Your insider's guide to Wine Country
Your pizookie awaits
Coddingtown’s newest restaurant tenant, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, is slated to open May 14, according to staff. The restaurant will be doing preview dinners the next several weeks for media, friends and family. Prepare to get your pizookie on.
Went there twice on week nights, prior to 6pm and with less than 4 people. The food was excellent and priced great. The problems that we had are: the food took a long to get once ordered and the noise was pretty bad. The hostess told us the seating capacity was 425 and there were people waiting when we got there and when we left. The wait staff complained that the kitchen was running slow and when we wanted our check the hostess told us we had to wait for our server to get back from a break. Also they take your credit card out of your site which is a compromise and concerned my family member who has previously had issues with identity theft. Two of my guests said they wouldn’t come back because they felt the noise and wait we’re too bad, I however would but will warn my guests of the negatives next time. Nice to have good food made from scratch and a very clean place to go.
When I went in there were more staff then guests, 75% of the tables were empty, and we seemed to have 3 different waiters, none of whom communicated with each other (I must have been asked “are you ready to order yet?” at LEAST 3 times by each of them, even after I told each of them we were only having appetizers). Under service is bad yes, but so is over service. Especially when after being bothered every 3 minutes, suddenly it takes waiting 20 minutes before i gave up and then flagging down another employee (who appeared to be texting on thier phone while on the floor).
Couple that with some of the WORST beer I’ve ever had ( it was totally flat, and almost no flavor, even in the porter) and appetizers that cleary spent the majority of their life in a freezer and a major portion of their cooking involved a microwave (I am a professional cook, though so maybe my standards are a little high)
I just spotted Heather coming out of BJ’s and I smell a review coming.
Why didn’t you say hi, Mom? I had leftover pizza and Pizzookie!
Went to BJs for a pre-opening dinner with 3 other people. Each of us had something different from the “rehearsal’s” limited menu and we sampled each others choices
The portobello mushroom pizza, huge blue cheese angus burger, and salmon filet on salad were all wonderful. Each of us also enjoyed the different beer selections we picked.
Waitstaff seemed happy and service was speedy. I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised; I was not expecting BJs to be a great as it was and I usually prefer non-chain restaurants. The biggest ding would be that it did get noisy.
None of us really knew what to expect and we all left vowing we’re coming back in the very near future when we can order from the full menu.
I am a BJs employee at the new location. Let me just say, it’s already doing a lot for our local business. I’ve had many customers come in with shopping bags that say they never come to Coddingtown and now they have a reason too! Many people even said they didn’t realize what stores we had, and they will certainly be returning. This is a good partnership for the Coddings. I come from another great partnership (Cattlemens employee for 3 years and counting), and I am excited to be a part of this new one! Come in to BJs and see what it’s about. You will be surprised! It’s not what most people think, especially after they hear Brewhouse.
I went to the Coddingtown BJ’s last night for a pre opening dinner. Sat at the bar, since that’s where my BF was working. Had the BJ’s Blonde, and the BJ’s Raspberry Cider. Very good and refreshing (and only $4.25 each!) For the meal I got the shrimp taco’s (on the menu for $8.95) and my friend got the Parmesan crusted chicken with mashed potatoes ($13.50) Both meals were AMAZING! Cooked perfectly, definitely not frozen, all freshly cooked. Got the pizookie trio with 3 different cookies. Couldn’t finish them since we were full, but they were warm, gooey amazingness. For you who don’t know what a pizookie is, it is a made to order cookie baked in it’s own little pan, topped with a scoop of ice cream.(I think it was $8.50 for all 3)
At the bar, they have 1 big TV screen which is split into 4 different screens. As a big baseball fan, major plus. Music was a little loud for my liking, but it was good mixture of music (80’s, 90’s, now)
Definitely will be going back to keep trying all the BJ’s beers, watch baseball, and enjoy the food.
This is from a guy who enjoys Starks, Le Gare and John Ash. Looking forward to this. My family of 5 go to Elk Grove every Father’s Day weekend for baseball tourney and the whole team always hits BJ’s when there. Good beer, good fun, good environment. NOTHING like Applebee’s and their somewhat unfrozen entrees.
WE NEED A BEACH HUT DELI IN SONOMA COUNTY!
Healdsburg Bar and Grill has great food, beer, service and great price. I am staying in Healdsburg for my food!
Good we don’t want you in Santa Rosa!
Who flippin’ cares about beer or a “good” brewer!?! Phfft! I’m excited about BJ’s opening. I have a husband who occasionally enjoys a beer and sixteen year old who loves watching sports and a 10 year old who enjoys a good chicken strip….got all bases covered at BJ’s!! I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way. Sure my husband and I enjoy all of the awesome (and pricey) local restuarants, but BJ’s will serve it’s purpose with our family!
