People often ask me, “where do you get your ideas for your articles?” The answer is, from just living in our beautiful town. With the juggernaut that is tourism impacting our fair city, finding topics of interest for both newcomers and long-time residents is an easy matter.
While it is true that those of us who live out on the playas, away from the hustle and bustle of Peñasco proper do not venture into town much, we do leave our huts on occasion, to hunt for life’s necessities, from time to time…let’s face it, you can’t grow cerveza, vino or Tequila in your back yard here, at least not successfully or without a bunch of work (sorry for using that four letter word…) Of course, other food stuff also tends to need replenishment regularly too.
We don’t generally go to town from Thursday to Tuesday, though. I guess you have to like people to go in during those days, especially during these days! Now don’t get me wrong, I like people, I just don’t like that many of them in one place, with me in the center. If I said otherwise, I’d have to turn in my “Curmudgeon” card, which I worked really hard to get by repeating (for those of you old enough to know), GET OFF MY LAWN!!! to the tune of Kool and the Gangs’ “Hollywood Swinging.”
Anyway, we usually have guests and most of them are repeat offenders…er, vistors… who are so comfortable here that we are hard pressed to find new things to do to entertain them. Besides the obvious, kicking back, soaking up the sun, drinking frozen Margaritas and napping (I told you they are old…) we are always looking for new things to do, and that usually means heading into town to see the latest club, restaurant or attraction. We do have our favorite restaurants, but that doesn’t satisfy all the time.
I have mentioned in previous articles that my bride keeps her finger on the pulse of Peñasco via this newspaper and social media. So, it was no surprise when she announced that we were going to grand opening of a new brewery/wine pub in the heart of the Old Port district, north of the Malecon. Arguing about going was a nonstarter, so off we went with our visiting son and our intrepid new neighbors in tow to experience this new wrinkle in the Peñasco firmament.
While Barley and Grapes is a new business, the owners are long time Peñasco denizens, and they know what they are doing. They know the town, the people, and the direction it is heading, and they know what it needs to move in that direction. With all of the new visitors and residents, a micro brew pub/wine bar is a logical next step in our evolution.
So it was that we arrived at Barley and Grapes to see what it had to offer. Since this was the grand opening weekend, we expected it to be packed, but the word had not gotten out just yet, so we were able to enjoy this little gem without crowds.
Barley and Grapes is located on the north side of Highway 8 (Benito Juarez) between Avenidas 20 de Noviembre and 16 de Septiembre in the Old Port area. It is just west of Galleria Mercedes Rusticos. It’s not really fair to critique the venue without having sampled the micro brews, but we were in a wine mood and so had that instead, and our son had a mixed drink, which he said was very good.
The staff was attentive, and it turned out our waiter (Ramon, ask for him) was someone we knew from another place that we have frequented. We sampled some of their cuisine and found it to be excellent. I’m not in the habit of describing the food, since no two peoples’ taste are the same, and the last thing I’d want to do is to tout something only to have one of our readers try it and find it wanting, but…the brisket pita was outstanding!
They have inside seating, as well as a second floor, but the outside seating is absolutely perfect! There is a grassy area where a corn hole game is set up and the ambiance is wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed out meal, our drinks and the atmosphere and plan on returning again soon (in fact, as soon as I am done writing this article!) before it gets crowded. Parking, by the way, is the one thing that Barley and Grapes needs more of, as street spaces are limited. I am guessing that the pay parking areas on the street north of the Malecon would be a good place to park. Then you could easily walk there. Anyway, if you are looking for a fun place to party, give Barley and Grapes a try…pretty sure you’ll like it.