Backtrack through the Western Farm Center parking lot (Drive back later to get pet supplies, the prices are right.) and go straight onto Adams St. You’ll pass Starks Steakhouse, owned by the same couple who own Willi's Wine Bar, Willi's Raw Bar and Montis. Next is the DeMeo Teen Club, better known as Chops. It’s a place for Santa Rosa youth to call their own. There's a recording studio, nightclub and dance floor, art studio, gym with a climbing wall, computer lab, teaching kitchen, and café.
The club is named after Charles “Chop” DeMeo who was born a bright but poor kid on the wrong side of the tracks in Santa Rosa. After working his way through UC Berkeley, Chop became a lawyer, mayor of Santa Rosa, and a multimillionaire.
When he died in 1995, DeMeo left most of his estate, nearly $16 million, to a non-profit agency. He specified that some of the money go toward helping Sonoma County's homeless, primarily mothers with young children, and that the rest be used to create a place for Santa Rosa teens. Chops opened in 2001.
People found out about DeMeo’s gift—the largest charitable bequest in Sonoma County history—at his funeral. Shortly before DeMeo died at age 90, a friend went to visit him at the hospital. Chops smiled at him and said, “When they find out what I’ve done, they’ll be surprised.”
Read more about DeMeo and his gift in Gaye LeBaron's article in the Press Democrat.
Across the street you’ll see the award-winning 6th Street Playhouse. Go to the left and follow the old railroad tracks through the field and down toward the depot. You’re almost at the end of the line.