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John & Zeke’s building has been sold

Friday, February 17th, 2012 | Posted by

The building housing John & Zeke’s Bar, a Healdsburg institution since 1933, has been sold to Samuel Young, a part-time Healdsburg resident and owner of the Kozy Kar Bar in San Francisco. Young said he plans to continue operating a bar in that location, 111 Plaza St., at the end of the plaza.

“It’s iconic,” he said. “I plan to keep it exactly the same.”

He does not plan to renew the current proprietor’s lease when it expires in Sept. 2013, however.

Healdsburg resident Neal Cronin, who bought the historic bar 14 years ago, said he plans to relocate in another Healdsburg location.

“John & Zeke’s has long been involved in the community, supporting local charities and just being a part of what makes Healdsburg a great town,” Cronin said, “so, of course, we’re going to stay right here.”

John & Zeke’s has the atmosphere of a neighborhood bar but also attracts tourists with a 20-foot shuffle board table, pool tables and several big screen TVs.






  • Lee

    To be honest I was hoping something nicer would go in there.

    • Gary Goss

      Okay as long as there is a place I can go and get falling down drunk.

  • Claire

    I just googled the Krazy Kar Bar in SF to get an idea of where the new owner is coming from. It was, to say the least, an eye opener; not something that would ever make it in Healdsburg.

  • Betsy

    Mr.Young needs to reconsider. Healdsburg will follow Neil Cronin wherever he goes and Mr. Young will be left with an empty bar.

  • Tyler

    John and zekes is a healdsburg tradition and should never leave healdsburg.. EVER. We have enough fancy, “nicer”, bars or watering holes for out of towners. keep the tradition right where it’s at.

  • lifeisdaily

    Oh great.
    John and Zeke’s is what it is because of the Cronins. It’s an institution. Fun, low-key. Now some SF part timer is taking over. Riding the coat tails of someone else. Not hard to be successful buying a turn key business. Hope he fails.

  • sam young

    For the record, the current tenant turned down a 10 year lease. he also had right of first refusal to purchase the building, which he declined.Now he is getting everyone in an uproar that he was kicked out.

    I’ve owned property in Healdsburg for 21 years. Ken Martin, the previous owner of the building and of John and Zeke’s, was extremely pleased that I bought the building and that I want to continue John and Zeke’s.

    I’ve never had a business fail, I’ve been in Healdsburg for 21 years, I’ve opened and run 9 successful bars and I don’t need to ride anyone’s coat tails.

    The current tenant has not done a thing to the bar in 14 years and is not from the area, so he was riding on Ken’s coat tails.

    People need to give me a chance before disliking me. It’s the current tenant who wants to move the bar, not me.

    • J

      Ken Martin was pleased! The snake says the devil was pleased…..we should all rejoice. Lord knows Ken was fondly known as a philanthropic bar owner.

  • Danie

    The building sold, not the business!! The Cronin’s will still own John & Zeke’s when their lease is up in a year and a half! Fear not Locals, Zeke’s is NOT leaving Healdsburg!!

  • PJ

    It’s just sad that another local establishment is to be taken over by an “out of towner” for the benefit of more tourists. I wish nothing but success for Neil and his family in his new location.

  • JG

    Mr. Young,
    You said the previous owner was very pleased that you bought the building and want to continue John & Zeke’s ?
    How are you planning to continue Zeke’s?

    In spite of the fact that you have been telling anyone who will listen that you bought John & Zeke’s, you didn’t. You bought a building not a business.

    The locals will not support your bar, no matter what you call it. They will find Neal, wherever he lands. You better be banking on a lot of tourists.

    Still time to reconsider, Mr. Young.

  • Al

    Yes, J&Z”s is a mainstay in Healdsburg. And that’s where it should stay. It is a locals place that makes tourists feel like locals. But let’s also give credit where it should be given, J&Zs has many faces other than Neil, as I’ve only seen him there a few times, but the face of John and Zekes are the bartenders; Chris, Eric, Mike and Tony have been there forever and are what J&Zs means to a lot of us, and I will follow them wherever they go, just hoping they stay where they are at or in a place like J&Zs. These bartenders are like family, and have been a mainstay in the weekend nightlife in Healdsburg, and weekends will not be the same without them in town. I always enjoy seeing the same faces when I go out and having them know and care about me. I even will go out of my way to make a visit to see them when I have some spare time, not just for a drink, as I consider Chris a friend of mine. I have seen this type of relationship between chris and other customers, as well as Tony, Mike and Eric with other customers.
    The town will lose a lot more than a bar if J&Zs closes, it will lose part of what makes Healdsburg so special. Until then will stop by and see my friends more often.

  • Lee

    No offense meant to anyone here (or there), but I’m a local, and I never go there anymore. I don’t think it’s nice, and I don’t think the current proprietors are saints, nor are they the stewards of a cultural landmark, and in fact most of my wide, local circle of friends would not consider going there anymore.
    So the current consensus is that we are looking forward to a some change there, until then we have the consolation of Bergamot Alley.

    • LANK

      Its a bar… they serve beer and mixed drinks and every town needs one just like it. Since when have you ever heard the words Saint and Bar owners in the same sentance….duh! You would never make it in the big city!

  • Good Riddance

    My partner and I dined next door at Soca last night and proceeded to J&Zs for a drink after dinner. Rarely have I experienced such blatant racism as they refused to serve us (we are both Black) or even acknowledge our presence and continued to serve every white person around us including several who came after us and stood right next to us. Hopefully the new owners will discontinue that disgusting behavior which I recognize does not reflect the good citizens of Healdsburg.

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