Tempest in a Beer glass?
By Gretchen Giles
The century-old Alexander Valley Store and Bar has been sold to the exceedingly green-friendly winery Medlock Ames, and some locals are treating the change as if it were a hostile takeover. "No one around here is happy about it," says AVSB cashier Pam Peavler, an eight-year employee. "They're taking away our history," she says, "this is a tight-knit community, and people have been here all my life."
As is so often the case when tempers flare and community members get up in arms about big-city boys coming in and changing everything around, few of those modifiers apply. The distinctly unglamorous truth is that Medlock Ames intended to use a vintage house on the AVSB property as a tasting room and entirely maintain the bar and store operations as extant. The problem? Septics. Once the county got involved with the sale, it determined that only one outlet could have a public toilet, and that means that the store will become the tasting room, the bar will remain the bar and the vintage house will be towed off the property. Medlock Ames is reportedly considering keeping a small amount of ordinary grocery items tucked away for sale for those Highway 128 residents who get all the way home and realize that they forgot Tampax, and will be selling regional and homegrown produce from their own farm.
Winery representatives also stressed that the company intends to restore the store and bar building with a clear eye on keeping the structure's historical integrity intact. Sunday drivers who want to see the old place before it changes should hie up there in the next few weeks. Corner of Alexander Valley Road and Highway 128. 707.433.1214.
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