Bird’s Eye View
by Turkey Vulture, May 6, 2010
Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably I shall begin. When it rains, it pours. And I’m not talking about the weather. No, I’m referring to another very popular topic of debate around here: the bar/pub/restaurant situation in the Valley, and the sudden outburst of enterprise over the past few days, following weeks, months even, of inactivity. Kudos and a few high-fives to Gary and Ginny Island for deciding to lease their long-empty Buckhorn Building in the heart of Boonville as a prospective bar/restaurant, if and when the right person can be found. Many in the community are no doubt very excited at this prospect, as are those who would dearly welcome back The Boonville Lodge, which I am reliably informed, is also another distinct possibility on the horizon after some recent high-level meetings.
As most of what I know is “off the record” (and I do try to adhere to such guidelines even though I am just a hack writer with the scruples of any other Turkey Vulture), as a former “bookie” (for entertainment purposes only, of course) all I can offer you at this point are my odds on each of the current crop of rumors, whispers, and reports that are circulating:
2:1. The Boonville Lodge re-opens in a couple of months with the full liquor license sold to local interests by Tom Towey and Carroll Pratt (thank you, Gentlemen — you will go to Heaven), but maybe not with the restaurant;
5:1. The Buckhorn Building becomes a cozy, family friendly pub/restaurant with several interior changes (smaller bar, fireplace, new entrance) and a beer garden, operating with a beer and wine license;
15:1. The Lodge building becomes a Mexican Cantina serving beer and wine;
25:1. The liquor license is sold to someone outside the Valley, meaning any bar establishment opening any time soon in Boonville would only be able to serve beer and wine;
30:1. ‘King’ Ken Allen, recently retired from the AV Brewery, buys back the Buckhorn Building and opens a new brewpub serving ‘Allen’s Ales’ and ‘Ken’s Fun Fries’;
100:1. The Buckhorn Building becomes the most successful small business in the history of the Valley as a combination pizzeria/bank/pharmacy/ laundromat/pub.
Whichever of these scenarios happens, at the very least there appears to be a couple of very bright shafts of light at the end of a long and dark tunnel.
Onward. Following my remarks a couple of weeks ago regarding the wide range of propane prices in the Valley and beyond, and my warning to keep an eye on them, I have received comments from several readers, many of them quite angry with the situation. In summation it would seem that the whole propane business is one big racket with deals offered either with little rhyme or reason or at the discretion of the person in the office, particularly if the threat of changing company is made. Meanwhile, special offers are made to entice new customers, mysterious add-on fees and surcharges appear on bills, and exorbitant charges are made to remove tanks if a customer changes their propane company. All-in-all, it is a very unsatisfactory situation and I can only advise propane users to take these few precautions. Try to compare the prices of the four main companies — Suburban Propane (462-3858), Ferrellgas (463-1515), Eel River Fuels (462-5554), and Redwood Coast Fuels (463-3100); to check bills from one to the next and be aware that prices should be coming down in the next few months until reaching the annual low in August; and if your price per gallon goes up call and inquire why, and do not be put off with vague explanations — ask to talk to the supervisor if you are not satisfied. Good luck with this, you will need it.
The Three Dot Lounge, which has recently been undergoing some much-needed renovation is now open again so let’s move quickly to a few of the topics under discussion there over the past week or so. Yes it’s “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the Valley.
…Is there a more pleasant and helpful local business owner than Leslie Hummel at All that Good Stuff? No, I didn’t think there was and everyone at The Three Dot agrees.
…Several Three-Dot customers, including yours truly, were fortunate to be at the Senior Center’s “Last Tuesday Dinner” on the 27th because the chicken enchilada fiesta that was prepared by Natalie Matson, with help from Candy Slotte, was absolutely delicious and thoroughly enjoyed by the 52 other people who showed up. Some regulars even commented that it was the best meal they’d had there in a long, long time. Well done to Natalie and Candy. Hope you get to do it again sometime soon.
…Talking of fine dining experiences, Lauren’s Restaurant is now open for lunch through the upcoming summer months. She will be serving from 11:30am to 2:30pm, Thursday-Sunday, and based on the delicious smoked turkey quesadilla, chicken curry salad, and roasted Rocky Chicken sandwich with fries that Hummingbird and I devoured there recently it’s not something to be missed. And while I’m talking about Lauren’s remember that she has the only Happy Hour in town: Friday’s from 5pm to 6pm-ish when all drinks are $1 off. Ya gotta like that!
…And finally, many thanks to Pat Hulbert for dropping off a note that said, “Dear Mr. Vulture, On Saturday, 8th of May, the Philo Church is having a Bake Sale on Lemon's porch in Philo, from 10am until everything is sold. This will include huckleberry and apple pies, tarts, cakes, breads and cookies. I wanted to let you know as you said that you missed the last one, and wanted one of my pies. See you there. God Bless, Pat Hulbert.” Yes you will, Pat and many others too, I imagine.
Public Service Announcements. #421: The Beer Festival is this coming Saturday, May 8th, from 1-5pm at The Fairgrounds in Boonville. #422: Next Tuesday night’s (May 11th) special event at the Veterans’ Hall in Boonville will be the first in a regular monthly event called Dinner and Bingo Night being held to benefit the Senior Center, and on this occasion will feature a spaghetti dinner by chef Joe ‘Mr. Spaghetti’ Hansen at 6pm, immediately followed by Bingo with lots of prizes. It’s all for a good cause obviously and at just $7 for non-seniors ($5 suggested donation for seniors) everyone is encouraged to attend. #423: Dave Evans, Navarro Store owner and music impresario bar none in the Valley, informs me that the live music in the Valley scene he has cultivated so energetically over the past couple of years will return to The Deep End on the afternoon of Sunday, May 23rd. More details regarding this gig and the rest of the Summer Live Music Series will follow shortly.
A regular reader, The New Jersey Jay, writes “I was reading Turkey Vulture today and I must say I really enjoy how he gives the odd “poke” when some need it but also a gentle “stroke” when it is earned. Keep up the good work, T.V.” Well, on such a positive and very perceptive note I think it’s time to take my leave before I go and spoil it. Be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. One final request, “Let us prey.” Poking and stroking, and as always, humbly yours, Turkey Vulture.