Traverso’s leaving downtown Santa Rosa

Historic Italian deli, Traverso's is packing up the pepperoni and pinot; the mozzarella and tortellini and leaving downtown Santa Rosa for good. After more than 30 years in its B Street location, Michael Traverso tells BiteClub that they've officially inked the deal and will be headed for Fountain Grove Village at the end of the year

Italian deli, Traverso’s is packing up the pepperoni and pinot; the
mozzarella and tortellini and leaving downtown Santa Rosa for good.
After more than 30 years in its B Street location, Michael Traverso
tells BiteClub that they’ve officially inked the deal and will be
headed for Fountain Grove Village at the end of the year.

family sold the property to developer Raj Gulati several years ago and
has been looking for a new location ever since. With scant parking and
an aging building, Traverso says it was any easy decision to move.
“We’re super niche. We’re not a grocery store, we’re more of a
specialty foods store. We really have become more of a destination
location, so we need more parking and easy access.”

The new digs
are close to Agilent, HP and the Fountain Grove Club and senior center,
Veranna, just a few miles from downtown Santa Rosa — good news for
hungry business lunchers. The space is about equal in size and all of
the features that have defined the store — the deli, Italian foods,
wine and spirits — will remain consistent. The Fountain Grove location
will include outdoor seating.

Traverso’s downtown will remain open until December 31, 2008 and plans are to open the new store in early January 2009.

Can’t live without your meatloaf? Traverso says delivery service is a definite possibility next year.

Traverso’s 106 B St., Santa Rosa, (707) 542-2530

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One thought on “Traverso’s leaving downtown Santa Rosa

