Restaurant News & Reviews

Atascadero is getting a dinosaur-themed wine bar

Fossil Wine Bar opens on Entrada Avenue in Atascadero on Friday, November 2, 2018.
Fossil Wine Bar opens on Entrada Avenue in Atascadero on Friday, November 2, 2018.

A wine bar is joining the bevy of new businesses in downtown Atascadero, pouring small-label wines in a dinosaur-themed setting.

Fossil Wine Bar will open on Friday at 5992 Entrada Ave., in a spot formerly occupied by Local Love boutique.

The wine bar is located next door to farm-to-table restaurant LaDonna’s, which opened in August, and across the street from Vietnamese eatery Pho 4 U, which began serving customers in October.

Owners Paul and Anita Zuniga said it’s an exciting time to be starting a business in Atascadero.

“Atascadero’s really been behind the curve for a while ... Now the city’s trying to catch up,” Paul Zuniga told The Tribune in a phone interview.

The Zunigas have lived in the North County for the past three years. Paul Zuniga was working at the LXV Wine tasting room in Paso Robles when the couple decided to open their own place.

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They were inspired in part by their friend, Thomas Booth, who opened his own wine bar, Wine Boss, in Paso Robles in April 2017.

The Zunigas chose Atascadero as the location of Fossil Wine Bar mostly because they’d just moved to the city, which they said isn’t as saturated with tasting rooms as Paso Robles.

“We recognized the potential in Atascadero,” Anita Zuniga said.

The couple decided on a fossil theme to pay homage to the Central Coast’s unique terroir, and Paul Zuniga’s love of paleontology. But the couple is going for a classy vibe — not “Jurassic Park” kitsch.

Fossil Wine Bar opens on Entrada Avenue in Atascadero on Friday, November 2, 2018. Paul and Anita Zuniga

“We’re really happy with the space,” Anita Zuniga said.

The Zunigas didn’t specify how much they spent to open the wine bar, but said they took advantage of a small business loan and dipped into their savings. They signed a lease on their space in late December.

As for the drinks, Fossil Wine Bar will feature small-label wines, craft beer, cider, mead, and even sake, Paul said. The couple wants to focus on wines that aren’t available at many other places.

There’s no food on the bar’s menu, but customers are welcome to bring their own from other restaurants. Paul Zuniga said he can even suggest wine pairings to get the best flavor combination.

“It’s been more and more exciting every day that we’re opening our business,” Anita Zuniga said.

Fossil Wine Bar will open on Friday from 5 to 11 p.m. For more information, visit

Lindsey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lindseymholden
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