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Rich Hanner

Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 12:00 am

Greetings and welcome. We’re delighted you’re here. Lodi is known as a place that offers a personal touch. When you go wine tasting, don’t be surprised if the vintner himself is filling your glass. When you are out dining, the owner or manager is likely on premises and may very well stop by your table.

Some travel destinations are heavily commercial or corporate. Not Lodi. We’re an authentic town with a distinctive history (we’re the birthplace of A&W root beer, for example) and culture (Lodi hosts crane and bluegrass festivals, street fairs and farmer’s markets.)

We have agrarian roots, and we’re proud of that. Check out the San Joaquin County Historical Museum at Micke Grove Park for a fascinating portrait of our farming history.

Yet we’ve also evolved, and our downtown reflects vision, and no small amount of investment. Once dreary and a little dull, downtown is now busy and stylish, a place with a surging number of cafes, boutiques and wine tasting venues, nearly all of them locally owned and operated.

Unlike many communities, Lodi still has a vibrant heart, and it is our downtown district.

Some visitor guides can be glossy — but lack a local sense of place or people.

Not this one. We know our community, we live and work here, and we hope that resonates through these pages.

We created this guide with the personal touch in mind. You’ll find Insider Guides from local people who really know where the locals sip, dine and shop. You’ll find some recommendations from our editorial staff members, too, many of whom have worked and lived in the Lodi for many years. (One of my own contributions: Suggesting a favorite lunch spot, Tin Roof BBQ. I eat lunch out more than I should, admittedly, and there are many places I could recommend. But Tin Roof is consistent and delicious. That’s not a canned spiel. That’s a recommendation based on eating there for years, attending numerous events they’ve catered, and each time finding my taste buds well-pleased.)

So welcome again to our community. We hope you find Lodi inviting — in a very personal way.

Rich Hanner, editor

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Welcome to the discussion.

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Vote on the biggest local story in 2014: See poll below

It has been an eventful year in Lodi, from the antics of a wild turkey named Tom Kettleman to the announced closure of the General Mills plant. What do you see as the biggest story of the year?

Total Votes: 253

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