Looking for That Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name?

(Press Democrat)

Wine County has no shortage of great places for food, drink and diversion. But for those with an open schedule and a need for a leisurely pace, an additional attraction is required:

The atmosphere of a first-class hangout.

That’s a place where you can go whenever you feel like it, and do almost anything, including just chat with old friends and new acquaintances. Sometimes there are community events, sometimes not. Food is usually simple and seems to morph easily from breakfast into lunch and supper.It might just be that place where everybody knows your name. If you’re looking for an easy feeling and a cozy ambience, try one of these five locally beloved hangouts:

Aqus Cafe

Five years ago, co-owner John Crowley, a transplanted Irishman, set out to create the kind of community gathering place found at Irish pubs, and accelerated the transition a couple years in by acquiring a license to serve beer and wine three years ago.

“I find America doesn’t have enough of these gathering spots,” Crowley said. “We’re interested in creating community. We’re focused on gathering people together. We have maybe 60 different events each month,” Crowley said.

In addition to food and drink, Aqus features exhibits by local artists, appearances by city and county politicians, readings by Bay Area authors and live music most nights, ranging from jazz and swing to folk, bluegrass and, of course, Celtic.

“We’ve got everything from knitting groups,  poetry night and trivia nights to live Celtic and Bluegrass Sessions,” Crowley added. “We’ve got an email and Facebook range of around 8,000 people, just in Sonoma County.”

Crowley’s goal is to offer a haven to people of all backgrounds and interests.

“In the morning time, we’re a California coffee shop. People bring their computers in and work on their laptops. Then in the afternoon, we migrate into a European cafe, and in the evening, we morph into a pub.”





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