It’s been a tough few years for downtown Santa Rosa restaurants, with ongoing construction, recurring fire seasons and the pandemic. More than a few have shuttered, including Bollywood, Stout Brothers, Jade Room, Tex Wasabi’s, Parish Cafe (the Healdsburg location has changed ownership and remains open) and Bistro 29.
That’s left plenty of openings for brave souls willing to take their shot in what’s been a notoriously challenging landscape. Hopefully, the success of outdoor parklets and some fresh new flavors will make those challenges a distant memory.
Here are some of the newest arrivals to downtown Santa Rosa:
Warike: Luigi Dagnino, owner of Ayawaska Peruvian restaurant in Petaluma, is close to opening a sister restaurant at the former Stout Brothers location on Fourth Street just west of Courthouse Square. Called Warike, it will feature a menu similar to Ayawaska with ceviche, empanadas, lomo saltado, burgers and vegan dishes with lentils and quinoa. There’s a lengthy dessert list along with dozens of signature cocktails, including their top-notch pisco sours, mules, rum drinks, wine, beer and Inca cola, a Peruvian staple. The name is a combination of Quecha words “wa” (hidden) and “rique” (stew). Dagnino, who is Peruvian, said it’s about creating a secret spot to enjoy great food. Mid-June is the anticipated opening. 527 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, warikesf.com
Mi Pueblo: This favorite Petaluma Mexican restaurant is expanding its empire with a downtown location at the former Parish Cafe. With outposts in Windsor and Cotati and several in Marin County, it’s bound to find plenty of new fans. A summer opening is likely. 703 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.
SushiRosa: There aren’t many details on this one yet, but there is a sign announcing a new sushi spot in the former location of Tex Wasabi’s, on Fourth Street between Courthouse Square and Santa Rosa Plaza. 515 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.
La Fondita: A second La Fondita restaurant (the other location is at 816 Sebastopol Road in Roseland) will be opening at 630 Third St. A summer opening is likely.
More dining news
Your Saturday Lunch at Costco Returns: Air fryers, booze and toilet paper have been about the only reasons for a run to Costco over the last year. But, heavenly hair nets, samples are returning in June. While most of us thought these free snack magnets would go the way of salad bars, they’re making a return with a few post-pandemic changes.
But wait, there’s more! Fro yo is out and ice cream is in. Those “These Are Probably Healthy, Right?” sundaes with strawberry topping will be replaced by vanilla ice cream sundaes and $1.99 waffle cones. Now if we could just get those Vitamix salespersons to whip up a smoothie.