dash to Andrea DeTrinidad’s Sebastopol boutique Mad Mod Shop in The Barlow. Filled with carefully curated items- clothing, accessories, even some home decor items- shoppers step back in time to an era when women’s clothing was designed to flatter figured of all sizes…

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By Amy Schaus | Sonoma Magazine  | July 2016

The Best Sonoma County Wineries & Restaurants

About an hour north of San Francisco, Sonoma County is an unfussy California wine destination that suits the entire gamut of wine drinkers, from oenophiles to dabblers. More than 7 million people visit the region each year, giving Sonoma its proper notoriety as America’s number one wine region.

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By Lindsay   |   Food & Wine   |   January 2016

 

The Barlow Arrives- Sebastopol Wine, Food and Art Mecca

The official opening of the Barlow in Sebastopol was just about two years ago. We have visited The Barlow several times since, but not until last week could we simply state, “The Barlow has arrived!” This time the Barlow was a bevy of activity, with each of the artisan purveyors having enough customers and clients to keep them busy and thriving. There are still some empty storefronts, but those promise to be in operation soon. So what exactly is The Barlow? For those old timers, Sebastopol was once the area of many apple orchards…

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By Joe Becerra   |   Wine Country Getaways  |   October 2015

12 Delicious New Experiences in Sonoma

While Sonoma’s claim to fame is wine, the region’s latest crop of farm-to-fork fare—from a drive-thru restaurant from an organic-foods pioneer to a food-centric complex lined with eateries—is just as layered with ingenuity. From the hip, bustling plaza in Healdsburg to tasting rooms on postcard-perfect landscapes across the valley, here are must-stops for every foodie’s palate…

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By Kristine Hansen   |   Fodors.com   |    October 2015

Where to Eat & Shop at The Barlow in Sebastopol

In Sebastopol, about an hour north of San Francisco, a development called The Barlow has replaced a 12.5-acre industrial site largely devoted to apple processing with an artisan-friendly commercial district. It’s now home to wineries, a distillery, microbreweries and boutique producers of everything from soap to furniture. Planters filled with herbs and vegetables edge newly plotted streets separating buildings clad in corrugated metal. An outdoor fire pit, bocce court and public lawns invite lingering on the campus, which also has restaurants and tasting rooms. A hotel with rooftop pool is on the drawing board…

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By Elaine Glusac   |    NY Times   |   August 2015

The Barlow

This is The Barlow in Sebastopol, California. At twelve and a half acres it’s about the same size as many other shopping centers. But it’s different in several important ways… First, The Barlow is built on a brownfield site. The land was part of a century old warehouse district adjacent to a defunct railroad depot. Some of the existing structures were retrofitted while new buildings filled in other parts of the property…

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By Granola Shotgun   |   Granola Shotgun Blog  |   August 2015

Barlow Developer Revises Plan for Sebastopol Hotel

The Barlow developer Barney Aldridge is moving forward with revised plans for a 90-room boutique hotel at his artisanal commercial center in Sebastopol, though it will be at least two years before the inn and spa could be ready to accommodate lodgers, he said. Forced back to the drawing board because of shortcomings in his previous plan for mitigating flood risks to ground-floor guest rooms…

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By Mary Callahan |   Press Democrat   |    August 2015

 

 

Sebastopol Boutique is Designer’s Chance to Cultivate Collection

The Barlow, Sebastopol’s newest shopping and dining project, is warehouse upon warehouse of sophisticated eateries, galleries and breweries. Located on the edge of this industrial grid, Tamarind boutique offers its own interpretation of urban chic. Owner Andrea Kenner, an ex-New Yorker, fills the bright, welcoming space with clothes and accessories by local and internationally acclaimed designers…

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By Flora Tsapovsky |    San Francisco Chronicle   |   August 2015

72 Hours in Sonoma: Day III

Generally, wine-tasting experiences are structured to maximize quantity rather than quality. More often than not, one books a tour bus for a tour of wineries in the region, buckling in for a madcap day of hasty visits. But after the second winery, the taste of the wines becomes all but indistinguishable. For a clearer experience of the glory of Sonoma wines, I recommend spending a luxurious amount of time visiting at most three wineries in a day, with at least a couple of hours between each…

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By Asha Yoganandan   |    TheDailyMeal   |   May 2015

