Written by Gabriel Dillard
The hot rumor of the moment is that Livingstoneâ€™s, the longtime Tower District watering hole shut down by a fire two years ago, is reopening Dec. 5.
Thatâ€™s according to online chatter from people who would be in the know, as well as an Instagram account.
The owners have been mum on the subject, perhaps to let the buzz reach a fever pitch or perhaps because they learned an important lesson after telling local media more than a year ago that it would open in a month’s time.
Of course, major renovations take time in Fresno. According to reporting from our very own Edward Smith, a Dec. 5 opening might be a tad presumptuous pending a final city inspection.
The reopening has been hotly anticipated since a Dec. 2016 fire â€” work of a suspected arsonist â€” shut down the restaurant and bar.
With the news that the former Audieâ€™s Olympic bar just around the corner from Livingstoneâ€™s will reopen in January after more than two years of being closed, itâ€™s looking more and more like the Tower District of my college years is coming back to life.
Readers of a certain age might have memories as I do of hitting Audieâ€™s Olympic (then known as Club Fred) for a local rock show â€” perhaps Sparklejet or Pinkeye, then heading to Livingstoneâ€™s for an adult beverage. The scene was so insular (and probably still is) that you were guaranteed to see someone you know there.
Then after last call, youâ€™d stumble out onto Wishon Avenue in search of something to eat, but nothing in the Tower District was open that late, and the food truck invasion was only a gleam in some foodieâ€™s eye.
And of course, there was no Uber or Lyft, so you stumble to your friendâ€™s house on an empty stomach and hope you donâ€™t get mugged.
This Christmas, Iâ€™m thankful that Tower District nostalgia is coming to life once again.