  1. Posted By: hwoots (19/08/2008 12:57:13 PM)
    Comment: this is funny. I grew up in SR and always loved Traverso’s (I agree: bring those wonderful plank floors with you!). I’m sad to see them leave their location, but love it that they’re still around. About the woman who’s afraid of the “minorities” hanging around, two comments. When I was a kid, I’d hang around Traverso’s after school, buying gum. Now I’m a professional adult with a great career and paycheck. I’m glad the Traverso family recognizes that today’s gum-buyer is tomorrow’s life-long customer. Also, I currently live in Seattle. If you are afraid to go to downtown Santa Rosa, which is pretty darned innocuous, then please, please, please don’t leave. It’s a big bad world out there and someone might step on your delicate sensibilities.
    Posted By: Whine Country (19/08/2008 9:23:39 AM)
    Comment: I love Traverso’s, the wine and cheese selection is great and the owners are wonderful. Made a request for Halloumi cheese once, they had it the following week. Love that place!
    Posted By: bubba (16/08/2008 9:39:14 AM)
    Comment: I am a 10th genration italian and have lived in Santa Rosa for 162 proud years and have enjoyed eating here for at least 70 years.
    Posted By: Roger W. Hamilton (21/07/2008 4:10:54 AM)
    Comment: How are you going to handle all those City Bus’ parked around your new location, getting their snacks and lunches.
    Posted By: d.fall (20/07/2008 1:46:01 PM)
    Comment: My great grandfather came to Sonoma county in the 1800’s from Italy. One of his first jobs was up at the old Round Barn . Traverso’s is just giving back some of it’s old time original flavor.I’m thrilled. they are a destination not just a location.Welcome!
    Posted By: garliccrouton (18/07/2008 2:39:28 PM)
    Comment: Tony Serva—good idea!
    Posted By: Tony Serva (17/07/2008 12:31:03 PM)
    Comment: I wish them luck in their new digs. But please please pull up the old floor and take it with you! That wood has many years of Italian Deli aroma that is you can create any other way than to spill a little olive oil, vinegar and all things Italian every day for 30 40 years then let it be a few decades to soak up the garlic and other aromas. God Bless from an old friend of Traversos Tony
    Posted By: rp (16/07/2008 10:47:30 AM)
    Comment: I just have one question, “What about the smell” I don’t care what anyone says it will never be the same. I don’t live in Santa Rosa any longer, but was born and raised there and will always have a soft spot for this deli, I loved it. I know change is inevitable but it doesn’t make it any easier. Good Luck Traversos!!!
    Posted By: SR Native (15/07/2008 10:30:15 AM)
    Comment: Yea! I’m thrilled to have Traverso’s move to Fountaingrove. As a 5th generation Santa Rosa native of Italian immigrants, I love Traverso’s Market but haven’t been there in years because I avoid downtown SR at all costs. Parking is a minor problem -the main reason I don’t go downtown is the constant badgering by panhandlers, scary transit terminal and parking garages that smell like urine. Who in their right mind would choose to be around that type of environment? Traverso’s will do very well in their new location.
    Posted By: kh (15/07/2008 8:27:25 AM)
    Comment: even though I work in the FG area I am not likely to be going to the new Traverso’s. I am sad that the deli has to move from downtown and I consider it a loss. It is more of the same, “suburb-ization.” Wulfstan tells it like it is, unfortunately.
    Posted By: Lou (14/07/2008 3:01:50 PM)
    Comment: I can certainly understand why folks downtown will miss Traversos. But I for one will enjoy them in their new location. They now become the only lunch deli within walking distance of my workplace. I know many other co-workers are pleased and will be stopping by too. We’ve all been walking by that new shopping center on our lunch time walks hoping someone would open a good deli. Now it’s happening. For those working downtown, the City #1 bus stops right in front of the new location. They basically moved from one end to the other end of the #1 bus route. You can still get there without a car if you want. The bus is pretty much a direct trip from downtown since the new location is basically at the far end of it’s north Santa Rosa loop. The bus is likely faster than driving since you don’t have to worry about parking at either end of the trip.
    Posted By: Wulfstan (14/07/2008 11:30:50 AM)
    Comment: In response to Karen Bechtel Shepard’s comment, I don’t know to whom you responded by saying “newbe” but your comment seems a rebuttal to mine. I would add that I, at least, am not a newcomer but a 4th-generation Sonoma County native born in Santa Rosa, I have lived int he region my whole life expect when in college, my father graduated from SRJC in 1957, and both my parents taught in SR schools in the 1960s. I also know what I’m talking about: even if one was not aware of it, the decline of local communal cohesion and downtown and the whole “old-town” comminuty feel was begun a lot more than 30 years ago and the automobile-focused, shopping-centre culture is a major factor in that decline everywhere. This is a process that takes time, sometimes not becoming truly evident for years. I would also add that as for SR being a “nice” town 30 years ago, I think Railroad