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Smokehouse's Replacement: Hopmonk Tavern

Dean Biersch to bring his popular eatery, music venue and biergarten to Novato after success in Sebastopol and Sonoma.

Vintage Oaks shopping center will have a new marquee tenant soon: Hopmonk Tavern.

How does that sound?

The is reporting that Dean Biersch, a co-founder of the Gordon Biersch brewing empire, is going to take over the vacant spot previously home to the short-lived Southern Pacific Smokehouse on the shopping center's west side, within view of Highway 101.

Is this a good fit for Novato? Are music fans happy? Are beer fans happy? Are foodies happy?

Share your thoughts below.

Travis Howard July 07, 2012 at 02:56 AM
I think it'll be a great addition to Novato!
Anne July 07, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Yes... Yes... Yes... and Yes! Thank you Hopmonk for coming to Novato, and welcome! We can't wait...
John Kuhlman July 07, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Have never heard of Hopmonk. Maybe they should do some Novato community PR if they want support. Also have not heard anyting from our Novato City Council.
A. Costa July 07, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Yes yes yes!!!!!!!!! My husband and I love Hopmonk! Such a great restaurant! Welcome to Novato!!!
C. Renee July 07, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Yeah for Novato!! We need a place to go and hang out in town. I am tired of having to leave Novato. I have been to the one in Sebastopol and enjoyed the venue and the atmosphere. Welcome Hopmonk.
Born & raised July 07, 2012 at 04:16 AM
This story lacks information. For any information read the IJ's article about it.
Melanie Kramme July 07, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Yes yes, a great place and good for Novato!
Brent Ainsworth (Editor) July 07, 2012 at 04:50 AM
I agree. Since the IJ did a fine job with the story, this is the place to see how the readers feel about it. Two distinct purposes. It's all good, man.
Jeffrey Schaub July 07, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Excellent. Now, what will go into the old Fresh Choice location? And what about In and Out?
Kristi Frlekin July 07, 2012 at 05:24 AM
Terrific!
Mark Schoenbaum July 07, 2012 at 05:42 AM
(from my IJ post): Sounds great - love his work (and Brendan's too) and I think they can both be successful even being so close. BUT- I hope Dean looks into some of the shortcomings of the Smokehouse and why they failed. Smokehouse had better than average food but it was overpriced. As were the drinks (who wants to pay $12 per drink per person per round?). But mostly I think that it was the live music offered in a closed venue. Cover charge, 21+. I want someplace I can go with my family, good food (good beer) and good music for all - not someplace where I am going to feel that I am paying a premium for a good meal and then cannot enjoy the music because I brought my children. Novato is still family oriented and I feel that if all Dean wants is a nightclub with an attached restaurant than it will not fare much better than the Smokehouse did. (And lets hope that SPS left their excellent Southern Pride smoker behind so that we can continue to get some tasty ribs).
Sara M. July 07, 2012 at 05:46 AM
This is great news! A perfect spot for live music again.
Jim Brewer July 07, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Jim B. This is some of the best news I have heard! Can;t wait to see @BlackCatBone at Hopmonk Novato!
John Glennon July 07, 2012 at 06:14 AM
Bottom line...For $14, I can get 2 great burgers @ Moylans. Lesson learned, I hope.
Tracey Ruiz July 07, 2012 at 06:23 AM
A Verizon concept store will be going into the old Fresh Choice. It will be like an Apple store where you can try all the products. http://patch.com/A-tDRY
CLKO July 07, 2012 at 06:38 AM
Welcome! Please make it 'Family Friendly'. I promise you, it will be good for your business if you do. Oh, and please don't over price yourselves. Novatans are smart consumers and want a good value, yet upscale.
Heather Ophir July 07, 2012 at 07:27 AM
Fabulous! The sooner the better. It was such a shame to see PSH fail so soon. All the best to Hopmonk!
cloe c. July 07, 2012 at 04:18 PM
We welcome a true restaurateur and a great concept. I have been a fan of both locations, glad to have you close. Good Luck!
Kevin July 07, 2012 at 04:26 PM
So stoked! Woo hoo!
Mark Cwirko July 07, 2012 at 10:23 PM
BlackCatBone - love those guys (Mike & Rob)! Have they been playing anywhere locally of late?
josh harris July 08, 2012 at 02:00 AM
The Hopmonk in Sebastopol books some wonderful music....I hope they bring the same quality of entertainment here....great news!!!
Jennifer McCoy July 08, 2012 at 01:35 PM
I am very happy. This will be a very good thing for Novato. Cheers to all!
Gabe July 08, 2012 at 03:00 PM
This is a place to have a drink with friends and listen to music. Leave the children home and enjoy some adult entertainment. It's called a tavern.
jam July 08, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Checked out the menu from Sebastopol...way too pricey for Novato. $7.00 for sweet potato fries and $12.00 for a grilled chicken sandwich...really? A Verizon wireless store in the old Fresh Choice site...really? Seriously, what is happening to Novato?
Anne July 08, 2012 at 05:27 PM
I hear Burger King has sweet potato fries now, and I bet they have a not too pricey grilled chicken sandwich too. Of course, the ambiance isn't quite the same... but hey, you get what you pay for. Seriously!
novato resident July 09, 2012 at 07:12 PM
$9.95 x 2 = not $14! I think there's room for both, and if you've been to the other Hopmonk's you would see why. Looking forward to the new place.
Anne July 09, 2012 at 08:12 PM
We have more than enough "family-friendly" places in Novato, in fact, that's all there is. We need more local venues for adults to go out and enjoy themselves, hear some good live music, even dance!
Brent Ainsworth (Editor) July 11, 2012 at 06:05 AM
Tell me, Jam, what does Novato need?
Rene November 03, 2012 at 03:19 AM
does anyone know when they are opening in Novato? Can't wait!

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