Though Petaluma has experienced a few hiccups in recent years (as most communities have), it is definitely still maintaining its unique appeal. There are still antique shops, but of the very large ones on the Boulevard, only one has survived.
A perfectly timed addition, which sprung up in 2009, replacing a former antique rug store in the National Bank Building, is the Petaluma Seed Bank, offering 1200 varieties of heirloom seeds. With many gardening boxes popping up in front and back yards around town, they're business is thriving.
The majority of the previously vacant commercial spaces have been filled with existing businesses expanding or moving to better locations, leaving room for many new small businesses to move in.
With retail space so invitingly inexpensive, there are few vacancies downtown.
I agree with Dino about the new restaurant, Luma. The food is downright tasty and fresh. My regular favorite is the Miniletta followed up by their decadent bread pudding.
While strolling to dinner downtown one of our rainiest of nights a couple weeks ago, we walked by Petaluma Pete, sheltered under an awning, playing away on his piano. This was a sign to me that Petaluma is still moving forward and maintaining it's unique appeal.
I haven't spent much time there in the last 6 or 7 years, but I have friends there who would concur with Dino. I don't know if it's still true but one of the delightful aspects of the town was a distinct lack of chain stores and fast food places in the downtown area.
With a big yes! we have some new great spots here. One is Luma a new Bistro , located on 1st street . It is location is cool, as its below a modern warehouse style loft, along our upcoming warehouse small shop district. The food is great! Its within minuets of the theater and other nice restaurants, so you have nice variety.
Also on the East side the Lagunitas Brewing company has a really cool Beer Garden, very diverse crowd, artsy, cowboy, you name it!
I would hope as the economy comes back we will continue to have the eclectic collection of food, shops and art, that makes Petaluma a thriving alternitive to big cities. Come see for yourself soon!