Darlene Wendels / The Collegian
A chalk board outside of Peeve’s Public House in the Fulton Mall for the “Love a Local” event celebrating Peeve’s one year anniversary as a business on Sunday.
Within the concrete jungle of the forgotten Fulton Mall lies a gastropub growing in popularity in part of a revitalized, rejuvenated Downtown Fresno: Peeve’s Public House.
The venue celebrated its one year anniversary this past weekend with an assortment of local food, wine, arts, and entertainment combined into a smorgasbord of Fresno culture and identity.
The gastropub menu features locally-grown products ranging from macaroni and cheese to gourmet hot dogs and a selection of more than 75 craft beers to choose from, including a wine tasting section and a hummus booth from Sarah’s Harvest Hummus in Sanger.
In the remnants of the old Fresno Brewing Company, Peeve’s showcases local wine and microbreweries in an attempt to stay true to the anniversary’s theme and overall message behind the public house: to remain true and authentic to the community it is so deeply imbedded with.
“I was really interested in having a market where all the products were local, so the ‘Love A Local’ theme really goes with our daily theme and just expands it for a weekend,” said owner and entrepreneur Craig Scharton. “It’s good to celebrate milestones and being our first year, it feels like a milestone.”
The event also brought together a conglomeration of local bands: Sahab, Green Machine, Rogues, American Jazz Heritage, and Amoret, a four-piece alternative pop band led by Fresno State senior Christine Graham.
“This was our second time playing here, and we love Peeve’s,” Graham said. “I remember once he [Scharton] thanked our guitar player, CJ Ramsey, just for hanging out as often as he does because it’s allowing Downtown Fresno businesses to grow and develop.”
Graham also commented on the importance of Peeve’s for local bands like Amoret, and said that without events like these with a tight-knit, supportive community, her band wouldn’t be where they are today.
The anniversary also hosted local artists Roger Heckel, Pete Valdez and Jason Bonilla who painted live at the event and screen printed T-shirts on the spot for patrons to purchase.
While highlighting craft beers and the wine selection available, Peeve’s also serves as a public house for all ages, and promotes the use of the space for community collaboration. From the Fresno Gooners Club watching English Premier League soccer to an international science group that gives lectures once a month called Café Scientifique, Peeve’s acts as a welcoming spot for any who wish to use it, Scharton said.
“What’s starting to work is people taking ownership in it,” Scharton said. “You bring your group down and all of a sudden you’re a part of Peeve’s, so it’s not just me or the staff or just another restaurant, but it becomes community space.”
The pub’s name, which comes from Scharton’s loyal, beloved and now highly-regarded pet dog Peeve, stands as a testament to the institution and the community to which it promotes.