I headed up to Occidental where I needed to get pictures of some of the Italian style family restaurants for an article Wild Jane is writing on the main sonoma.net site. I made sure to get photos of both the Union Hotel and the classic Howard’s Cafe two blocks up the street. The Union Hotel is a whole complex of buildings including a pizzeria, saloon, ballroom, and a residence at the end of the street. I had mentioned a few posts back how gates can be used as inviting features within a longer property divider. This mixed residental and commercial fence is a useful reminder that in a town with busy restaurants and saloons, the good citizens living next door probably want some peace and quiet.

Union Hotel residential fenceThere isn’t a residential break apart from the driveway in this long fence. It’s a fairly elegant “stay out” sign. There is, of course, a pretty gate into the restaurant’s courtyard and a driveway gate for the residence.

Howard’s Cafe in OccidentalHoward’s Cafe is a beautifully converted residence with great original detailing on the lower and upper covered porches and eaves. It’s a lovely spot and one of my favorite breakfast hangouts on Sunday when I can get away. If you get a chance to stop by, have a look at the detailing on the upper porch beam where they echo the post-top detailing in the middle of the span. It’s a nice touch that you absolutely won’t see in production building today. Of course, you’re not there just to look at the architecture. The food really is great.

Howard’s Cafe detailingThe builders also created a very intricate detail at the eaves that’s a little busy for my taste, but it’s certainly a great example of what pattern books, the power saw and an abundance of wood made possible. Sort of like desktop publishing in 1986…too many fonts, colors, and styles, but hey, see what I can do.