Explore a seemingly endless variety of dining, drinking, and shopping treasures at The Barlow culinary and arts center in Sebastopol. Premium businesses hurried to lease space after this $23.5 million, 220,000-square-foot project debuted in the fall of 2012, and now the property features many of Sonoma County’s best restaurants, wineries, distilleries, art galleries, and boutiques.
The sprawling campus of industrial chic barn buildings glistens in the sun. Most of the time, the glass roll-up garage doors that act as walls are open, inviting in fresh breezes and strolling customers. The 12.5 landscaped acres are lush, and brilliant with greens, reds, yellows, oranges, and blues. The colors spread across lawns, neighborhood parks, pathways, raised garden beds, and a full culinary garden (in fact, most of the landscaping is edible, harvested for the kitchens of Barlow restaurants).
It’s all pretty impressive for what used to be an old apple processing facility on the eastern edge of downtown Sebastopol. And there’s always something new happening in this hip community gathering spot.
The 'Don’t Miss' Barlow Stores
Barrio Fresca Cocina Mexicana, barriobayarea.com. Chef Carlos Rosas of Barrio Marin (catering and farmers markets) serves comtemporary Mexican-style street food with a gourmet twist. The healthy, handcrafted dishes are made with organic seasonal ingredients. A special Barrio menu is also served at Crooked Goat Brewing.
- California Sister Floral, californiasister.com. Any-occasion floral delivery throughout Sonoma County; specializing in weddings and events. Floral and plant-based gifts, supplies, handmade items from local artists, and locally grown flowers.
- Circle of Hands, circleofhandswaldorfshop.com. Waldorf School-inspired handmade, mostly locally-made products, toys, books, apparel and cosmetics. Periodic on-site workshops.
- Community Market, srcommunitymarket.com. Non-profit, worker-run, natural food grocery store specializing in all-natural and organics. On-site deli and wine bar.
Crooked Goat Brewing, crookedgoatbrewing.com. Serving 14 beers on tap. Specializing in innovative beers with a distinctive western Sonoma County style; the eats menu includes food from several local sources.
- Elsie Green, elsiegreen.com. This small, sustainable, family-run company travels to the world finding beatuiful, mostly vintage things for the home.
Friedeman Wines, friedemanwines.com. Savor Burgundian varietals sourced from the western edge of the Russian River Valley.
Gauyaki Yerba Mate, guayaki.com. Serving yerba mate, made from the naturally caffeinated leaves of the South American rainforest holly tree. Beverage bar on site.
MacPhail Tasting Lounge, macphailwine.com (see photo). Limited release, vineyard-designate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay presented in a truly unique environment where everything is recycled, reclaimed, or repurposed. A variety of tasting flights are available in seated tastings or by the glass or bottle.
- The Nectary, thenectary.net (see photo). The uber juice bar, showcasing 100% organic fresh cold-pressed juices, superfood and green smoothies, probiotic beverages like fruit and herb based kefir and kombucha, and seasonal inspired quaffs of all kinds.
- The Passdoor, thepassdoor.net. Unpretentious simplicity and understated elegance in home goods, specialty lighting, glassware, throws and rugs, and contemporary artworksbysome of California’s most innovative artists.
- Pax Wines, paxwine.com. Offering seasonal wine tasting flights of current releases as well as wines by the glass or bottle, on tap, and growlers to go.
- Soap Cauldron, soapcauldron.com. Herbal bar soaps and skin care made with botanicals and pure essential oils. On-site soap production.
- Spirit Works Distillery, spiritworksdistillery.com. Artisan microdistillery for handcrafted gins and whiskey. On-site distillery and tasting room.
- Tamarind, shoptamarind.com. Contemporary clothing focusing on eco-friendly clothes from around the world, including local designers and independent American labels. Designer-owner-artist is on-site.
- Taylor Lane Organic Coffee, taylorlane.com. Organic coffees and teas, baked goods.
- Two Dog Night Creamery, twodognightcreamery.com. Organic gelato-style ice cream using local organic ingredients; flavors change seasonally, with vegan options available.
- Village Bakery, villagebakerywinecountry.com. Hearth breads, cakes, pastries, savories, gelato, seasonal salads and sandwiches. On-site bakery.
- William Cofield Cheesemakers, wmcofieldcheese.com. Proper British-style cheese. Watch how it’s made from start to finish, from the milk vats operating onsite to the aging room, packaging, and shipping.
- Woodfour Brewing Co., woodfourbrewing.com. Micro-brewpub and sophisticated small plates restaurant. On-site brewery.
- Zazu Kitchen & Farm, zazukitchen.com. From Next Iron Chef contender Duskie Estes and husband-butcher John Stewart. Restaurant with on-site butchery and salumeria, extensive edible gardens.