What I love about this new hipster place is their focus, it’s all about music and LP’s. Yes, that right – vinyl. They have state of the art equipment and walls of albums, both new and old. It’s just a miracle that this concept became the new fun spot to go to in Redlands, CA. But that’s not all. This whole area has the new Arrow train taking both commuters and locals to and from San Bernardino to four different stations in and around the area. The Arrow train came in last October to bridge the mileage gap from Union Station to Redlands. So now the whole area is following suit with a grand resurgence. Many new restaurants are under construction, but The Overland came out as the first one to open with this newfound destination, Downtown Redlands. Owner Bryan Bruce saw this opportunity and jumped on it, also owning a restaurant across the street – Aroi Mak Mak, I will be reviewing later in the month. Bryan’s insight is so great, if any restaurateur asked me for an up and coming area to start a new restaurant I would tell them absolutely near the train station in Redlands, the new train destination spot. I just love the whole concept and am so happy to be part of this new fun area.
Redlands has quite the history – Redlands – known in 1900 as “The City of Millionaires” and later as “The City of Beautiful Homes”, welcomes you! Founded in 1881 and incorporated in 1888, Redlands is a quintessential “big town” with a “small town” feel. For much of its history Redlands was the “Washington Navel Orange Growing Capital of the World” with the citrus industry as the focus of its economy. There are many well-known landmarks, including their beautiful Victorians, Missions, Parks, and University. Redlands Bowl and the Mission Gables Bowl House – The Redlands Bowl in Smiley Park can actually trace its heritage back to the King of Spain in 1769. Kimberly Crest House and Gardens – Built in 1897, the “castle” is a picturesque French chateau-style historical house museum. In 1963 Kimberly Crest was donated to the people of the City of Redlands by Mary Kimberly-Shirk, daughter of J. Alfred Kimberly (co-founder of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation). Morey Mansion – This beautiful Victorian home has been dubbed “America’s Favorite Victorian House” and has appeared in countless commercials, television shows, and movies.
About The Overland: The Overland is a new cocktail bar located in Redlands, CA, at the original Chamber of Commerce in the historic Santa Fe Depot. The district is centered on Redlands’ Santa Fe Railway depot, which was established in 1888. The nationally registered district is centered around the current station building, a Classical Revival structure, built in 1909–10 to replace the original depot built in 1888. The Pacific Electric Red Car trolley service, the Redlands Line, ran past the mainline Santa Fe station on Orange Street between 1903 and 1936. This station lost passenger service in 1938. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 29, 1991, and the California Points of Historical Interest.
The buildings surrounding the station represent many of the important components of the city’s economy, particularly the orange packing industry. Several packing houses remain from the city’s heyday as an orange packing center, forming one of the largest remaining groups of orange packing houses in the Inland Empire. A number of the other buildings were used by growers’ associations and other groups in the citrus industry. The district also includes three buildings from the city’s historic Chinatown, which thrived from the 1880s through the 1920s after Chinese immigrants came to Redlands to build the railroad. The depot was purchased from Krikorian Premier Theaters founder George Krikorian by Property One LLC, a real estate development company with ties to Esri executives in September 2017. With new ownership and a name change to Redlands Railway District LLC, the depot was restored and integrated with the adjacent Redlands–Downtown Arrow rail station in 2022. Redlands Railway District LLC is currently redeveloping the surrounding properties as the “Redlands Packing House District” with shops and restaurants. Set to open by 2024.
The Overland is an equal parts cocktail lounge, small bites restaurant, and vinyl record listening space. The Overland focuses on seasonal and local citrus within the cocktail program while also offering a wide range of natural wine, beer and small plates from the kitchen.
The Overland finds its inspiration from its monthly publication dating back to the late 1800s, known as the Overland Monthly. The magazine romanticized the west coast of America and would often take a more literary and intellectual stance than many other magazines of its time. Poets, Writers, and Dreamers alike would submit stories and poems, often showcasing the natural beauty of California and its wildlife.
It is their desire to pay respect and homage to California in this same manner, focusing on native flora and fauna while also being conscious of our environmental footprint. Using conventional tap systems within their cocktail program, they will reduce their water usage by up to 50% of that of traditional bars and restaurants. Being conscious of their local environment while showcasing its natural beauty is at the foundation of who they are and what they are all about.
