Railroad Square

Just west of downtown Santa Rosa, on the opposite side of the mall, is the Historic Railroad Square district. Railroad Square is a delightful area for shopping, strolling, and dining. This week, I will share some of my favorite spots.

Jack and Tony’s

Jack and Tony’s is the downtown area’s very own whisky bar. I can’t think of this place without also singing The Doors: “Oh show me the way to the next whisky bar…”

Jack and Tony’s is located at 115 Fourth Street. I’ve been a few times with friends and will definitely go back. I’m not much of a whisky drinker, but if you are, you’ll be impressed with their huge selection. I did enjoy their Manhattan and was pleased with their appetizer menu. One of my friends ordered a taster flight of three whiskys, and another ordered a nice pour of wine. Check out their selections and full dinner menu on their website.

The Toad in the Hole

A comfortable English pub located at 116 Fifth Street, the Toad in the Hole offers traditional English food, including Fish and Chips, Shepard’s Pie, and a Pasty of the Day, which is a baked pastry filled with meat and vegetables, a traditional English meal they have updated through the use of local ingredients. Each Sunday they even serve a Roast. Personally, I’ve enjoyed their Sonoma Salad and The Burger.

Every Summer, The Toad in the Hole, closes down their block on Fifth Street to host a fun and family-friendly event, Mostly Python. If you enjoy live local music, live theater, Monty Python skits and/or drinking beer in the street, you’ll love this one-of-a-kind event. Generally in September, watch their website’s events section for this year’s date.

Whistlestop Antiques

A favorite spot of mine for gift shopping, Whistlestop is located at 130 Fourth Street. The huge brick building, built circa 1910, hosts 36 antique dealers in 10,000 square feet of space. I shop here whenever I need vintage clip-on earrings for my mother. I also was able to find a particular 1970s ice bucket that a friend requested as a wedding gift. There’s something here for everyone on your list, just give yourself time to browse…

Elephant Ride at The Handcar Regatta, 2011

As a side note, I really miss The Handcar Regatta which used to take place annually in Railroad Square. Crowds of people, dressed in steampunk fashions, cheered on artistically-built handcars as they raced along the railroad tracks. Truly, another one-of-a-kind event.

I’ll think I’ll check out this year’s Railroad Square Music Festival coming up on Sunday, June 11, 2017; it sounds promising.

Western Farm Center

Leo with his toys from Western Farm

Just north of Railroad Square, at 21 West Seventh Street, is a great local place to shop for all your pets. For supplies for your birds or horses, and of course, cats and dogs, Western Farm has you well covered. It’s a fun place for kids, as they sell critters like guinea pigs and baby chicks; the sound of crowing can be heard from the parking lot. They host weekly veterinary clinics for your canine and feline friends. Dogs are welcomed in the store, and will be impressed by the selection of treats offered. I bought many collars and tags for my cats when we lived by the park; they often lost their collars, as cats do. Western Farm prints the tags while you wait. In my house, picky Leo is quite fond of the hemp fabric, catnip-filled mouse toy. Be sure to sign up for their discount card.

I encourage you to check out Railroad Square, just outside downtown Santa Rosa, for a relaxed afternoon.

Hope to see you downtown!


6 thoughts on “Railroad Square

  1. When I first arrived in Santa Rosa around 1986 I lived near railroad square. So much has changed since then. I guess that Aromas Roasters Coffee shop is another popular place in that area. #CS5711


  2. Another really cool spot around there is a Thai restaurant, right across from the Omelette Express that has some of the most amazing Thai food I’ve had in Sonoma County. If you like fish, they have an amazing, one of a kind soup called the fish market which has a variation of different seafood in it. It has very pungent ginger, lemongrass and a blend of other unique spices broth that is worth it alone. So delicious on a rainy day!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s