Petaluma Chef Re-Imagines Chicago Burger Icon in Sebastopol’s The Barlow

The mission: Capture the flavors of childhood.

The end of an era for Chicago’s Cock Robin burger chain signaled a new beginning for Barlow owner Barney Aldridge. Now, he’s bringing the childhood memories of burgers and shakes to Sebastopol with the help of chef Jared Rogers of Petaluma’s Easy Rider.

Rogers, who co-founded the Southern-inspired Easy Rider in 2022, is reimagining the burger and milkshake menu as Cock Robin migrates from Naperville to its new home in Sebastopol.

The fast-casual, value-oriented restaurant replaces Seismic Brewing at the 12-acre outdoor marketplace. Seismic moved into the Golden State Cider tasting room in 2022 after vacating the high-profile, 4,000-square-foot space at the corner of Highway 12 and Morris Street.

Chef Jared Rogers from Easy Rider will consult on the new menu for Cock Robin in Sebastopol. (The Press Democrat)
Chef Jared Rogers from Easy Rider will consult on the new menu for Cock Robin in Sebastopol. (The Press Democrat)

A healthier spin

Though Chicago’s Cock Robin restaurants were known for artery-clogging burgers, milkshakes and ice cream, Rogers wants to put a healthier spin on the menu while keeping the family-friendly vibe.

“I want it to be as healthy and organic as possible,” Rogers said. Though the final dishes are still in development, he plans to include salads, sandwiches, plant-based dishes, and old-school classics with a modern spin.

“The staples will all be there,” he said, including the signature “One-in-a-Million” milkshakes and malts. Aldridge purchased the brand after the last Cock Robin closed in 2008 with hopes of recreating the same magic in Sebastopol.

Rogers will continue his work at Easy Rider, so fried chicken dinner lovers need not panic.

Restaurant designer Doug Washington will bring the Barlow space to life with a large, open kitchen and family-focused details, including an expansive outdoor patio. A September opening is anticipated.

Plus, a smoothie and juice bar

Rogers is also behind the menu at the recently opened Purple Acai smoothie and juice bar at the Barlow.

The health-conscious walk-up kitchen features hefty bowls filled with frozen, fair-trade acai, a South American berry hailed for its antioxidant qualities. Toppings and mix-ins include peanut butter, chia seeds, cacao nibs, flax seeds, coconut and protein powder.

If you go: Try the Mango and Greens Smoothie ($12) with mango, cashew milk, orange juice and spinach; the Toasty Rice Tea Fusion ($10), cold-pressed juice with a green tea and ginger kick; or the Nutty Bowl ($14) with acai, candied peanuts, peanut butter, almonds, flax seed, banana, honey and bee pollen.

6760 McKinley Ave., Suite 130, Sebastopol, 707-503-6412, Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.