Nothing tops off a day spent touring and tasting better than a quiet chuckle or a deep belly laugh. Humor adds spice to life, and Sonoma County offers several venues to catch live comedy shows.
Here's a quick round-up of chances to relax, kick back, and enjoy a good laugh in the Sonoma Wine Country.
Annie O’s Music Hall Hall, Santa Rosa
In addition to live music live music, Annie O's in Santa Rosa's historic Railroad Square presents comedy performances, usually with a nationally known headliner and two other comedians. Annie O's features a full bar plus local beers on tap, with an "upscale bar menu."
Owner Greg Clark named the place for his great-grandmother, Annie O'Connell, who owned the Resataur Hotel in Watsonville, Calif., in the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s. Her hotel presented both comedy and music, and Clark — a local attorney, real estate broker, and general contractor — has modeled his new venture after his great-grandmother's place.
Annie O's Music Hall, 120 Fifth St., Santa Rosa, 707-542-1455
Sally Tomatoes, Rohnert Park
This nightclub and café hosts a national headliner comedian monthly, and on the first and third Tuesday of each month Tony Sparks of San Francisco hosts the Laughing Tomato Comedy Showcase, with a line-up of seven or eight local and San Francisco Bay Area comics.
Admission for the headliner show varies from $25-$40, depending on who is performing. The comedy showcase is free. Sally Tomatoes offers full bar service and a café-style menu, with burgers, buffalo wings, soups, salads, and more.
Sally Tomatoes, 1100 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park, 707-665-9472
Palooza Gastropub and Wine Bar, Kenwood
In the summertime, the third weekend of the month brings a new lineup of comedians to the Punchline Palooza Comedy Show at chef Andrew Jetson's latest culinary experience. Shows are held outdoors, weather permitting.
This gastropub/wine bar features fine local wines and 16 micro-craft beers. The fusion-pub menu items include fish and chips, wedge salad, pork belly mac n cheese, sweet corn risotto, fig and pesto flatbread, and in-house potato chips. Admission to the comedy show is usually $20.
Palooza Gastropub and Wine Bar, 8910 Sonoma Highway 12, Kenwood, 707-833-4000
Crushers of Comedy, Sonoma Valley
This group brings stand-up comics from Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area for periodic performances (about every other month or so). The shows usually offer a line-up of up to six professional comics.
Venues vary, and can include tasting rooms, barrel rooms, wine caves, vineyards, and other Sonoma Wine Country locations, generally in the Sonoma Valley. Wine and food is typically available for purchase. Check the Crushers of Comedy schedule for upcoming shows and prices for specific events.
Crushers of Comedy, Kenwood, 415-350-6433
Double Decker Lanes Comedy Night, Rohnert Park
The second Tuesday of each month, laughs from Comedy Night fill the lounge area at this 50-lane bowling alley. Shows are from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and admission is free.
The lounge offers a full-service bar with a large selection of domestic and imported beers. The adjacent snack bar serves burgers, sandwiches, snacks, and, on weekends only, breakfast.
Comedy Night is produced by Nick Hoffman Entertainment and Brian Thomas.
Double Decker Lanes, 300 Golf Course Drive, Rohnert Park, 707-585-0226
You might also want to check the schedule for:
Luther Burbank Center for the Arts brings nationally-recognized comedians to its stage several times a year (50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, 707-546-3600)
Sonoma Community Center serves as a venue for comedy shows from time to time, and will be the site of the Sonoma Arts Laughfest from Oct. 8 to Oct. 18, 2015, with 24 shows in two weeks (276 E. Napa St., Sonoma, 707-938-4626, ext. 1)
Jaded Toad is a family- and pet-friendly barbecue restaurant and beer garden that hosts comedy nights from time to time (275 Windsor River Road, Windsor, 707-838-8336)
Written by Sonoma Insider Patricia Lynn Henley.