Reunion time for those who remember Fermentations

DEBORAH WHEELER 267-4555 | @WaltonSunDeb dwheeler@waltonsun.com
Joyce Russell and Jim Shirley are remembering Fermentations.

In 1997 Seaside friends Bruce Noonan and David Williams had a vision.

Their vision was to have a bar in Seaside that would be a comfortable place where you could go and have a great glass of wine and little plates of food and listen to live music. It was to be a locals' place.

No one was doing that then.

Noonan and Williams went to their friends Edd and Joyce Russell Fleckenstein and asked them to come onboard with them in the endeavor, citing Edd's knowledge from his past experience in hotel management. At the time, Edd was the cottage rental manager at Seaside.

The couple agreed and opened Fermentations that year.

The Fleckensteins were the onsite managing partners, and David and Rosemary Williams, and Bruce and Pam Noonan were silent partners.

The bar was a huge success and quickly became very popular with locals, as well as visitors.

Local musicians played there early in their careers.

Sadly, the bar closed Jan. 2, 2005, and all went their separate ways.

These days, Joyce is back doing what she loves most, behind the bar and working in downtown Seaside at a place with much the same vibe as Fermentations had, Seaside's new wine bar, 45 Central.

45 Central belongs to Chef Jim Shirley who, along with Joyce, wants to bring that Fermentations vibe back.

"We want the same vibe at 45," said Joyce. "We want it to be a comfortable gathering place that is warm to locals and visitors. The vision is the same. It's a sharing place."

45 Central opened in March 2015, 10 years after Fermentations' closing.

The bar offers wines by the glass or bottle, as well as small plates, including salads. Paella is served every Wednesday and Friday, with much the same vibe as Fermentations did in its day.

45 Central is hosting a Fermentations reunion on Feb. 21 from 4-7 p.m. for anyone who used to go to Fermentations to come in and share their memories.

Anyone who comes in wearing the Fermentations logo on a shirt or cap gets a free glass of wine.

Some of Fermentations' original hors d'oeuvres will be served, including Mr. Edd's famous mushroom soup. There will also be smoked trout dip, artichoke dip, and a toast will be raised to Edd, who died last year.

There will also be a poster board with lots of old photos from the Fermentations days.

"People come in who knew me from Fermentations and they are so excited to see me," said Joyce. "This will be fun."