Petaluma Eats! And Drinks at Jamison’s Roaring Donkey

Jamisons Roaring Donkey Co-Owner Brian Tatko & Shot Counter
Jamison’s Roaring Donkey Co-Owner Brian Tatko and Shot Counter

My first foray into Jamison’s Roaring Donkey came one warm and sleepy August afternoon.  Barkeep Justin knew his stuff and suggested a Petaluma Hills Porterluma…which scored huge points as it is one of my favorites.  But what to call this place?  …Jamison’s, JRD, The Roaring Donkey, or maybe just the Donkey?  In time, it has become affectionately known as either Roaring Donkey…or to the regulars among my drinking crowd, simply as the Donkey, because nothing piques the curiosity of bystanders more than say, “Who wants to grab a drink at the Donkey?”

Jamison's Roaring Donkey Bling Box
Jamison’s Roaring Donkey “Bling Box”

Although pleasant and comfortable, when I first looked around I had trouble figuring out what kind of bar Roaring Donkey was trying to be.  There are big screens, like a sports bar, but there is also a separate room for hosting bands, open mic nights, or a DJ, like a club.  There is a booth in the back, like a lounge, but there are also darts and a pool table, like a pub or tavern.  The dual-station bar has a massive list of hip cocktails, serves Jameson’s Whiskey on tap, and has a “shot” counter on the wall, kind of like a college bar, but is complemented by an impressive tap station, like a brewpub taproom, even sporting multiple nitrous taps…one of which is always pushing out Guinness.  Topping it all off, the bar has a diverse list of libations, including a “Bling Box” for displaying a variety of top of the line elixirs that are not usually available by the glass, like a classy gin joint.  “We will offer shots at our cost,” says co-owner Brian Tatko.  “We want to make it easy for people to celebrate their special occasions with us.”