Downtown Petaluma is already hopping with great places to eat and drink, and even more venues are set to welcome guests this fall and beyond. Here are four dining-and-drinking destinations we’ll be first in line for.
Luma Bar & Eatery
Petaluma’s beloved oyster bar and seafood restaurant The Shuckery is about to get a sister establishment in the former Dempsey’s brewpub location. Set to open in late November, Luma Bar and Eatery will focus on veggie-forward fare.
“The goal of the menu is to showcase Sonoma County’s bounty of produce and support local farms,” says proprietor Jazmine Lalicker, who also owns The Shuckery.
While vegetable dishes will receive top billing at Luma, offerings will not be exclusively plant based. “We want to have a menu that is inclusive of everybody—vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores,” says Lalicker.
Luma will feature four distinct seating areas swathed in earthy garden tones, including a traditional dining room, a cocktail bar, an intimate wine lounge, and a riverfront patio.
50 E Washington St., Petaluma, theshuckeryca.com
Since 2020, Petaluma has been buzzing with the rumor that David Ducommon of Duke’s Spirited Cocktails in Healdsburg is about to launch a tiki bar in town. With opening day for Kapu projected for early November, the rumor is about to become reality.
Once you step through the bar’s lava cave entrance, another world awaits. Legendary tiki bar designer Ben Bassham—a.k.a. “Bamboo Ben”—and his son, Blake, created or commissioned each element of Kapu’s design, from its Balinese tiki sculptures to the main bar’s hand-carved bamboo panels.
“Kapu is about escapism. It’s a chance to step away from the norm for a few hours,” says general manager Mike Richardson, a former manager and mixologist at Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas. “This is our effort to celebrate multiculturalism through art, food, music, and drinks.”
Especially drinks. As a tiki bar, Kapu will specialize in tropical craft cocktails. The small-plates menu, still in development, will lean toward street food with Hawaiian, Korean, and Portuguese influences.
Along with a massive rectangular tiki bar, Kapu will include individual booth-style huts, a dragon-festooned lounge equipped with vintage pinball and pachinko machines, a patio, and the Captain’s Room, a reservation-only space designed to evoke an old sailing ship smashed onto rocks.
You might just want to get in line now.
132 Keller St., Petaluma, kapubar.com
Chef Todd Kniess opened his first Acme Burger in Cotati in 2019 and followed up with a Santa Rosa outpost in 2021. This October, the latest Acme is set to debut in Petaluma, just across the parking lot from the new Crooked Goat Brewing taproom.
Those who’ve visited Acme’s other locations already know what all the excitement is about. Burgers are made with freshly ground beef each day and have just the right amount of seasoning and char. Non-beef burger options are equally satisfying, from buttermilk fried chicken to Willie Bird turkey to Impossible patties.
The new building is pretty cool, too. Originally a gas station, the structure is brimming with vintage Americana charm. Patrons will be able to dine on the patio out front, or order food from Crooked Goat for tableside delivery.
330 Western Ave., Petaluma, acmeburgerco.com
Anyone who has sampled the stellar Italian pastries and focaccia sandwiches at Stellina Pronto bakery will be thrilled to learn that owners Christian and Katrina Caiazzo are launching a new food-focused business in the former Thistle Meats storefront on Petaluma Boulevard.
Like the small “alimentari” grocery stores of Italy, Stellina Alimentari — the venue’s working name — will be an Italian specialty market and bottle shop with a deli counter offering a variety of focaccia sandwiches, salumi, antipasti, imported and local cheeses, salads, and prepared foods to take away. Those who like to linger can enjoy a glass of wine or beer onsite.
“Our pantry will feature our favorite products from local and Italian producers, including Calabrian peppers, the best anchovies, grissini, artisanal olive oils, and wines from 20 regions of Italy as well as local Sonoma County vineyards,” says Christian Caiazzo.
The venue’s opening date is pending.
160 Petaluma Blvd. N, Petaluma, stellinapronto.com