Big Bottom Market: How Could We Leave This Behind?


Big Bottom Market exterior; photo by Walter White.

A exclusive by 707 correspondent, Deirdre Bourdet.

Whether you’re a fan of Spinal Tap, women’s weekends, bears, or Russian River pinot, Guerneville’s new ~BIG BOTTOM MARKET~ has something for you. G-town maven Crista Luedtke (of boon hotel + spa and boon eat + drink) and food and wine enthusiasts Kate Larkin and Michael Volpatt are opening a high-end market and deli in the epicenter of the Russian River fun zone in mid-July.

This is Guerneville’s answer to the Dry Creek General Store: local artisans’ pastries, breads, and deli meats rubbing shoulders with hyper-local produce from the boon gardens and the store’s own olive oil, sea salt, and wine. The owners describe the setting as “lumberjack chic,” with reclaimed wood from local barns, concrete countertops, and an irreverent, sexy vibe.

The sandwich options at the market’s deli are locally inspired (and named), like the “Parson Jones,” which involves turkey, arugula, spicy chipotle jam, and havarti in a wicked four-way on a crunchy roll from Village Bakery in Sebastapol, as well as the more exotic “Colonel Armstrong” featuring curried chicken from Zoe’s Meats in Petaluma. In addition to the regular deli menu, every month a local chef or celebrity will create a special sandwich for the market that reflects the guest’s personal predilections. The first guest sandwich-maker will be local supervisor Efren Carillo, who reportedly is keeping his footlong completely under wraps until the great reveal at the opening.

Big Bottom plans to carry the ingredients for its deli creations on its grocery shelves as well, and to make the recipes available so you can replicate the experience at home … except for Crista’s mom’s recipes for the sweet and savory biscuits, which will not be released to anyone, under any circumstances. Partner Michael Volpatt says, “No offense to Kara [whom he’s known since the fourth grade], but the biscuit is the new cupcake.” I can’t wait to check out the “Seabiscuit” with smoked trout, crème fraîche, and chives. Hello, lover….

Naturally, this little wine country market is going to have a serious collection of Sonoma County appellations in the booze aisle, plus a monthly “Foreign Exchange Student” from abroad to keep things fresh and exciting. Thursday evening tastings led by the winemaker of the featured wines will also add some intimacy to the tasting experience, and the chance to ask whatever questions pop up.

Big Bottom Market opens mid-July in downtown Guerneville. Hours will be 7am-7pm Sun-Thu, and 7am-9pm Fri-Sat. Check it out. 16228 Main St. at Church, Guerneville.

Update: As a tablehopper reader and her six-year-old learned the hard way (cackling at the store’s signage within earshot of a resident), locals reportedly used to call the whole Guerneville area “Big Bottom.” You can’t make this stuff up.