There is a new spot to pull up a comfy chair and belly up to the bar called Fina by John Surla in Ripon where folks can do just that, relax and unwind.
Fina is the third restaurant that Chef Surla has created in the area with Surla’s in Modesto being the first and then Lola’s Bistro in Hilmar. Fina is an Italian restaurant that offers guests fresh handmade pastas, local seasonal food, made in house sauces and a wood fire oven for ‘Pizze’ as it is listed on the menu. Also look for a happy hour with appetizers and drink specials.
The Bar and Lounge area invites guests to mingle and stay for a while enjoying a spirit, maybe a wine pairing with an entrée, or a cold beer. The full menu is available at the bar and bartenders Chianne Castillo and Eddie Sanchez are ready to make a thirst-quenching concoction for guests.
With a love for bartending, presentation is very important to Castillo when it comes to cocktails. From adding rosemary sprigs to a bloody mary, or a peel that looks like a flower in a cocktail, Castillo’s attention to detail is on point.
“The connections that you make with people in the community are one of my favorite parts about being a bartender,” said Castillo. “Here in Ripon there are a lot of classy and classic people and classic cocktail drinkers.”
Sanchez has been bartending for seven years and truly enjoys being creative with his drinks. If you do not know what you want, Sanchez has something for you to try as they are very experimental at the bar in Fina. Over the past few years he has worked in fine dining establishments, clubs and pubs making all kinds of cocktails.
“I like bartending because every guest brings something different,” stated Sanchez. “You get to create special kinds of concoctions for a different experience. You have to be creative while being personal with people.”
Although the restaurant has only been open a few months, there are already customer favorites at the bar like the Violet Hour and the Kentucky Buck as well as a few classics like the Negroni Sidecar, the Old Fashioned and Manhattan.
The Violet Hour is a spin on the classic gin and tonic using Empress 1908 Gin, mixed with Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic Water that has a nice pale pink color and adds a little bit more citrus, giving the pretty cocktail a violet hue. It is then garnished with a grapefruit slice.
The Kentucky Buck has the right balance of sweet and tart that begins with muddled strawberries, freshly squeezed simple syrup, Bulleit Bourbon, a dash of bitters, topped off with Ginger Beer.
Fina By John Surla
200 W. River Road, Ripon, CA 95366
Open for dinner six days a week from
5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday
5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.