We (at my work) ride a 10 mile loop out Lakeville, up Stage Gulch, and then back on Adobe, most days of the week.
The Stage Gulch climb is called “The Tin Bar,” after the tin fish-shack/gas-station at the bottom of the hill. I’d never been inside, even though it’s a place also frequented by my workmates.
Last Thursday, I was doing a late ride, solo, and I thought, “This is it! The perfect opportunity to drop in at Ernie’s and have a post-lunch beverage!” So I did.
The interior is long and narrow, with just enough room to pass between the barstools and the outside wall. The regulars are at the darker, wider, far end, talking about the Port of Sonoma, the (im)possibility of a ferry every making its way there, and (not) dredging in the (protected) tule marshes.
Down that way the bar opens up a bit, and there’s an opening into the dark space of the old garage, where an older fella with a cap is bellied up to a little bar-for-one, taking part in the conversation.
The barkeep is another older gent, bearded and quietly helpful. The beers run to the Stone Brewery, and more local brews, most with ABVs north of 6%. I bought a pint of Stone Levitation, at 4.4%. Caramel colored, richly flavored and nicely balanced. Very refreshing, with the sun beating down on my bike leaned against the tin siding, and not worrisomely debilitating for riding solo alongside cars*.
The interior has an interesting patchwork quality, with a timeless feel. The old squat white glass doored cooler in the middle of the rear of the bar is filled with bottled beer and covered in local union stickers. Contra Costa Electrician’s Local 302. UA Local 38 Pipe Trades. Carpenter’s Local 751.
I finished my beer, left a dollar, and continued my ride. 10 miles. You pretty much have to do the loop because westbound Lakeville from the Tin Bar to the top of the rise has the shoulder torn up, and concrete barriers right on the white line. Really torn up, with dump trucks, Cats, and workmen in the trench behind the barriers.