The team behind (the wheel of) the Tri Tip Trolley food trucks has pulled into a new endeavor — TIPS Roadside restaurant, on Sonoma Highway at Adobe Canyon Road in Kenwood.
Proprietors Andrew and Susie Pryfogle officially opened the doors this week after an extensive remodel of the long-empty 90-year old building.
It’s been a bumpy ride. After an eight-month wait, they received their building permits’ a week later, the October fires broke out. The Pryfogles responded by utilizing their mobile kitchens, the two Tri Tip Trolleys, to feed over 5,000 first responders in Glen Ellen and Santa Rosa in the aftermath of the fires.
After the fires subsided, construction began. The priority was to bring the building up to code and expand its capacity while honoring the history of the property. The back bar, banquets and larger tables within the restaurant were all built with reclaimed wood from the original construction.
There are several nods to the building’s storied history, including an original gas pump from when the location served as a 1930s era filling station. Several vintage photos showing young Sonoma Valley legends, such as Fred Kunde, Angelo Sangiacomo, Hank Schukler and Mondo “Boci” Bianchini, adorn the walls.
The restaurant is now home to heartfelt pieces of art that commemorate the fires of 2017, including an original painting by Glen Ellen artist Tom Rice, entitled “1:34 AM I smelled smoke”, and an American flag constructed from fire hose, designed by a Napa firefighter.
Additionally, the Pryfogle’s commissioned an original art installation that honors the memories of countless survivors from the fire and features items salvaged from their homes. The large and moving work is entitled “Tree of Life”, and was created by Sonoma artist, Helena Donzelli, who lost her own home in the fire.
While the building has gone through a tremendous transformation, the real star of the restaurant, says Executive Chef Thaddeus Palmese, is the food.
“This menu is a culmination of 30 years in this business and reminiscent of my childhood,” Palmese says of his “wine country comfort food” specialties.
The menu ranges from grass-fed burger and short ribs to gluten-free fried chicken to a vegetarian “true grits” dish. The dessert menu features authentic New Orleans beignets with Meyer Lemon dipping sauce, among other sweet options.
TIPS Roadside features an extensive, locally focused wine list and craft cocktails from its full bar. The restaurant seats 110 guests, including a chef’s counter and open kitchen.
The owners expect to complete construction on their spacious outdoor courtyard in the next month, with sweeping views of surrounding vineyards, Mount Hood and Sugarloaf Ridge. The courtyard and patio room is available for private parties of up to 60 people.
Currently open Wednesday through Sunday, 5pm-9pm, for dinner, the Pryfogle’s plan to add a daily brunch in the coming weeks. The address is 8445 Highway 12.
“We hope that you will feel the love of community, passion for food and the comfort of home everytime you walk through the door,” says Susie Pryfogle. “Wherever you’re from, welcome home!”
TIPS Roadside is continuing to hire for all positions. Interested candidates should send their resumes to [email protected], or stop by to meet the team.