Square, for example, is a lot nicer nicer now than it was then, when the same type of people who think a place like Fountaingrove and shopping centres are great happily abandoned it to decay and wanted the unfortunate downtown mall to block of the “blighted” area just as they want to avoid downtown altogether. From being a derelict area with an abandoned hotel and, it has become a nice, vibrant destination. I remember my parents taking their car for repair at an auto shop right on 4th St near where Old Towne Funiture is now (I was too young to remember the exact spot)! As for Fountaingrove, it truly is just an area of big, ugly streets with cars zooming by fast, a shopping centre with ugly parking lot, sprawling developments of metastasized cookie-cutter houses, and streets totally devoid of humans. I have no desire ever to see such parts of town and try my best to forget they actually exist.
    Posted By: Mark (13/07/2008 2:07:41 PM)
    Comment: I’m just gonna say this and be done with it…Ms. E, your comment about minorites is SUPER offensive. I myself am Italian and every close to the Traverso’s. They value ALL of their customers regardless of ethnicity and believe me, all those “packs of gum” add up to sales. You have a poor sense of taste and poor character. To J, believe it or not Fountain Grove isn’t all “snoots” as you put it. Alot of people worked hard to live where they do and it just sounds like you’re jealous. I grew up in Roseland and live up here now. Should I feel bad? I think not my friend. I hope BOTH of you guys get a clue and stop stereotyping everybody. It makes you look like morons.
    Posted By: Karen Bechtel Shepherd (13/07/2008 1:31:38 PM)
    Comment: Good Move ! Hey this is to the newbe in Santa Rosa! Maybe you should look up the history of Santa Rosa and find out what a great home town this was 30 yrs ago. Fountain Grove was a beautiful ranch and we grew up with alot of great snoobs in the neighborhood, before all the winers moved in! I will contiune to support Treverso’s were ever they go… The Bechtel Family have been going to them for years and it’s one of our favorite stops… So find another town to move to if you are unhappy with the snobes of Santa Rosa. Happy Trails
    Posted By: J (13/07/2008 10:55:19 AM)
    Comment: I think they just lost a lot of their customer base. Im sure they will enjoy the snoots up on the hill. Its those same people that think downtown is unsafe, its santa rosa not compton. Mrs E, its is a free country and a public store anyone can shop there, so shut the hell up. Im not sure what you mean by “minorities” do you even know which race is the minority in CA? Sounds like some of you fountain grovers are scared to go into town and be with other classes. Enjoy living on your crappy hill with tract homes and sprawling views of more tract homes.
    Posted By: Ms. E (13/07/2008 7:52:09 AM)
    Comment: Great move by Traversos! Their store has been INUNDATED by minority teens when they get out of school that terrorize the customers. And they just buy, say, 1 pack of gum. There’s a HUGE line of them because they are all waiting for buses around there. This way, us regular shoppers of Traversos will be able to shop in PEACE and get parking. As it is, their parking lot was full of people who didn’t even shop there.
    Posted By: Mark (12/07/2008 7:25:48 PM)
    Comment: Laurel they already sold the property they’re currently in in 2004 so it didn’t make sense for them to stay. Plus keep in mind they are VERY MUCH still a family operation. Heck they have 10 employees lol
    Posted By: Laurel (12/07/2008 6:36:50 PM)
    Comment: Why not 2 locations? Seems that would they would do very well. I’m very excited about Fountain Grove, much easier for me. Do believe that it is fitting of downtown. It is the best deli in town by far.
    Posted By: Mark (12/07/2008 12:49:47 PM)
    Comment: Yeah X they don’t care about Santa Rosa…They’ve only been in this area downtown longer than DIRT…Give me a break. They want more business. Stop crying already. It has nothing to do with “caring for downtown”. Not to mention they’ve been downtown longer than any other business. They’ll have a GREAT business in Fountain Grove.
    Posted By: X (12/07/2008 6:44:25 AM)
    Comment: This is an utter shame. Precisely because they are a “destination” is why they should stay downtown and continue to bring business there. If they were some new, no-name business, I might understand going somewhere else, but businesses like this with established customer base and which have been a part of downtown for so long should stay. Some businesses care about and have vision for their towns, helping to promote strong downtowns. I used to think they did, to, having been here so long. I guess I was wrong; I can’t believe that they really care about downtown or Santa Rosa at all. There are plenty of possible other, better locations in Railroad Square or elsewhere. As for safety, come on! Downtown is perfectly safe and normal and one is probably more safe walking on downtown streets than in some big parking lot while crime can and does occur anywhere. I have never had a problem walking anywhere downtown regardless of the time of day or night. Parking also has never been a problem.
    Posted By: Kelly (12/07/2008 4:17:55 AM)
