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Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan - September 2016


Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan -  September 2016

by Heather Granahan

Graton Park Update

The Park is progressing and it is time to celebrate and gather community input.  The Graton Green Group (GGG) has received staff approval of their Open Space grant proposal and an advisory board decision will be made on August 25.  Next it goes to the County Board of Supervisors. Fundraising is close to matching the Open Space grant – only $11,000 more is needed. Please visit  and buy a dedicated pathway brick or make a donation.

Mark your calendars now; the town will celebrate the First Annual Graton Park Party October 2, 2016 from 3 to 6 at the Graton Labor Center and Bowen Street. Details still cookin’ but so far the soon to be opened Zosia’s in Graton (see below) will offer vegetarian and meat piroshkies and cabbage rolls; Willowwood and Underwood Bar and Bistro will serve desserts; Purple Wine will host a cash wine bar; and Mexico Lindo will serve aqua frescas. 

The Graton Fire Protection District will bring a fire truck and gear for children to explore, and kids will also have an opportunity to chalk up park ideas in a huge mock-up of in the Labor Center parking lot, and to play in some ping-pong and basketball tourneys. Entertainment includes duo The Rogers (with a song written for the Graton Park) Chris Reibli; Cricket Seagull and gang, with more acts being booked.  Raffle items still needed - already a premiere "cocktail" basket with Purple Wine's new gin is in.  It is Graton so of course there will be pies for sale and a contest.  Watch for flyers!


Some have asked about the arrangement for the purchase of the Park land, and how that happened. I do not have room to give all the details in print, but have before; one recent column you can see online is here, from March of this year.

The super-short version is this; Graton has had parks in the 20’s and the 70’s. The newest charge has been led by a small group now called The Graton Green Group (GGG). Efforts have included trying to purchase the old Fire Dept land, and previous private attempts to get all or part of the current site even if it meant getting loans on the GGG members’ own homes. When the property was open for bids and it was down to an L.A. developer and Orrin Thiessen, there was much relief when the latter prevailed and two days later called the GGG to say he wanted to talk about a Park. More details are in my previous columns.

Graton’s Foodie World Expanding

Like several of you who have inquired, I too have been curious about what is taking the spot downtown where the Bambu Teahouse was. I reached out to the proprietors, Slawek and Monika Michalak . Slawek tells me that they arrived from Poland 25 years ago with $300 in their pockets and built success as entrepreneurs, at one point including 4 retail stores in Santa Rosa. Along the way they had a daughter whose name, Zosia, will grace their new eatery. They have lived in West County for over a decade, with a very recent move to Santa Rosa. The restaurant doors should open in a couple of months.

Zosia will feature casual “California cuisine” as the mainstay of the still-developing menu, and will focus on breakfast and lunch initially with a light bar menu in the afternoons. They have a skilled sommelier building the wine and beer lists, and will have a serious “real deal” espresso bar with baristas slingin’ the magic brew with a fresh pastry selection. Weekends they will have a grill and smoker going on the patio. Honoring their Eastern European roots, the Michalaks will feature a specials menu with Polish, Hungarian, German and other Eastern European treats; think borschts and other soups, pierogis, goulash, etc., that will be especially welcome by the time they open in late fall. Zosia promises to add a new element to the foodie kaleidoscope that is Graton. 

Deepest Thanks!!

My deepest heartfelt gratitude to the most powerful and supportive community ever! The generosity and love showered on me at my very successful Benefit last month were so literally life-giving; I cannot ever give enough thanks to TerriAnne Gutierrez of Sirens Studio for instigating and hosting this joyful gathering. The music and dance were over the top in caliber, the auction and bake sale were smoothly organized and a gallery of gorgeous contributions, the food was delicious and sustaining, the Fairy Godmother was handing out wishes galore and the magic tricks were entertaining around the bonfire and the knots of people reuniting and just meeting. Thank you each and every one, down to last laughing baby crawling onstage - I wish I had all your contacts to thank you individually!!

Remember, all notices need to get to me no later than the 15th of the month before publication, Email to me at