Weekending in Sebastopol

Sebastopol is a laid-back town famed for Gravenstein apples and wineries, but over the years the landscape has shifted as apple orchards have been replanted with vineyards. There are still a few left, though, and a growing number of artisanal hard cider producers are preserving and showcasing the area’s apple wealth with an annual Apple Blossom Festival in April and Gravenstein Apple Fair in August. The hip, artisan “village” of The Barlow comprises a series of edible businesses, from distillery and coffee house to restaurants…

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By Virginia Miller   |   Zagat    |    March 2015

Sebastopol’s Barlow: Five Ways to Eat, Drink, Play

In just 18 months, The Barlow, an upscale food and wine playground in the heart of Sebastopol, has become home to 38 artists, food purveyors, winemakers, distillers and brewers — and a destination for locals and tourists alike. A mix of renovated warehouses and new, farm-style steel barns — a nod to Sonoma County’s agrarian roots — is spread out over 12.5 acres, along with patios, a garden and edible landscaping. The campus is abuzz with activity seven days a week…

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By Mary Orlin and Jay Brooks |   San Jose Mercury News   |    February 2015

 

 

Best Romantic Getaways on a Budget Near The Bay Area

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and if you are thinking of heading off for a romantic weekend, there’s really no time to waste. While you may have postponed making reservations because you’re on a budget, a romantic interlude doesn’t have to include a pricey dinner and pricier hotel or vice versa. Indeed, even the most popular Bay Area destinations can be quite affordable as long as you do a little advance planning. Here are some suggestions on visiting five romantic destinations in the Bay Area on a budget.

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By Randy Yagi   |   CBS Local   |   February 2015

 

Trendy Food Halls Across the USA

Food courts aren’t what they used to be. Forget cafeteria-style meals, bad lighting and unappealing decor. Urban food courts of today, often called food halls (because that just has a better ring to it), will wow you with local delicacies, food-focused learning and carefully planned entertainment, all with an international flair. Some feature big-name chefs, others feature up-and-comers, but one thing is certain: they put a ton of culinary choices all under one roof, and people can’t get enough of ’em.  …

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By Sarah Sekula | USA Today  | August 2014

Raising The Barlow

So the other day you were at this pizza barn on that old apple-factory land in Sebastopol, when—  What’s that? You weren’t at the pizza barn? You didn’t know about the pizza barn?  Okay, let’s back up a little.  So there’s this new pizza place called Vignette Pizzeria, and it’s inside a barn in wine country, and it’s now open from a couple of Farmshop vets.

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Urban Daddy  |   July 2014

 

 

New Sonoma County-Style Street Fair at The Barlow in Sebastopol

When The Barlow officially opened last year in Sebastopol, developer Barney Aldridge envisioned periodic street fairs along the avenues lining the 220,000-square-foot culinary and art center in the former Barlow Apple Factory at Sebastopol Avenue and Morris Street. Wish granted. And in a big way. Running every single Thursday evening from 4 to 8 p.m. through October 30, Aldridge shutting down McKinley St. in the heart of The Barlow, and taking to the streets for a community celebration…

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By Carey Sweet  |   www.sonomacounty.com   |    July 2014

 

 

San Francisco Best of the Bay: Things To Happen To Sebastopol

“FOOD HALL When the Barlow opened last winter, the artisan megaplex bestowed a slew of shops upon a growing hamlet that desperately needed them”…

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By Jenna Scatena  |   San Francisco Best of the Bay    |    July 2014

 

 

Inaugural Thursday Night Barlow Street Fair

‘After an overwhelmingly positive response from our Grand Opening street fair event in November, it was clear that this is what the community wants; a place to come, spend time together and have fun, and this is what the Barlow and the street fair are all about,’ said Barney Aldrige, founder of The Barlow. ‘So we made some calls and invited some of the best food and artisan vendors from the North Bay to join us”…

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By Kimberly Kaido-Alvarez  |   Sonoma West Times and News    |    June 2014

 

 

North Bay Scene Setters

While it doesn’t have the size or support of the local food movement, the North Bay’s local fashion scene is home to a growing coterie of designers…

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By Flora Tsapovsky |   Bohemian   |    June 2014

 

 

4 New Shops Open at The Barlow

Fast on the heels of its official grand opening this fall, The Barlow of Sebastopol is nearly fully leased out, making it one of the best destinations in Sonoma County, and one of the finest arts and culinary centers in America. Four new tenants recently signed up for space in the shopping, dining and wine tasting campus at Highways 12 and 116, and are under construction for a scheduled summer debut…

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By Carey Sweet |   www.sonomacounty.com   |    May 2014

 

 

73 Summer Weekend Getaways

“We’re bringing the artisans out of the woods and into the town center,” says Barney Aldridge owner of The Barlow…

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Sunset Magazine  |    2014

 

 

The Barlow Center: Treats, Art, Eat

Sebastopol has always been hip, but with the addition of The Barlow Culinary and Arts Center, it’s now got a whole new groove. Downtown is a lot bigger. Just next door to the Rialto Cinemas on McKinley Street, there’s a place to share fine food and enjoy art and wine. In fact, there are at least 38 exclusive experiences to choose from...

