There are some big dreams for the abandoned field you’re walking through. There are hopes of building a Food and Wine Center here, with a farmers market, cooking demonstrations, special events, etc. There’s also talk of a commuter train running from Cloverdale, through here, and on to Larkspur where you could catch a ferry to the city. There might be a development of condos with ground floor shops including the Food and Wine Center. The city is hoping to develop urban parts of Santa Rosa into mixed-use areas, where people could live, work, shop and play all in the same space, that way limiting traffic growth and urban sprawl. And, to boot, the project calls for all kinds of “green” building techniques. That's a lot of dreams. Let's hope something becomes reality.
Just before you get to Depot Park, A’Roma Roasters will be on your left. Stop here to end your journey. The coffeehouse offers live music weekend nights and free wi-fi connections. And due to the dynamic mix of people who gather here and spill out onto Depot Park, this is THE hang-out spot in Santa Rosa. There’s the artsy crowd from the theater, and the teens from Chops. There are the progressive folks from nearby New College and the old-timers who’ve been in this area for years. There are a few of the homeless from the rescue mission and plenty of locals who live in homes throughout Santa Rosa. And of course, there are the tourists. So sit back, people watch, and take in the ambiance of Railroad Square.