On the west side of Julliard Park is the South A Street Arts District, also known as SOFA. This quaint and funky neighborhood contains some interesting murals, several art galleries, a theater company, as well as a few eateries and shops. Additionally, SOFA hosts one of my favorite seasonal events.
This neighborhood, just south of downtown, is a bit of a hidden gem. The San Francisco Chronicle recently called SOFA Santa Rosa’s newest destination, so it may not be hidden for long. This week, I’ll share my favorite event and eateries from my former neighborhood.
I recommend that you visit the city’s website and sign up for their email list for ongoing information on art-related events in the downtown area.
Criminal Baking is a lovely, intimate spot for breakfast and lunch. They serve meals until 2pm, and continue to sell their baked goods until 4pm.
For breakfast, I once had some extremely tasty eggs. They came in wedges, almost like a frittata. I’ve also had lunch a couple times and was pleased with my yummy sandwiches and fresh salads.
This is the same bakery I mentioned in a previous post as having a pastry and coffee cart inside of the Made Local Marketplace. For their full menu of baked goods as well as breakfast and lunch fare, head over to their noshery at 463 Sebastopol Avenue.
Located at 300 South A Street down what is called locally “Atlas Alley,” Atlas Coffee is a comfortable place for sipping on your favorite beverage while working on your laptop or reading a book. They have a lovely, large outdoor patio, complete with a new stage. If you sit indoors, you’ll be surrounded by some impressive locally produced artwork.
Atlas regularly hosts art openings and live music events. Atlas is also a popular destination, as a music venue and drink vendor, during Winterblast (see below).
Each November, over 30 SOFA artists and art galleries open their doors to the public for a delightful event, Winterblast. Neighborhood blocks are closed to make room for multiple stages of music, and food and drink vendors. It’s a fun artsy night out for the whole family.
To me, the highlight of Winterblast is the SOFA parade. People literally take old sofas, decorate them, add wheels and then parade them down South A Street. In addition to the fabulously creative sofas, I’ve enjoyed the Hubbub Club marching band who traditionally leads the parade. All sorts of creative folk participate. My recent favorite was a group who created beautiful dancing jellyfish out of clear umbrellas and strings of white lights.
The next Winterblast is November 18, 2017 from 5 to 9pm.
Until Next Time…
My dear readers, this week brings us to the planned end of my series Downtown Santa Rosa, CA: One Local’s Guide. I’ve shared my favorite downtown places to eat, drink, see art, hear music, and shop. I’ve enjoyed your comments and appreciated that you followed along on my blog’s journey. I remain open to adding posts in the future as I discover new (or old) places that inspire me to share with you.
Until then, I hope to see you downtown!