There’s a new hangout in downtown Ceres – but the problem is that its opening couldn’t have come at a worse time. The county shut down all indoor dining and bars on Monday related to COVID-19.
At 3005 Fourth Street, the first floor of the historic Odd Fellows Hall – formerly the Ceres TV Repair shop – is now a tap room and wine parlor. The 10 large screen TVs give it a feel of a sports bar after two years of renovation.
The establishment also serves a simple selection of food items like pizza, hot wings and pretzels. Cheese boards are available for wine drinkers.
“Tap In Wine Down” was created by the building owner, Pedro Perez. A soft opening was held Sunday afternoon, Nov. 8 to train employees and test the equipment. The business also opened 4 p.m. to midnight on Thursday night and followed up with a Friday invitation-only event. Regular hours began this week with hours that will likely start at 4 p.m. and perhaps 2 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The opening of the business is complicated by COVID-19 restrictions. Stanislaus County and most of California was placed by the state in the most restrictive tier, and has closed the establishment for indoor use. Operators may set up outdoor seating but colder weather is also ramping up.
“We have local microbrewery beers and also have domestic and imported and we have local wine and some from Napa, Lodi, Monterey area,” said Perez.
Local breweries represented include Blaker Brewing from Ceres and Dust Bowl from Turlock. A Salida apple cider Concert in the Park, is also available. Altamont from Livermore.
“The tap is going to change. Right now we have 12. We also have Coors cans and bottles like everybody.”
Approximately 20 wines are available.
“Of course, we’re barely starting so we’re exploring, asking through our page, what people would like us to have.”
Perez formerly made his living by repairing TVs until the industry changed.
“After 32 years of being in business as a TV man, things started changing in the industry and I didn’t want to just shut it down completely and deal with renters to hustle to collect rent – which I went through for a year – so basically closed the shop here. The TV business slowed down so much that I couldn’t pay the rent where I was. So we decided to shut down the TV business.”
He talked with Chamber official Renee Ledbetter about the need for a place in Ceres where people could go drink wine and wind down without heading to a nightclub.
“I thought the building where we are was probably the best corner in town to get something nice done and something that we can put out to the community so people don’t have to go to Turlock or Modesto.”
The Odd Fellows organization met in the hall for decades until it eventually disbanded and sold the building years ago to Perez. The best he has figured, the hall was constructed in 1920. Perez owns the entire building. In 2017 Perez opened the second floor as the Ceres Venue meeting hall but it hasn’t seen any rental activity in 2020 because of coronavirus restrictions.
“Tap In Wine Down” may be reached by calling Perez at (209) 505-2454 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the business visit https://www.restaurantji.com/ca/ceres/tap-in-wine-down-/