Bows & Arrows: A destination for eclectic chill
A little something for everyone who's sick of everything else
Let's start in the back: the most welcoming, relaxing patio in Midtown.
Bows & Arrows’ backyard is like the Home Depot garden section if the Home Depot garden section didn’t suck. The patio vibe is curated with funky thoughtfulness, complete with gurgling waterfalls, a mishmash of secondhand furniture and a cornucopia of colorful potted plants. (Bows co-owner Olivia Coelho gives props to her mom, Ruth, who tends to and prunes the garden almost every morning).
Some people on Yelp might call it a hipster garden, what with the fauna of choice who populate said habitat, but that’s just silly. It’s replete with shade and misters. And beer. What more do you want?
Well, you might want a snack. So, make your way inside: This is where chef Gabe Nokes, who now runs the Bows kitchen, dishes out simple soup-sandwich-salad fare, some of it vegetarian friendly (braised mushroom with “shoyu” mayo sandwich), some of it carnivorous (chicken tacos). Yes, it still serves Fat Face popsicles. And yes, there’s still Sunday brunch, with $2.50 “Sacramento Treats” (cheap beer, lemon, ice).
Hang out for a while, though, and the place gets eclectic, dilettantish, unexpected.
“I’ve always called Bows an inspiration station!” said co-owner Trisha Rhomberg. “A great idea-and-collaboration factory where ideas come to life.”
Consider the recent Bows itinerary: On June 1, there was a Fifty Shades of Grey reading, then, the next day, a concert featuring touring bands from out of the country. Later in the week, an art opening by local talent Omar Thor Arason and Heather Jeremy (exhibit still on display), and even an open-mic comedy night.
The latter is one of the more exciting little events in Midtown each month. Hosted by Ray Molina, he invites staple comedians and first-timers into the cafe. Sure, there’s a lot of wiener gags and awkward moments, but also plenty of gut-busting punch lines.
In the front of the shop, what you see from the street, is a boutique: threads, jewelry, knickknacks. Like the rest of the shop, it’s different: The kind of vintage stuff you’ll end up wearing one day when you’re sick of everything else.
“I tell people that—although it seems nuts that we do so many different things at Bows and we offer different types of events, cater to different crowds—we like to think we are a purveyor of all things special to us,” is how co-owner Coelho explains her collective. “Bows is a reflection of our aesthetic.”
The fun part is keeping up with Bows, because its aesthetic is constantly evolving. 1815 19th Street, (916) 822-5668, www.bowscollective.com.