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Discover the hidden wonders
of Downtown Plymouth

When visitors come to the roundabout on Highway 49 in Plymouth, city leaders have one bit of advice: Turn left.

That left turn will take visitors into downtown Plymouth where they will find some truly delectable dining, first-class wines, some unique shopping opportunities, places to lay their head down for an overnight stay and plenty of Plymouth history.

“Downtown Plymouth is homey and quaint and a safe place to visit,” said Plymouth City Manager Dana Knight. “And there is more in the works.”

Downtown Plymouth is a California history buff’s dream venue. The city and the rotary clubs has created the Main Street Stroll to give visitors a peek into the area’s history via the buildings on Main Street.  Each marker placed on Main Street in Plymouth has stories and pictures of the buildings from the past and the people who were associated with the building. The QR code on the markers allows visitors to see and hear the history. It was funded by Rotary, the Plymouth Foothill Rotary, and the City of Plymouth.

One location on the Main Street Stroll is the old Wheeler Store, which was built in 1924 by Lester Wheeler, the grandson of Stephen Wheeler, the original founder of the Alpine Mine. The original building was made of wood but Lester, perhaps learning from previous fires, replaced it with brick in 1938. The building still has the original wooden floors and posts. After the Wheeler Store it became the home of the Studebaker Quality Market and is now office space.

Another historical marker designates the location of the old Arcade Bar and later the Sportsman Club. The Arcade Bar opened in 1914. It is rumored that during Prohibition the soda fountain and candy store were merely a front for the speakeasy operating in the backroom. 

In the 1940s, brothers Louis and Mervin Hatchett bought the place and operated it as the Sportsman Club. This popular establishment continued until the 1980s, when it closed down and the building fell into disrepair. In the 2000s, Mark and Tracey Berkner bought the building and undertook a major renovation, including the mahogany bar and have opened it as Taste Restaurant and Wine Bar.

Tracey and Mark Berkner have taken on a mission to save and bring a new life to some of the older buildings around Amador County. They purchased the St. George Hotel in Volcano in 1997 and transformed it into a sought-out dining locale. 

They opened Taste in 2006 with a New American style cuisine that focuses on seasonality and local wines, fusing together the flavors of Asian, Middle Eastern, French, Mediterranean, Italian, American south and Latin dishes.

A perpetually-popular item on Taste’s menu are the Mushroom Cigars. This small bite appetizer has crimini, shitake, and oyster mushrooms with fresh herbs, and goat cheese that are wrapped in a phyllo porcini.

The Taste Burger is another favorite among guests. It is topped with bacon jam, goat cheese aioli, arugula and mushrooms and is served with truffle fries.

Taste has an extensive beer and wine list, with selections highlighting the numerous wineries in the region. 

Taste is located at 9402 Main Street.

Downtown Plymouth has several other dining options to treat locals and visitors. Fig Barn Inc. is a newly opened coffee café with an impressive array of sweet treats, along with an upscale menu of sandwiches, salads, breakfast selections, grazing boards and wines from the region. Fig Barn is located at 9506 Main Street.

Tin Roof Wine Café has an excellent selection of boutique wines and craft beers and a menu that focuses on far to fork and small eats like the harvest charcuterie board, bread plate with either olive oil or hummus and the fresh berry salad. Tin Roof Wine Café is located at 9414 Main Street.

Plymouth Hotel and Kitchen Bar is a family-run business that is dedicated to giving the community and visitors a unique dining experience with a multi-cultural menu and craft cocktails. The menu includes wood-fired pizzas and house favorites like lumpia, nacho taters and street tacos. The name is a throwback to the history of the building and is not an operating hotel. It is located at 9356 Main Street.

For those who are looking for a place to stay in downtown Plymouth to grab some needed rest, they’ll find such a location at Rest, at 9372 Main Street. A boutique hotel that the Berkners opened in 2016. The couple renovated two old neighboring buildings in downtown Plymouth to create a contemporary lodging of 16 rooms, each with their own unique look. They also offer special amenities like a delicious arrangement of breakfast foods, a nightly happy hour and s’mores kits to use over the outdoor fire pits. Rest also offers special add-on packages like in-room massages and private dinners and wine tastings.

For some unique shopping in downtown Plymouth, check out the Makers Market every second Saturday in the pop-up plaza in downtown Plymouth. At Thanksgiving, the plaza is the site for the Harves Festival and at Christmas there is a special market featuring local vendors and carriage rides.

Known as the Gateway to the Shenandoah Valley, many visitors to Plymouth are familiar with the delights that lay to the right of the roundabout, but every so often, try making that left turn.