It is true, as Joe Tarica observed, that Atascadero suffers from an absence of upscale retail offerings which, for years, has hurt the citys image and left a large segment of the population underserved.
Fortunately, though, a new trend is correcting that. Young entrepreneurs are making Atascaderos downtown a magnet for hip locals.
Recently opened places such as Molly Pitcher Brewing Company, Avion & Claw wine bistro and the refurbished dive bar now known as Whiskey & June, are regularly drawing youthful crowds. Combined with Sylvesters Burgers, Fig Good Food, Bru Coffeehouse, as well as the Galaxy Theatre (with its state-of-the-art technology, furnishings and wine and beer service), the with-it are increasingly gravitating to Atascadero.
And more attractions are coming, such as an upscale Korean barbecue restaurant reportedly taking over Hoovers old downtown site. Even North County winemakers are now choosing to gather in Atascadero establishments during their leisure time.
With reasonable rents, hints of grittiness and cultural vibes emanating from the Rotunda Building and Sunken Gardens, downtown Atascadero is being discovered by businesses and customers alike as an attractive alternative to the touristy, stage-set environments in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo. Stay tuned; a page is being turned.