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By Sarah Amador  |   101 Things to Do  |    2014

 

 

Pig Love: In Pork We Trust featuring Zazu

When guests dining at ZaZu Kitchen + Farm in Sebastopol, California, take a bite of the signature dish called the Whole Pig, they immediately receive a burst of flavor which covers every part of the mouth. But to say the dish is delicious is an understatement. For beyond the meaty taste of pork, each bite represents the entire pig, including a mixture of meats…

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By Christopher Sawyer   |   Clever Root  |   2014

The Crowing Cap of 2013: The Barlow

With the opening of The Barlow on Hwy. 12 near Hwy. 116 this fall, Sebastopol became a hot destination nearly overnight. Packed with a dizzying array of marvelous stores, wineries and restaurants, the 220,000-square-foot, $23.8 million culinary and arts center stands to rival San Francisco’s Ferry Building and Napa’s Oxbow, with one unique twist…

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By Carey Sweet  |   Pure Luxury    |    December 2013

 

 

Insider Guides: The Barlow Attraction

“We’re bringing the artisans out of the woods and into the town center,” says Barney Aldridge, owner of The Barlow, a 13-acre retail park that packs a week’s worth of West Sonoma County destinations—cafes, community markets, tasting rooms—under 17 farmhouse-style roofs. Some two dozen shops are set up in the former apple factory, with more to come, as well as an outdoor stage for concerts…

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By Jenna Scatena  |   Sunset Magazine    |    May 2013

 

 

8 Bucket List Things To Do at The Barlow in California

While spending time in the neighboring town of Sebastopol, it was confirmed that sometimes you don’t need to travel far from home to find bucket list worthy adventures. Just fifteen minutes from my Northern California house there was a place that quenched my new experience thirst, The Barlow. This is not your typical shopping center, which is perfect because I am not a typical shopper. There has to be something unique to get me to stray from my convenient online spending habits.

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By Annette White |   Bucket.List.Journey.  |    December 2013

 

 

Sebastopol’s The Barlow A Smart Fit for Crossroads

It has taken seven years, but at last developer Barney Aldridge has the project he envisioned for Highway 12 and Morris Street in downtown Sebastopol. Welcome to the Barlow. The 220,000-square-foot, $23.8 million culinary and arts center celebrated its official grand opening with a street fair on Saturday, boasting 28 tenants in place, and room for only a few more plus a boutique hotel that’s currently being negotiated…

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By Carey Sweet |   SF Gate   |    November 2013

 

 

Barlow Center Sebastopol Ramps Up for April 2013 Opening

The Concept: An 222,000 square-foot artisan marketplace and production facility.  The Pitch: “The Barlow will also incorporate a carefully chosen selection of restaurants to create a comfortable, fun atmosphere where the community can come together and enjoy, art, wine and time with one another”…

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Bite Club Eats  |    January 2013

 

 

Sebastopol OKs Hotel Zoning for The Barlow

The Sebastopol City Council voted unanimously to approve a zoning amendment that could clear the way for a 60-room hotel at The Barlow development on the eastern edge of downtown. An initial concept calls for a two-story, 34,000-square-foot “boutique” hotel on three acres of vacant space at the site of the former Barlow Company cannery, recently redeveloped into a regional hub for food and wine business for West County…

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Dverel  |   North Bay Business Journal  |    July 2013

 

 

Wine Country Holiday Crawl: The Barlow in Sebastopol

If you’re looking for unique, artisanal and locally-made gifts this season to place under the tree, stuff stockings, or give a host or hostess, plan on heading to The Barlow in Sebastopol. In this community of makers, you’ll find a diverse range of art, décor, fashion and wine, plus plenty of cozy eateries to fuel your excursion…

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By Annette Hamani  |   California Home+Design  |   December 2013

 

 

Wine Country Holiday Crawl: The Barlow in Sebastopol

To call The Barlow in Sebastopol a “business park” is to conjure up a beige landscape of prefab buildings. But since the businesses in this new development are all artisanal producers and restaurants–ten of which are now open to the public–the complex merits a proper eating expedition…

