Let's go back--wayyy back--to 1989, when Temecula was a newly incorporated town and its population had yet to reach the 30,000 mark. Ed Dool, a former police officer and Redondo Beach resident, relocated his family to Temecula. With an entrepreneurial spirit and connections in the auto industry, Dool identified the one business venture that needed to be created in Temecula: a shuttle service. Back then, there were no airport shuttles or taxi cabs. Dool saw a solution to that problem and, with the purchase of a couple of shuttle vans, launched the Temecula Shuttle, giving local residents a ride to and from the airport, wine country, or even just to the grocery store.
Dool ran this service for nearly a decade, establishing the first Greyhound station in 1994 and the Temecula Wine Country Tours in 1992. In the late 1990s, when Temecula was looking to revamp Old Town from a sleepy antiques village to an entertainment and restaurant-laden corridor, Dool purchased the land just near the front entrance of Old Town on Front Street. He had a vision of an entire building full of stores and restaurants, all modeled after the original train station that existed in historic Old Town Temecula. Dool submitted the first blueprints for the "Old Town Pacific Plan" to the city council, outlining what would soon become the Temecula Stage Stop.
Having sold the shuttle company and ready for a new endeavor, Dool and his sons decided upon a bar in the Old Town district, where people who were shopping up and down Old Town Front Street could stop for a glass of wine, cold beer and music while they people watched. Their goal was to link Old Town tourism with the wine country, giving people a place to hang out once the wineries closed for the day. Calling it the Temecula Wine and Beer Garden (NOT Beer & Wine), the establishment has become one of the most well-known hangouts in the Valley, popular among those who like a cold drink in an unpretentious environment.
The Wine and Beer Garden is what owner Ed Dool calls a "place for socializing; people come here to meet people." With a diverse crowd and a comfortable attitude, Dool says there have been over 40 patrons who have met and developed long term commitments since the bar's opening in 1999, including Dool himself and his wife Debbie.
Private events are available at the Temecula Wine and Beer Garden for up to 250 people, and patrons are welcome to bring in outside food. There is never a cover charge, and football games light up with flat screen TVs for the sports lovers to watch.
Insider's Tip: Get there early on Saturday afternoons to watch the tryouts for open mic night and people watch the Farmer's Market shoppers. You'll beat the crowds and still get the Temecula Wine and Beer Garden experience everyone knows and loves!
The Wine and Beer Garden is the Temecula Stage Stop's main stay, but don't forget its neighbors: Soro's Mediterranean Grill, Bev Ray Camera, Psychic Readings, the Greyhound station, and the ever popular certified Farmer's Market every Saturday. For more information on the Temecula Wine & Beer Garden, visit www.TemeculaWineandBeerGarden.com.
Article and Photo by Temeculainsider.com