Fern Bar: Sebastopol’s Swanky New Hot SpotAuthor:Annette Hanami
Local and organic restauranteurs Lowell Sheldon and Natalie Goble, of popular Lowell’s and Handline, had been wanting to open a speakeasy style cocktail bar in Sebastopol for years, finally getting the opportunity when a space opened at The Barlow. Fortunately, it was next door to The Nectary, a plant-based drinks company owned by friend Gia Baiocchi, whom they partnered with, along the way snagging Sam Levy, longtime childhood friend of Natalie’s and former bar manager of fine dining Restaurant at Meadowood. The new Fern Bar reflects the friends’ backgrounds with a totally new look and feel for West County – fresh and organic but with a bit of swank, and a lot of warmth.
The bar was named after kitschy fern bars so popular in SF in the 70s, which inspired the design in spirit. SF designers Todd McCrea of FineRoot and Brian Anderson of Ken Fulk, Inc. toned down the kitsch, combined the industrial vibe of The Barlow with the coziness of grandma’s living room to create a welcoming and cohesive space.
The main rooms are layered with lots of greenery, local antique shop finds and natural, textured materials. Marble countertops and underlit bar faces add polish, the tufted leather seating some of the glam.
Fern Bar is also a restaurant showcasing produce from Sheldon and Goble’s nearby Two Belly Acre farm, prepared by Chef-owner Joe Zobel. Here, guests can find a range of vegetable to meaty dishes, and lots of inventive garden-to-glass cocktails, spirit-free elixirs and small-production local wines. Add to the mix live music every night, and Fern Bar becomes both a destination, and a regulars’ hangout.
Fern Bar is open Thursday through Monday, 4 pm to midnight, with music starting at 8:30 pm. 6780 Depot Street, Suite 120, at The Barlow in Sebastopol.