Here’s What I Tried:
North Country Spritz, Melon Aperitif, Elderflower, Mint, Prosecco, and Seltzer. A very thirst-quenching drink, with a nice mellow nuance.
Land O’ Dreams, Blanco Tequila, White Rum, Sotol, Smoked Pineapple, Purple Corn, Coconut, and Lime. Served in a coupe glass, it makes it look like an old-time cocktail, but super tasty.
Future Lover, Blanco Tequila, Mezcal, Maraschino, Passion Fruit, Pineapple, and N/A IPA. This is a very smokey cocktail, with nice tropical flavors.
Past Life, Vodka, Absinthe, Rooibos Tea, Honey, Lemon, and Mint. This was my favorite cocktail, its a bit sweet, but went down super easy, I would order this every time.
Spirit Free – Non-Alcoholic Takes on Old Faves:
Polar Bear’s Toenails, Watermelon, Cucumber, Amass Riverine, Lime, love the name and love the flavors.
Queens Highway, Beets, Pineapple, Orange, Lemon, this is a very sweet and a refreshing healthy cocktail.
Tostada, Japanese Maitake Mushroom, Amarillo Bean Purée, Salsa Macha, Tomatoes, and Pickled Onions & Greens. A very nice well-rounded dish, with lots of yummy flavors, this one is a keeper.
Oysters, Clarified Tomato, Chive Oil, and Girl & Dug Farm Gooseberries. I just wish I could have gotten more; they give you 2 and you really want 12. They are super fresh, just delightful.
Mushroom, Grilled Mushrooms, Coconut Curry, Confit Tomato, and Chickpeas & Greens. I loved the subtle curry flavors and the big juicy mushroom cluster, just heavenly.
Papa’s, Confit Fingerling Potatoes, Calabrian Chile Aioli, Chive Oil, Pickled Thai Chilies, and Herbs. So many potatoes, so little time. Beautifully cooked with a great marriage of ingredients, for the potato lover a must have.
Creole Arancini, Panko Fried Arborio Rice, Okra, and Mushrooms w/ Creole Spiced Aioli. These are spicy with a capital S, for the spicy aficionado’s, order these.
Crab Pasta, House Made Spaghetti, Crab Gravy, and Herbs. The lingering flavors of crab, and the fresh pasta is really one that I would want to order ever time.
Half Bird, Jerk Chicken w/ Pickled Veggies. This menu item is just so delicious, the seasonings and the tenderness of the chicken is wonderfully scrumptious.
Their local purveyors are; Goodie Farm, Girl & Dug Farm, Masienda, Jacinto Farms, 4 Star Seafood & Provisions, Rocker Bros., and Small Hold Mushrooms.
The Overland does not have any dessert menu, so be forewarned. That means you can eat more, and not have to save room for dessert, or walk down the street to get ice cream nearby.
My server Megan Florez was very personable, giving me her background and that she loves her job. She grew up nearby in Beaumont. She describes the type of people that are frequenting The Overland, young, locals, but also dates, pretty much all ages. Thursdays through Sundays they have a DJ spinning all kinds of great music. She says, “It’s a Hi-Fi listening space”. I personally am so glad this type of activity has come back in a big way. There are no flat screen TVs, so it’s really all about the music, and not being distracted visually. Old school vibe with a very new concept, and people talking to each other, without large sports screens taking up the air.
The interior is very sleek, with 70’s type colors, its focus is their high-tech turntables and albums that adorn the bar walls. Their outdoor area is large and faces the Arrow train depot, it also has patio misters for those hot steamy days that Redlands can have.
For all that The Overland is, it will make you remember an era gone by, but at the same time, let you know that it is not forgotten. As a matter of fact, vinyl is now more mainstream than it was back in its heyday. Long lasting recordings that sound better and can be the center of a fun evening. With great food, DJ spinning, and a genuinely cool atmosphere, what more could you want?
347 Orange St.
Redlands, CA. 92374
Mon. – Thurs. 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Fri. 4 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Sat. 10 a.m. – 1 a.m.
Sun. 10 a.m. – 12 a.m.
*Note some content was taken off their website.