Where the locals hang out
“So where do the locals all go hang out in the evenings?” our guests from the big city asked us with raised eyebrows as they realized just how early our small town area shuts down. We had to laugh a little bit – things do really shut down fairly early around here, with most shops closing at 5:00pm and restaurants seating their last tables before 9:00pm. “Well, Patterson’s is always great!” we exclaimed. “Their kitchen is open until 11:00pm, and they don’t close the bar until midnight. Plus, you’re always sure to see a good amount of local characters hanging out there.”
….and we ourselves might happen to be some of those local characters the next time you head over to this classic Irish pub! Just the other day, a couple of us stopped in for a casual dinner after work, and it did not disappoint. We crossed the porch, nodding a casual greeting to the few regulars that had stepped outside to lounge for a moment on the vintage baseball stadium seats under the front window. Through the open front door and the heavy curtain just inside, we looked in on the bustling scene – all the tables were packed, and the bar had its full quota of bodies as well. The quiet young server who also functions as maitre d’, bus boy, and general-anything-the-moment-requires kind of guy, took our name and let us know it would be about 10 minutes for a table. We perched at the bar for the interim, watching the ebb and flow of folks coming and going. A new group of hopeful diners trickled in the front door and observed the cheerful throng. “It looks like this is everyone else’s favorite pub too!” we heard rolling back from the leader to the last man pushing through the curtain. Not for nothing did those customers make that observation – Patterson’s is indeed a popular place!
We got our table and agonized over the menu for a while – we were too hungry to think clearly, and pretty much everything sounded good. There were at least 25 beers on tap, plus all the other tempting bottled goodness. There were the nachos, which are a local favorite, or classic clam chowder, or fish and chips, or maybe just a solid burger. It was hard to decide!
To start things off, we ordered a bottle of Gowan’s Heirloom Cuvee, a stellar hard cider made with heirloom apples in the Anderson Valley. It was bright and bursting with flavor, just what we needed after a full day of paperwork and back office minutia. And then came our food… we attacked our plates with enthusiasm. How could we not? The Chicken Caesar Salad was hearty yet cool and crunchy. The Vegan Sausage Sandwich was delicious with its sautéed onion and bell pepper garnish on a super fresh roll. The fries were perfectly piping hot. The side salad was refreshingly simple and light. And the Bison Burger with goat cheese was, well, phenomenal. Maybe it was just because we were ravenous, but it was all so satisfying.
We rested our elbows on the table and leaned over the rest of the cider in our glasses, our bellies happy, as we continued the friendly conversation that had been somewhat interrupted by the all-important food on our plates. We were enjoying ourselves thoroughly, adding our own uninhibited laughter to the merry tumult around us. Friends and acquaintances stopped at our table to say hello and chat for a minute on their way in and out. It was all around just a great evening hang out – good food, good drinks, good folks.
Stop by the convivial Patterson’s Pub next time you come stay with us in Mendocino! The historic green building on Lansing Street was built in 1866 as the rectory for St Anthony’s Catholic Church just up the hill. It has been a pub since 1993. The kitchen is open 11:00-11:00. Be prepared to hang out at the bar and wait for a table if you want to dine – this truly is where the locals go to hang out!
Words and pictures by Laura Hockett