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Sebastappeal - Sarah Gurney - August 2016


Sebastappeal - August 2016 - Sarah Gurney

by Sarah Glade Gurney

We’re experiencing construction projects scattered throughout town, with pile-driving noise and dust blowing, not to mention the traffic congestion created by lane and sidewalk closures. 

Work on the Laguna Bridge and the CVS site has cars backed up in all directions downtown, east-west on Highway 12 and north-south on Highway 116. The removal of underground gas tanks at the old Shell station on North Main Street has also hindered travel a bit. 

South of town, drivers slow down to see the eye-catching work of the extensive remodel of the Foster Freeze [green wall, blue tiles, and big movable shoji screen walls] for the Sheldon’s new Handline fish restaurant that may be open by late August. Folks also stare at Fircrest Market’s new across-the-street neighbor, a mixed-use development with stores below and apartments above, wondering who and what will fill the spaces. 

Residential remodels are up. In my neighborhood alone, there are three projects within two blocks of each other.

New Faces and New Places 

Soon there will be two new pizza restaurants downtown. Moving into the former Terra Vino space, Joey’s will offer the expected variety of pizza, as well as hot homemade pretzels, winning sandwiches, and save-room-for desserts, for a quick lunch or dinner at reasonable prices [if it’s like its Santa Rosa counterpart]. Hippizzazz replaces Main Street Deli in the old Em’s Chevron building next to the Post Office. Look for local ingredients in pizzas of international inspiration.

A mainstay tucked on Depot Street east of Screamin’ Mimi’s, King Falafel has a lunch and dinner plate for everyone: vegan, vegetarian, GF, or meat, Middle Eastern or American cuisine. Owners James and Kathy have created a surprisingly delightful patio for outdoor diners.

The hard-working mother-son team at Apple Junction Smokehouse, in the re-purposed train car at Gravenstein Station, serves full plates that are popular with our Fire Department. Several of our volunteers favor the meatloaf and peach cobbler – comfort food. 

The crew at Leff Construction has been united in one location at its new Design Center in the remodeled Ford Dealership on Sebastopol Avenue. In their beautiful and innovative space, these design professionals will help you update your home or build a new one. Specializing in green construction, they are a one-stop shop.

Whatever car service it will offer, Patterson Automotive, newly installed at the intersection of South Main, Palm and Litchfield, should get the Chamber of Commerce award for site beautification. The ho-hum gas station has been transformed by its retro-recycled look and landscaping. All it needs to boost its Seb-town-ness is a Patrick Amiot sculpture decorating the asphalt parking lot.

New to the small business world as the owner of California Sister Floral Design and Supply, Nichole Skalski provides the local alternative in an industry “where 90% of its products are imported from other countries.” California Sister sources flowers from neighboring farms. Floral arrangements, plant-based gifts, supplies, handmade items by local artists, wedding and event services – all are available in this store just west of Taylor Maid Coffee.

Opportunities for Input about Future Businesses

A Council Sub-Committee is creating a Community Impact Questionnaire, to be completed by new businesses and developments, to learn how they intend to participate as business citizens in Sebastopol. The Sub-Committee would like your input about what you would like to know about their potential economic and social impacts. 

First the Questionnaire needs to be written, with help from the community, then piloted for two years. If proven useful, the Questionnaire would be a great tool for interested businesses and developers to get a read on what our community is looking for and would support. If a business finds that it resonates with many of the items on the Questionnaire, there is a good chance that it will be well received by the community.

Help determine what we would like to know about an incoming business or new development. is live through August 15. Participants, in the 95472 zip code and18 years or older, will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift certificate to a local merchant of choice