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Rooster crossing

BY MAEVA CONSIDINE

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There’s an old adage that too many cooks spoil the broth, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for the new Rooster Creek Tavern in the Old Village of Arroyo Grande.

The tavern, which opened its doors less than a month ago, has eight owners. It’s a unique situation, but one that co-owner Frank Schiro says gives customers the benefit of years of combined experience.

- DOWN BY THE CREEK:  Rooster Creek co-owner Frank Schiro is ready for the lunch crowd. -  - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • DOWN BY THE CREEK: Rooster Creek co-owner Frank Schiro is ready for the lunch crowd.

“A few of the owners have been in this industry for years, and it was something I’ve always wanted to get into, but you really can’t do this sort of thing alone,” he explained.

The inside of Rooster Creek showcases the multiple talents of its multiple owners. Schiro began in building and construction and set his focus on the tavern’s interior, which fits seamlessly into the Old Village with its exposed masonry walls and warm, deep finishes. Schiro’s wife Debbie oversees the tavern’s banquet room and event planning, while co-owner Billy Hales provides the bar insight as longtime co-owner of such downtown fixtures as MoTav, The Library, Frog & Peach, and McCarthy’s.

The tavern has 12 beers on tap with a four- to six-beer rotation, which Schiro says can lead to some emotional turmoil for loyal patrons.

“We get people who get attached to a certain beer and are upset when it goes,” he said with a laugh, “but they always find a new favorite sooner or later.

Along with their beers on tap, Rooster Creek offers up a 50-bottle wine selection, which Schiro anticipates will eventually reach 170. Additionally, there’s no corkage fee for anyone who brings in a local wine. “We really want to support the local wine community,” Schiro explained.

The menu didn’t come easy to Schiro and company, due in part to Schiro’s reservations about serving artisan food.

“I’ll admit, when we started talking about the menu, I was much more for having the more typical tavern types of food, but our more artisan menu items are the most popular and they’re fantastic,” he said.

The shredded duck and Asiago cheese pizza is a Rooster Creek favorite, along with the house specialty: slow-braised lamb shank with smashed sweet potatoes.

But there are also options for the more traditional tavern patron, including a wide selection of appetizers that will help jumpstart the perfect night on the Rooster Creek patio with friends. The mac-n-cheese with smoked ham and jalapenos is rich and filling with a spicy twist.

Happy hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with specials on draft beers, well drinks, and selected appetizers.

Schiro said he hopes the menu will only continue to grow and change with help from the tavern’s customers, which is something to which the owners and chef Brian Price look forward.

“We want this to be as much the community’s place as ours,” Schiro said. “So we really listen to what our customers have to say. There are always two managers here, and that’s because we want to know what people think, and we take what they have to say seriously.”

Rooster Creek is at 200 E. Branch St. in the Old Village of Arroyo Grande. Hours of operation, happy hour specials, and menus are available online at roostercreektavern.com. Also, be sure to like their Facebook page for messages and updates.s

Fast fact

The North County Humane Society’s annual member appreciation luncheon and silent auction will be taking place on March 24 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Culinary Institution of Paso Robles at 1900 Golden Hills Road. Come help support Atascadero’s finest cat house. Tickets cost $20 for society members and $25 for non-members. To buy tickets or donate auction items, call Shelly at 466-5403. RSVP by March 13.

Intern Maeva Considine compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your business news to strokes@newtimesslo.com.

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