Monday, April 29, 2019


Upper Lake’s Blue Wing Saloon

file photo from an earlier lunch visit
Two-thirds of the way between Chico, where we spend the occasional Sunday with grandkids, and home in Cloverdale we find the Blue Wing Saloon. Located on Upper Lake, CA’s short and historic Main Street, it has proven to be our dinner-stop location of choice on this drive.  Locally sourced meats and greens, the bison burger is a lunch-time favorite, but last night’s (a Sunday) grilled pork chop was perfect with a glass of Lake County Pinot.

But wait!  There’s more! We happened in around 7:00 PM to unexpectedly find a trio – piano, bass and voice – soothingly performing standards from the great American songbook.  Local musicians, each, they added an already scrumptious dinner in the historic bar/dining room.  The pianist who claims to farm weeds (not weed) just north of town played Hogey Carmichael’s “Stardust,” the only song my dad ever tried to play on the piano [insert flood of memories here] while the classically-trained emigre from Japan “back in the 70s,” she told us, provided the lyrics. Thus, once home I found I’d been offered the soundtrack for a night’s dreams.

Next door – across a cool and lovely outdoor dining venue – is the historic and rebuilt Tallman Hotel. A grand option given the wide selection of whiskeys behind the bar at the Blue Wing that I couldn’t sample knowing I had a seventy-minute drive yet to come.

Rather than being just a place to break up a long drive,  the combination of these two establishments will make an oft-overlooked and oft-passed-right-through Upper Lake a destination for us in the very near future.


The Blue Wing has a comprehensive wine list, micro-brews on tap, a continually changing seasonal menu and great service – all in an historic setting that makes you feel as if you’ve been transported back in time a good hundred years or so.  Check it out…  

© 2019
Church of the Open Road Press

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