Be careful not to bump the noses of the two large, but gentle, Australian Shepherds as you enter Bear’s Hideaway. Not only are they there to greet you but one of them, Bear, is the namesake of this San Juan Bautista shop, which specializes in wine, beer and cigars.
Lori Wilson, the friendly owner, explains, “I love having my own business where I can bring my dogs and not worry about leaving them at home all day.” Now in its seventh year, its casual vibe attracts people who want to relax and linger over long conversations, whether inside at the bar or outside on the garden patio.
“We offer four beers on tap, which are replaced with new beers as they run out,” says Wilson. “Prices run from $5 up. Our current best seller is the Santa Clara Valley New Almaden Red, an American strong ale.”
A large wine selection includes local and international wines. Current highlights are a 2015 William Hill Chardonnay ($9/glass) with notes of ripe melon and citrus, a 2015 Talbot Kali Hart Pinot Noir ($10/glass ), tasting like a red fruit compote with silky tannins, and a peppery 2015 Zinfandel ($10/glass) from Bruce Patch.
Wilson carefully stocks a large cabinet humidor with an assortment of fine cigars. Those new to cigars are commonly drawn to the Honey Cigars ($8.50) which have a slightly sweet finish to them.