    Comment: Wulfstan said it all. This is a big loss for the downtown Santa Rosa area, and sadly, I don’t believe I will be making any trips to Fountaingrove and the new location. As for the parking issues, spend a day in San Francisco, take your feet off the gas and brake, and learn to use them to walk. Also, 420 Mendocino has been doomed more by those who have chosen to open up shop there than by the lack of free parking, which by the way is a luxury, not a right. As for avoiding downtown because of the notion garages aren’t safe? All due respect, but grow a pair. It’s a shame that your fear might keep you from enjoying food, culture, and your community.
    Posted By: Michelle (11/07/2008 11:45:19 PM)
    Comment: Wooo Hooo – Welcome Traverso’s to Beeeutiful Fountaingrove, you’ll love it here. I am so excited to have your organic delicasies right at my door step!! Do you think you guys can put in a full salad bar? That would be the topper for me :o) Either way, I can’t wait to have you guys here. Lastly, what smart business decision this will be for you, especially if you really do start up a delivery service! Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! Again, Welcome!
    Posted By: rick (11/07/2008 8:32:05 PM)
    Comment: Fabulous- Hope they add some nice local fresh veggies and fruit for a quick stop on the way home
    Posted By: Mark (11/07/2008 7:02:43 PM)
    Comment: Great move for Traverso’s…The die-hards will follow them there and they will gain a huge customer base with for their specialty foods. If you work downtown then it’s a loss for lunch but can ya really blame them? Plus I have no doubt there will be plenty of happy people who work and/or live in Fountaingrove that will have them packed at lunch time as well.
    Posted By: BAM (11/07/2008 6:19:50 PM)
    Comment: Thank you to Traverso’s for moving to FG. I will now do as much shopping as I can in your store. Please have a coffee bar and tables outside.
    Posted By: Curd boy (11/07/2008 4:46:34 PM)
    Comment: If everyone is so concerned about a good downtown deli, go to Macs!!
    Posted By: down-townie (11/07/2008 4:41:37 PM)
    Comment: Well, I am bummed that there is one less place to walk for a meal downtown. Although, I do admit I have not been in Traverso’s since high school, I think. It makes me curious as to why there is so much reaction here based on fear. Jack is afraid of Mexican culture (yikes – can I get you a cup of racism with that comment, sir?), others note their fear of parking garages, busses, and even affluent people. Wow, that makes me sad. Although, I don’t plan on going over there when they move (long walk or bike ride, no public transportation), it’s not because I am fearful of what will be there next or the continuing “demise” of downtown. It sounds like people will follow them over there. Let’s be positive, kids, support who we still can downtown, and wish Trav’s luck in their move. They have been a part of our community for a while now and I think that would be ok. P.s. – Ask me sometime about my time spent as a cook in a downtown (read: much more dangerous than Rosa) Sacramento eatery, walking home after midnight by myself…oh my goodness I survived!
    Posted By: Rachael (11/07/2008 4:39:45 PM)
    Comment: Wulfstan, a fellow sociologist I see. It’s nice to see someone quoting W.I. Thomas. I concur with your opinions.
    Posted By: Wulfstan (11/07/2008 4:29:51 PM)
    Comment: Chalk up another victory for soulless parking lots, shopping centers and sprawling development that require people to drive hither and thither, wasting gasoline and avoiding human contact. What do people want Santa Rosa to be? Another Rohnert Park? I would rather deal with the transit mall (oh my god, there are different-looking people there, how awful!!!) than have to drive somewhere and deal with a horrid parking lot, one of the bains of human existence. Maybe we should all just live out of our computers, so we can completely do away with human contact and walking. Honestly, humans are social creatures, our societies and individuals are at their best and healthiest when we have close human contact, not when we avoid other people and zoom around in cars all the time. The spread-out car-based society is a major factor in the decline of communities by weakening local social cohesion. I would rather walk a mile and a half, as I used to do before moving downtown, in order to get a cup of coffee at my favourite place than drive anywhere, particularly to Fountaingrove. There is also plenty of parking on streets other than the obvious ones and downtown is actually very safe. People just need to try other streets and they may be surprised to find many free (if perhaps 1- or 2-hour) spots right around the corner from packed metered spots. I used to leave outside but fairly close to downtown for years and always walked there, alone or with my wife and kids and we have all felt safe at all times, regardless of time or day. Now we live downtown and the same is true – we feel totally safe all the time. Unfortunately so many people complain about these issues without really knowing the truth that they scare off not only themselves but others. As W.I. Thomas said, “If [people] define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.”
    Posted By: Jack (11/07/2008 4:05:01 PM)
    Comment: Well, I guess we’ll get yet another South of the Border establishment. Just what we need… Guess what not all of us want your freakin’ tacos
