Vintage Space, the new retro-inspired cocktail lounge and live music venue at the landmark Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, is a clever nod to the property’s midcentury past.
Managed by Benson Wang and Anderson Pugash of Palm House Hospitality, the lounge is the latest upgrade to the hotel, which was built in 1957 and purchased by Palm House Hospitality and Stephan Yang and Rebecca Bunya of Yang Capital in 2019. Wang and Pugash are also behind the popular San Francisco hangouts Palm House and the Dorian.
Wang, a Sonoma County native and fourth-generation restaurant owner, was inspired by “the extreme optimism” and excitement of the 1950s space race. He wanted to infuse that sense of “curiosity and innovation” into Vintage Space’s lunar-inspired music lounge, he said.
“We really want it to be an immersive, transformative space,” said Wang, who worked with designer Brian Anderson of BAA Design to create the futuristic setting. “Preserving the history of the space as an entertainment venue was important to us. We just wanted to create something a little more adventurous.”
And the vibe and cosmic cocktails at Vintage Space fit that bill.
The boomerang-shape bar is backlit by the glow of an illuminated moon. There is a rotating list of cocktails, mocktails, local craft beers and wines by the glass.
The M.A.S.A. cocktail, developed by bar manager Scott Gallagher, is a refreshing favorite, with spicy serrano pepper-infused peach puree, smoky mezcal, tequila and sparkling wine.
There is also the Cosmonaut — a play on the classic Cosmopolitan — that arrives capped with a glistening bubble. A satisfying pop releases a burst of citrus essence, which lingers on first sip.
The Black Hole Espresso Martini — an infusion of Bella Rosa nitro cold brew, cacao from Santa Rosa’s Sister Harvest and housemade mint whipped cream — is perfect for those seeking a caffeine buzz.
“I think people are just excited to have a music venue in Santa Rosa,” said bar manager Gallagher, who helped develop the venue’s drinks program. Before coming to Vintage Space, he ran the bar program at Little Brothers in San Francisco after getting his start at San Francisco Irish pubs Maggie McGarry’s and Little Shamrock.
A Petaluma native, Gallagher is a self-proclaimed Old Fashioned fan and will make a mean one on request, with spicy Michter’s Rye Whiskey and a spherical king cube.
Nonalcoholic cocktails include the E. Tea, an Arnold Palmer-type drink with habanero shrub, and Tranquility, a refreshing herbaceous combination of lemon, mint and rosemary.
Moon Landing Snack Packs are also sold, like Comet Corn popcorn, furikake Chex Mix and a host of other salty, crunchy indulgences.
Vintage Space currently hosts live music at 8 p.m. Fridays and a DJ at 9 p.m. Saturdays. Upcoming acts include LuvPlanet on Sept. 2 and Northern California DJ Miguel Migs on Sept. 17. If you want to arrive early for a meal or appetizers, the Flamingo’s Lazeaway Club restaurant is highly recommended.
“The music lounge at the Flamingo has a long, celebrated history within our community,” co-owner Pugash said. “We’re really excited to pay homage to its past while looking towards the future.”
Looking forward, Wang and Pugash hope to host Halloween and New Year’s parties at Vintage Space, plus live comedy and a Sunday Drag Brunch.
“The Flamingo has been a Santa Rosa institution since it opened in the 1950s,” Wang said. “We’ve received great feedback about the newly designed space and are so grateful to everyone we’ve met throughout the launch.”
Details: Vintage Space at the Flamingo Resort, 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa; 707-545-8530; vintagespacesr.com
You can reach Staff Writer Sarah Doyle at 707-521-5478 or firstname.lastname@example.org.