If you’re feeling parched for potent potables, you’ll find refuge at two tucked away spots in Atascadero.
Haven Wine Bistro
Kitty Arosteguy opened Haven Wine Bistro in 2010 to complement her adjacent business on El Camino Real, The Spa Central Coast.
The bistro space had been empty for five years, and looked nothing like a haven, but it was transformed into one.
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Tiled floors, a granite bar and natural materials create an inviting ambiance, and the high ceilings help showcase art pieces that change on a regular basis.
Indoor seating is available at the bar, at several tables, or in a cozy couch area, plus there’s a serene outdoor patio in back that’s dog-friendly and becoming a hot spot for Sunday blues jams. (Other live music acts are frequently scheduled as well.)
In building the everchanging wine list, Arosteguy and her mother, Lola Vance, Haven’s wine buyer, “focused on Central Coast wines, from Santa Barbara to Monterey,” said Arosteguy, but she noted that there are labels from other regions as well.
The local focus also extends to the beer selection, with Firestone on tap and bottled options including those from Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. in Buellton.
Though Haven has a limited menu, it’s seasonal, wine-friendly fare. Choose from house-made hummus or a garlic lover’s olive tapenade, from a roasted turkey panino with cranberries and provolone or a burger special with coleslaw and a beer, from farmers market-fresh salads or a “Sweet Tooth” brownie topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and candied nuts.
Of course, there’s a cheese plate option with such temptations as Humboldt Fog, Morbier and Brillat Savarin, and you can include locally crafted Allesina salami.
In part because Arosteguy recently discovered that she is glutenintolerant, Haven will be offering more gluten-free items on the menu. Those are still in the works, but Vance explained that “we’re trying to get really creative — doing wraps in various kinds of things like lettuce and prosciutto — and keeping it as organic as we can get it.”
Molly Pitcher Brewing Co.
Though the only nibbles available are the occasional pretzels and peanuts, Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. unveiled a big menu of beers when it opened in early June.
Launched by avid homebrewers Kendall Bryson and Brian Vogel (along with Bryson’s dad and brothers: Dave Bryson, Casey Bryson and Luke Knight), the suds spot sports 15 premium taps, a welcome sight for beer lovers.
“We’re pouring craft beers,” said Kendall Bryson. “We’ll rotate them and put on new ones that are fun and hard to find anywhere else.”
In addition to very limited quantities of Molly Pitcher’s own handcrafted brews, a recent sampling of the drafts included Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Lagunitas Lucky 13 Imperial Blonde Ale, and DogFish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA, plus Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider.
As for the brewery’s name, Bryson ran across it when researching the Prohibition era.
The Molly Pitcher Club was started in New York City in 1922 by a group of anti-prohibition women, but the phrase is also steeped in Revolutionary War folklore.
Supposedly, “Molly Pitcher” was the nickname of a woman who fought in the Battle of Monmouth, and the phrase was then used to refer to women who brought pitchers of water to men on the Revolutionary front lines.
Now it means an oasis of beers in Atascadero.
Katy Budge is a freelance writer from Atascadero. Contact her at email@example.com