The food is horrible but it will be a great place to watch sports/games… A lot a TV’s and good beer.. just dont go there hungry.
BJ’s is a CA based west coast chain. I’m not a beer person myself but they have very good deep dish pizza’s that you can get in single serving sizes for a delicious lunch and their root beer is hands down better than A&W’s. Plus they are famous for their pizooki dessert. Ice cream on top of a fresh baked cookie. They are a good place to go to watch sports as they have t.v.’s all over the restaurant and they are all showing sports only, plus their t.v. over the bar is massive with 4 split screens or one big screen for a big game. They will be a great addition to Coddingtown and those of us that enjoy going to B.J.’s will not have to go to San Rafael or elsewhere.
@ Pen – Exactly! It’s a combo of Applebees and Chucky Cheese with beer, liquor and way too many televisions. The environment is stimulus overload and gloppy reheated Cisco/Monsanto product masquerading as food. We are so lucky to have so many incredible Breweries in our area with good food. It’s pretty disappointing that this is on the home page of the Sunday P.D. Why not feature locally owned fare??
Really? What brewery around here has “great food”? Surely not Bear Republic and RR Brewery.
3rd Street Aleworks has excellent food.
BJ’s also has local beers on-tap. At the Natomas location they have: Bear Republic, Lagunitas etc. A win-win for Sonoma Co.
Isn’t BJ’s owned by Cheesecake Factory?
I also have to second the vote for Mimi’s Cafe in Sonoma County!
BJ’s will not be a “flop”. This is not the place that serious beer drinkers will go. It is family friendly , and will attract a younger crowd as well. In this economy, we should be welcoming new business’ that will create jobs for many people. Yes, it is a chain, but so is Cheesecake Factory, and PF Chang’s, both of which were rumored to join Coddingtown. Let’s just be happy that they are finally getting Coddingtown back up to par! While I miss Sakura and Narsi’s as much as everyone else, let’s embrace the new! BJ’s will do great, and I will be there to get my pazookie!
UMMMM. It’s advertised as a brewery, yet serious beer drinkers wont go there? A brewery is now a family restaurant?
Either its a sh$tty brewery or the worst concept for a family restaurant on the face of the planet.
As a BJ’s employee, it is our job to provide nothing but the best for our customers. If you don’t like what we have to offer, no hard feelings not everything is for everyone. From the moment you walk through the doors until the time you leave, you are a guest. Hospitality is key.
There is really no need for nasty, rash language. We are a restaurant and a brew house. If you are there for beer and drinks, request to sit at our large bar and cocktail area. If you are there with your family for a meal, sit in the dining area. We accommodate to the guest’s and their needs, that is why we are all there.
That is why we went through weeks of training.
That is why I am proud to work for a company, corporation, chain, whatever you want to refer to it as; the managers are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Relax.
Don’t let the filter of the internet clog your mind with personal clutter.
Kaela, the weeks of training showed at the rehearsal night. Everyone was very hospitable and we had a great time. Can’t wait to go back.
John, at least give it a try. BJs was both family friendly and had great brews. There were families eating at tables near us. Their beer list was extensive and even had local offerings.
@John: Before dissing the restaurant you should try it. Yes, it’s a chain. And serious beer drinkers should go there! They offer a ton of different types of their own beer, from blondes, to IPA’s, to stout, and ciders! And you probably don’t know that they have what called FBS (finished beer specialist) on hand. They make sure all the lines on the kegs are clean, and make sure that the beer is tasting right. It’s not like an Applebee’s whatsoever. They care about what they are doing.
All the employees went thru intense training. The bartenders had to memorize 30 of the specialized cocktails. They had to know the brand of liquor to use (no house vodka, they had to know if it was kettle one, bel, whatever) glass, garnish, and the ounces of each item. If they didn’t, they didn’t make the cut. I know the servers went thru intense training as well. When I was there for a soft opening, they had what I think was every menu item made, out on the table, with numbers by each one. The servers had to write down what the menu name was for each dish. I have gone to Mom and Pop places, and the servers didn’t know everything on the menu.
The food was very fresh, definitely not frozen. This restaurant will be good for that side of town, and it brought a lot of jobs for Santa Rosa. Give it a shot!
Any update on Sprenger’s Tap Room?
It’s open already.
