Tower District’s newest bar offers glimpse of bygone era


Howlin Wolf in Fresno’s Tower District is open daily at 3 p.m. Photo via Howlin Wolf Facebook page

published on December 14, 2021 – 4:57 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The Tower District’s newest craft cocktail bar is open for business with the goal of standing out in the present while honoring the past.

The owners of the Howlin Wolf — contractor Craig Johnson, Gazebo Gardens owner Scott Miller, real estate agent Jeff Wolpert and dentist Scott Schapansky — aim to showcase all things local, whether that be the bar’s Fresno-centric decor or musicians.

The bar at 920 E. Olive Ave. had its grand opening on Dec. 10 followed by a ribbon cutting this week. Howlin Wolf totals 36,000 square feet and is open daily at 3 p.m.

The bar is in Art Deco style with a “Cheers” vibes where guests can sit around it and see people on the opposite side.

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A contractor himself, Johnson also did the work at Goldstein’s, which the ownership group called Beards & Beer also operates.

“It’s fun when you’re your own client,” said Johnson in an August interview. “Nobody tells you ‘you can’t do that.’”

They will have a full liquor bar with wine on tap, though not as much beer as Goldstein’s. They will feature 10 signature cocktails as well as standards such as Old Fashioneds and Negronis — though with a twist. In keeping with the historic motif, Johnson hopes to bring back some cocktails that have fallen out of popularity over the years.

“Everyone is upping their cocktail game in Fresno, so you don’t want to be left behind,” Johnson said.





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