//Upgrade Means More Food, More Dancing, and Live Music

Upgrade Means More Food, More Dancing, and Live Music

by Lisa Talley | lisa@fresnoflyer.com

356 Tavern, the new and improved home of 559 Beer in Clovis. The brainchild of the Williams’ family strategic business plan, the tavern is a departure from the old tasting room with a full menu of flame-grilled selections, a central coast wine selection including specialty drinks to go alongside their local craft beer varieties, live music, and a wide-open dance floor where you’ll be able to twirl your sweetheart – if he/she will let you, of course.

Located in Old Town Clovis, in fact just across the street from their former tasting room, 356 Tavern was the next step in the line of evolution for 559 Beer.

“The original business plan from 2012 outlined a multiyear progression that would enable organic growth at a reasonable pace based on the local market. Now entering our 7th year we have established the 559 Beer brand with distribution into big-box retailers and supermarkets, the timing allowed for opening our full-scale restaurant/pub,” shares owner, Cheryl Gomes Williams.

Strolling in on a Friday night, the Tavern was all a tizzy with a line out the door and down the front steps – a byproduct from sharing the establishment with an ice cream parlor, so don’t be surprised when you see a row of teens and kids trying to (seemingly) get into the pub. But this isn’t to say that the parlor was solely responsible for the turnout, the entire pub was buzzing with patrons all its own.

The entrance opens immediately to the bar area – Where the bartender kept the lines moving – and the room funneled into a long hallway where saloon doors swung in and out as people moved from the real show stopper of the Tavern – the live music/dance area. Three large rooms with hardwood floors arched into one another, and each had expansive, hand-built solid wood farmhouse dining tables with enough seating to keep standing at a minimum. And set up in the center room was a live, ready-to-rock, local band.

Wide-open floor of 356 Tavern – Photo by Lisa Talley

It appears questionable, at first, that the tables were all in such proximity to the band where one table was all of four feet away from the ‘front of the stage.’ However, because the adjacent rooms are lateral to the performance area, the sound actually spills outward, absorbed by the large decorative drapes and walls to dampen the noise – the engineering of the room allows for a surprising balance of sound that doesn’t dominate the space. Believe it or not, patrons could still hold conversations with each other through the music.

Whether by design or pure luck, the Williams family chose a great venue to host live music – a feature they previously provided in their 700 sq ft tasting room but on a much smaller scale. With the available space in the Tavern they can accommodate a full 5 or 6 piece band, but leave the half stacks at home guys and gals, you won’t need them here.

One of the unique qualities of 356 Tavern is that when it comes to their open mic night or choosing a band to host, age isn’t an issue.

“We love to enjoy all types of music and are open to showcasing all ages. Where else can teenagers play a gig to allow others to see and hear them?” says Williams.

Live music can typically be heard pouring out of the Tavern on Friday and Saturday nights from 8 pm – 10 pm. However, the attraction of live bands has made 356 Tavern a bit of hotspot and the popularity has resulted in the Williams family to open up some of their Thursdays evenings to music as well.

Tuesdays are reserved for Line Dancing Lessons. They will teach you how to cut a rug. Beginners have their own class at 6:30 pm for an hour and the advanced dancers have their time with until 8:45 pm. All are welcome to attend; class sizes vary between 25 – 45 people every week.

356 Tavern isn’t just family owned; it’s family run. There was a Williams in every room of the house, behind the bar serving guests, in the kitchen helping the cooks, and in the dining area greeting guests, sharing jokes, and keeping things running smoothly. It’s not uncommon to see the family rolling up their sleeves and working right alongside their employees.

If you’d like to inquire about booking your band, open mic night, reserving the Tavern for private events, or reserving VIP tickets to the front porch events, you can email Cheryl Williams at Cheryl@559.beer or call 559-473-1875 after 1 pm. Find upcoming events on the 356TavernClovis Facebook page and on Eventbrite.com/356Tavern.