I’ve been to BJ’s in Renton, WA at the Southcenter Mall (a suburb of Seattle) and it’s was JUST like an Applebee’s on steroids with a beer theme. Remember TGIFriday’s? It’s TGIF 2.0. Large, loud and inferior food. The clam chowder was the worst I’ve ever had, thick and gluey with too much rosemary), and it seemed that the majority of the items were grease-laden, cheesy, or doused with cream sauce. WHY would anyone want that in our community where we are so lucky to have a plethora of locally owned restaurants that source at least some of their ingredients from local suppliers and not pre-fab from a corporate kitchen? I’m not against chains per se, but this “theme” doesn’t convey here in beautiful Sonoma County. If you want a good pizza, try Rosso. This type of establishment is not unique, not original, and most of all, un-delicious.
Oh, and BTW – I took my 80 something Mom to Mister Hofbrau today for lunch today. It fit the bill for hand-carved meats with your senior citizen – my turkey sammie was good, my Mom’s pastrami was tasty but not sliced thin enough and she had a difficult time eating it. They’re just getting re-established in the Brickyard Center after being evicted from Coddingtown (Narsi’s), and the space needs some work (it’s seriously lacking charm or comfort), but check them out if you’re in the mood for some meat.
Your an idiot. You obviously don’t care about all the jobs it has created.
Creating jobs has nothing to do with the fact that the food/beer are horrible
*You’re* an idiot… Ropo
They will have a tough time staying open. Sonoma County is the wrong place to put in a chain brewery but, its nice to see people investing locally. I hope they make it.
Tom, sorry I disagree with you. That is the problem with our area, we need more restaurants like this and get rid of some of the Apple Bee’s.
I’m all for new restaurants and hope it does well. The challenge is that You have some of the best micro-brews in the world in Sonoma county. When people want to go to a brewpub there have many cheaper and better options, especially with Whole foods right next door with a great selection of draft beer. You wont find St Bernarduis or anything that compares at Bj’s. There is a high likelihood this will flop
They should have put in another chain like Cheesecake factory or Macaroni Grill. just my 2 cents.
I agree Toni- get rid of the numerous Applebee’s. I would love to see a Mimi’s Cafe or Macaroni Grill go in. I am happy a BJ’s is coming in- yes I agree their beer is nothing compared to our local breweries. f I want beer I will go to RRBC, Third St, or Hopmonk. But BJ’s makes great pizza and have good salads too. I am happy we have a nice anchor store and maybe more restaurants will follow- as long as the city council doesn’t mess it up.
Toni- That is one heck of a oxymoron,… “we need more restaurants like this and get rid of some of the Apple Bee’s”
You obviously don’t know what’s up with BJ’s, it like Applebees and Hooters had offspring.
I gotta agree with Tom on this one. If you’ve been to Bj’s before you already know that their beer is sub-par and way overpriced. This is like putting a Little Caesars in Italy and charging more for it. BJ’s is for places like LA or Vegas that doesn’t know good beer from a whole in the wall. Sonoma Country is gonna chew this place up and spit out. They should have put in a Cheesecake Factory
You mean its slated to open before Ike’s Sandwich shop?
Ike’s is STILL not done. Whew. He said in March that it was moving forward. Maybe June/July?
I’m glad to see another restaurant open that will gainfully employee our young people.
Nice for the Santa Rosa area to finally get some modern day chain restaurants. At least there are more choices, even if you choose to never eat at BJ’s.
What is BJ’s?
I’ve never been, but apparently its a sort of brewpub/restaurant. I think it’s a good restaurant anchor for Coddingtown — big malls kind of need big chain restaurants and its within the chain corridor of Steele Ln./101. I’m going for a media preview i think next week.
And since you asked, missy, about flipside…by way of full disclosure…I ALWAYS pay for meals when a restaurant is open for business. Always. However (and this is standard practice), media are invited from time to time to preview a restaurant (I did it for Glen Ellen Star a couple months ago) and we do not usually pay in that case, sampling a handful of things that the chef is contemplating putting on the menu, and letting readers know what’s to come.
Since I’m not the PD’s official “critic” but more of a columnist for the food/resto biz, it’s considered kosher to do media previews in moderation. But official “critics” usually don’t do them since it could be considered quid pro quo.
Healther/Bite Club – that wasn’t me who asked about paying for the food, that was another person whose comment was removed. I’ve not been Negative Nancy lately.
Ah. the posts weren’t removed…we ended up accidentally having two identical posts, both of which got comments. I just “hid” the other one.
PS> Got my hanging lettuce garden today! Cool!
Sysco trucks, reve up your engines. LOL LOL LOL
Sysco at chains is to be expected (though really big chains often they actually ship in their own stuff pre-frozen). I get more worried when I see them at “fine” dining establishments.
Why? Fine dining restaurants need bleach and paper goods too. You can use Sysco or waste money.
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