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Buck’s River Mill Dinner Theater Brings Supper Club Fun to Guerneville

Guerneville has long been one of Sonoma County’s most eclectic towns, in a delightful mix of gay lifestyle, family friendly neighborhoods, arts, and an increasingly burgeoning downtown business core.

Now, we can welcome Buck’s River Mill Dinner Theater into the mix, as a new supper club that caters brilliantly to every element of the Guerneville community. It’s just steps from downtown, in the arts district.

Gay, transgender, or simply fun loving? Buck’s is a favorite hangout for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, with dinner cabaret, drag parties, and entertaining charitable events hosted in full burlesque-nun costume.

Looking for a place to take the whole family? Buck’s hosts piano and accordion sing-alongs, theater shows, improv and live music. Buck’s is also a restaurant, serving lunch and dinner.

For those who might wonder about the name, it’s in tribute to the legendary Buck’s Restaurant, built in the late 1800s as the Garibaldi Hotel, then morphed into an Italian restaurant not long after. It operated in the same space until last year, serving American comfort food, then was taken over by production and event planning specialist Robb Huddleston.

The new Buck’s retains a lot of the original, weathered charm, including a wild horse mural behind the bar, which was painted by “Cowboy” Bill in 1967 and had been covered by mirrors for years.

On the food side, chef Diz Struffles sends out spinach salad in a bacon bowl (really – it’s served in a bowl made of bacon) topped with more bacon; fried pickles of gluten free, organic stone ground corn meal battered veggies dunked in ranch or aioli; and Steak and Tater Soup with grilled black bean burgers in a sourdough bread bowl topped in sautéed bell peppers, tater tot croutons and raw white cheddar.

For dessert, there’s Banana Slug Pie, a non-dairy, soy based vanilla-peanut butter-dark chocolate recipe studded with caramel and banana; or candied bacon batons dunked in chocolate fudge sauce.

Keeping the theater theme going, Struffles is also known as the Singing Chef, and has cooked and performed at restaurants, on cruise ships, and in theaters around the world.

Buck’s River Mill Dinner Theater, 16440 Mill/4th St., Guerneville. Hours: Lunch 1:30-3 p.m. Wed.-Fri.; dinner/club 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Weds.-Sun.

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