Local Food Art Wine.
That's the sign painted in black that's on a corrugated metal building at The Barlow in Sebastopol, the pulsing village of local producers that showcase Sonoma County wares. The center is thriving with 37 tenants on its 12-1/2 acres with only three leases still available, according to property manager Yolanda Lopez.
"I think it's had very healthy growth," Lopez said. "It could have filled up more quickly but owner Barney Aldridge has been very selective and people have been turned away."
Lopez said early contenders like MacDonald's and The Dollar Store weren't accepted because Aldridge was focused on finding local tenants.
"We have so many prospective tenants every day," Lopez said. "But Barney is looking for local producers that really showcase what Sonoma County is all about, not just with wine but where food and art are also incorporated."
The most recent tenant is Warped Brewery, at 6790 McKinley St. No. 190, and co-owner and brewmaster Noah Bolmer said he's excited to join other artisans.
When asked what sets his brewery apart from others, Bolmer said: "There's no simple answer to what sets apart one artist from another. What would a chef say to that? We all brew differently but beer is barley, hops, yeast and water whereever you go."
Looking ahead, four buildings in a large corner of the property are being converted into a 58-room boutique hotel, yet to be named. The hotel, at 24,000 square feet, will clearly be the largest tenant, and will include a spa, pool and gym.
Other signed tenants expected to open their doors this summer include Ultra Crepes (www.ultracrepes.com), Vignette Pizzeria (www.vignettepizzeria) and 3 Kings Vapor (www.3kingsvapor.com), which offers electronic, tobacco-free cigarettes. Lopez said, in addition, Wind Gap Wines is putting the finishing touches on its tasting room right now.
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