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By Jonathan Kauffman  |   Tasting Table  |   August 2013

 

 

Barlow Project Turns Idle Sebastopol Plants into Artisan Food Center

New steel-framed buildings are rising and old metal-sided warehouses are getting refurbished in Sebastopol this summer in a $23.5 million project that supporters tout as a new public marketplace and production center for local food, wine and art. The 12-acre Barlow project amounts to the biggest development in Sebastopol in years, as well as the culmination of a multi-year debate over how to redevelop an old apple packing district on the eastern edge of the downtown…

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By Robert Digitale   |   Press Democrat  |   June 2012

Canneries Reborn

A two-alarm blaze that closed Highway 12 and brought scores of gawkers to downtown Sebastopol on Friday destroyed a large section of The Barlow, an old-time apple processing plant at the center of a 12-acre project that will serve as a hub for local wineries, food producers and artists. The front half of the two-part metal frame building and mounds of bundled vintage clothing that filled the 10,000-square-foot warehouse burned for hours…

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By Mary Callahan and Bret Wilkison   |   Press Democrat  |   June 2012

Reinventing The Barlow

Thousands of people driving the stretch of Sonoma County’s Highway 12 that flows into and out of downtown Sebastopol every day, but most probably never really notice the piece of the town’s agricultural history tucked away within the fading warehouses just east of Main Street. That will change this summer with the opening of The Barlow, a community of food, beverage and art producers setting up shop in the town’s old canning district.

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By Juliette Porton   |   North Bay Biz  |    March 2012

 

 

Sebastopol Complex: Barlow Project Underway

Construction on a Sebastopol development that aims to bring together local vintners, food makers and artists began Wednesday, a day after the project received a $23.5 million construction loan from Wells Fargo Bank. The Barlow, a 220,000-square-foot complex of about a dozen commercial structures, is being developed on the site that formerly housed the Barlow Apple Factory, near the intersection of Highway 12 and Morris Street…

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Press Democrat  |   December 2011

Canneries Reborn

Construction on a Sebastopol development that aims to bring together local vintners, food makers and artists began Wednesday, a day after the project received a $23.5 million construction loan from Wells Fargo Bank. The Barlow, a 220,000-square-foot complex of about a dozen commercial structures, is being developed on the site that formerly housed the Barlow Apple Factory…

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By Cathy Buzzewitz   |   Press Democrat  |   December 2011

Hoping to Revitalize a Relic

People heading west on Highway 12 into Sebastopol are still greeted by the rundown remains of the defunct Barlow processing plant — a relic of the town’s historic apple industry. Now a developer is making another attempt to revitalize the town’s rundown cannery district with major plans to refocus the area into a hub of boutique manufacturers and redraw city streets to better improve traffic…

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By Nathan Halverson |   Press Democrat  |   April 2011

Barlow Center Aims to Break Ground in Fall

The Barlow Center, a mixed-use industrial project with a focus on food, wine, art and sustainable retail in downtown Sebastopol, has announced plans to break ground this fall. Looking toward a summer 2011 opening, the 6.5-acre campus hopes to include the long-running Sebastopol Farmers Market at its center, along with possible restaurant, retail, artisan food producer and wine production tenants. Sebastopol farmers market manager Paula Downing confirmed that she hoped to move to the more spacious site once it was completed…

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By Heather Irwin |   Press Democrat  |   July 2010

New Council Rejects Development of Apple Packing District

After five years of meetings and $500,000 spent on planning, the Sebastopol City Council has decided to drop a controversial plan to redevelop the town’s old apple packing district. The city’s planning director said Wednesday the five-member council had directed staff at its Tuesday night meeting to “terminate” work on the plan. The plan, which called for buildings of two to four stories featuring shops below and residences above, suffered a decisive blow last fall when two candidates critical of the plan won election to the council. That produced a new majority of four council members with concerns that the plan would allow too much development and result in too much traffic for the town of 7,700 people…

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By Robert Digitale |   Press Democrat  |   March 2009

New Council Rejects Development of Apple Packing District

Key landowner Barney Aldridge wasn’t present, but his year-old architectural renderings caused a stir at a recent Sebastopol council meeting after critics unveiled them to show how the retired loan company executive might transform the town’s old apple packing district. The council hearings resume tonight, and the disagreement continues over the significance of the drawings of four-story buildings and tree-lined sidewalks and civic squares…

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By Robert Digitale |   Press Democrat  |   June 2008