    Posted By: anon (11/07/2008 3:57:27 PM)
    Comment: “as a woman who is sometimes alone I absolutely refuse to park in garages” seriously? in santa rosa? this whole article bums me out. fountaingrove sucks. leaving downtown for lack of parking is a lame excuse, and, sucks. traverso’s was basically the last decent deli or quick foodplace downtown, and they’re only about a block from 3 different parking garages. what happened to the supposed revitalization of downtown SR?
    Posted By: Local Girl (11/07/2008 3:56:07 PM)
    Comment: I am thrilled that Traverso’s is moving. Wulfstan, I will eagerly replace your business with my own — I love Traverso’s but hate dealing with downtown Santa Rosa issues. And, who would argue that Fountaingrove is less appealing than the BUS STATION they are currently next to, please. Now they can have outside seating in a clean, safe area. I am sure the folks at Agilent Technologies will help the business flourish — as will their Fountaingrove neighbors. Traverso’s is the best deli north of North Beach — keep up the great work. I will see you the day your doors open! Good luck!!!
    Posted By: Michael (11/07/2008 3:52:22 PM)
    Comment: I moved to Santa Barbara a few years ago and think about Santa Rosa often. I have always wished that Santa Rosa’s potentially charming and vibrant downtown could capture the spirit and vivacity of Santa Barbara’s. Sadly, the loss of Traverso’s will make that wish even less likely to come true. Fountaingrove? Ugh! An unlikely and unworthy place to carry on a tradition.
    Posted By: Pendolino (11/07/2008 3:47:31 PM)
    Comment: Where, exactly,is Fountain Grove Village? Thanks.
    Posted By: Hammeron (11/07/2008 3:04:03 PM)
    Comment: Good for Traverso’s. I wish them well. I am also certain that there are plenty of other merchants downtown that would appreciate our patronage.
    Posted By: Heather Irwin (11/07/2008 3:03:35 PM)
    Comment: Hey Wulfstan. I hear you, but I have to respectfully disagree with the parking issue. I try to walk as many places as possible, but there are times when I actually AVOID downtown restaurants because of the parking situation. I rarely can find a parking spot at the meters and at night, as a woman who is sometimes alone I absolutely refuse to park in garages. I think it is a major problem. (Ask the former owners of the 420 Mendocino Ave. restaurant and any chefs.) I also frequently have trouble finding a spot at Traverso’s (which I love) and end up going somewhere else even though I’d rather eat there. Just one opinion. But its actually a really interesting and thought-provoking subject.
    Posted By: jackvon (11/07/2008 3:02:02 PM)
    Comment: Great news for Fountaingrove, and the new lonely “Village”. Who ever wants to go downtown anyway…unless you are stuck working there. Free parking forever!!
    Posted By: Wulfstan (11/07/2008 2:54:01 PM)
    Comment: After seeing the last post, I want to add that I’m tired of people whining about so-called “parking problems” and that I think this is a groundless reason to leave downtown and that I don’t think the new location makes sense in the long term. They certainly will get a lot less business from me and I’ve been a die-hard customer but I’ll probably make do with other choices within walking distance. And what about all the business workers downtown that are a large portion of the people who pack it at lunch time during the week? How many of them will DRIVE to Fountaingrove? Moreover, there is always plenty of parking downtown, including free parking. One cannot expect often to park right next to one’s destination, but that is rather insignificant. I go places downtown because I can walk to so many places with ease and in enjoyable surroundings. I avoid outlying places to which one must drive and I think that more and more people should and will.
    Posted By: scarlet (11/07/2008 2:50:09 PM)
    Comment: Its a very good move! Thanks for giving us all those years with your excellent service with a smile. Your new place will bring even more business and pleasure.
    Posted By: Wulfstan (11/07/2008 2:37:43 PM)
    Comment: This is really too bad. I had heard this was in the making but hoped they would stay downtown. I love the current location and think they should stay somewhere downtown. I go there all the time but doubt I’ll get to the new location often since I never go to Fountaingrove & have no desire ever to do so. This sort of place NEEDS to be downtown!!!!
    Posted By: Fun Foodie (11/07/2008 2:37:11 PM)
    Comment: I am looking forward to the move! Downtown can be such a parking hassle, I know we will be a much more frequent visitor in the new location.
    Posted By: Vince (11/07/2008 2:21:23 PM)
    Comment: Geez, I hate to be a whiner, but I think that’s a really bad move. For me that is, not for them. I love Traverso’s and their downtown location is really convenient and I hardly ever find myself over in the Fountaingrove area. That said, they’ll almost certainly see a lot more business from the more affluent sector of town. Too bad.
    Posted By: Karen Powell (11/07/2008 2:18:54 PM)
    Comment: Good move! I want to wish them lots of success in their new diggs.
    Posted By: Meg (11/07/2008 2:18:11 PM)
    Comment: Eh.

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