Ask me in high school what I thought about my dear hometown, Vallejo, and I would have told you it’s a barren suburbia with little promise other than an impending bankruptcy. Harsh, I know, but I was a little pretentious teenager who and knew very little.
But there’s something about leaving a place and returning to it that opens up a dormant romance. I’ve left V-town over and over and over again, and frankly have no plans to reside there again, but with the family and friendship ties I’ve maintained, Vallejo and the Bay Area will I always be my home. Lately, it hasn’t just been the friends that keep me coming back. I’ve been doing a little exploring every time I visit my old stomping grounds and have been quite impressed by a number of new businesses that have graced the downtown Vallejo area. Upon recent visits, I’ve gathered multiple reasons why Vallejo is charming without being pretentious, entertaining without being overtly flashy, and just a downright lovely place to call home. Here are 4 amazing establishments for the downtown dwellers to check out:
1. Mare Island Brewing Company The laid-back, diverse and welcoming vibe of this taproom is spot on. Located in the ferry building and overlooking the waterfront, there’s an open airiness of the location that lures folks from all over the Bay Area in to imbibe in the richness that is their Farmhouse Ale. The owners seem to knew their devoted customers by name, and will even remember what they like to drink. I still haven’t tried all their beers, but I look forward to returning and tasting what new, seasonal brews they concoct. More Info: http://www.mareislandbrewingco.com/
2. Little Four Clothing One word: ADORABLE. If you have a little kid, or if you’re a woman who enjoys beautifully handmade garments and curated jewelry, then this shop is a must. The owner has impeccable taste in quality fabrics with playful prints, and will even customize a piece of clothing for you with the size, style and fabric of your choice. If you need a great gift for a little kid (or their mommy, ahem) this is a one stop shop. More Info: http://littlefourclothing.com/
3. The Little Imaginarium Take your babies here, right now. Heck, take a kid that you’ve temporarily stolen just to play in this magnificent, magical, and educational play zone. I stumbled in here with my toddler thinking it was a store, but was pleasantly surprised to find A CASTLE WITH CUTE CHILD-SIZED FURNITURE. They have toys galore, and not just any old legos and play doh, but toys that unleash the inner child of the most jaded adult. For a small fee of $6, your kids from baby to preschool age can come in and play for as long as their little energetic hearts desire (until closing). Yes, that means caretakers too! You can call for info on classes and party bookings. More Info: http://littleimagineplay.com/
4. Nathan’s Conscious Cup If you’re all tuckered out from playing in The Little Imaginarium, you’re in luck because right across the street is this delicious coffee roaster and kombucha crafter. This is a great place to hang out, too, because they have the large beautiful wooden table. I know, tables have no direct correlation with the quality of coffee, but it’s a really nice table and you should check it out. Plus, their coffee is, in fact, as good as that table. If you’re into kombucha, you can customize it to your liking too! More Info: https://www.facebook.com/nathansconsciouscup/info?tab=overview
Are there other new establishments in Vallejo that are cool? Comment below!