Client profile: lengthwise brewery & restaurant

Getting a beer at the new Lengthwise North

Kyle the beer barista hands me a frosty pint of Triple Hop Red ale at the new Lengthwise north location.

Most people probably think of Lengthwise as the place that brought fresh brewed beer to Bakersfield. Probably because those same people  forgot or never visited Bootlegger’s restaurant when it was open. Ralph Fruguglietti (owner of Frugatti’s) opened Bootleggers restaurant in the Ice House, just north of the Garces Circle off Chester Avenue, around 1994. It’s big draw was the brewery inside. A couple of dudes by the name of Jeff Williams and Darin Schwicker were put in charge of making the beer and managing the restaurant. Ralph even bottled two of the more popular flavors, Big Red and the Voluptuous Blonde ales. At the time we had done the logos for both Frugatti’s and Bootlegger’s, so Ralph commissioned us to design the labels for the bottles. Jim Bennett a talented illustrator working for me at the time, did the illustrations and designed the logos. His wife served as the model for the Voluptuous Blonde. This was pre-computer times. Both illustrations were painstakingly rendered with colored pencils.

Voluptuous Blonde and Big Red Ales

We designed the labels for the Voluptuous Blonde and Big Red Ales.


Jeff brought gifts back from Russia for me. I haven't tried the vodka, I'm afraid it will make me blind.

But I digress- we were talking about Lengthwise here weren’t we? Long story short, Ralph decided to focus on Frugatti’s and closed Bootleggers. It was 1998 and Jeff and Darin bought the brewing equipment and leased some obscure warehouse space on east Schirra Court… and started making beer. “how did they come up with the name Lengthwise?” you may ask. “Darin and I used to be on the swim team, and you’d swim practice sessions lengthwise.”, was Jeff’s seemingly logical explanation.

I designed their logo in exchange for some of their “liquid gold”. Jeff was also doing some consulting and building breweries. He even helped build one in Russia. Darrin was brewing beer, perfecting recipes and living at the brewery. They developed a small but devoted following. But it was no “rock-star” lifestyle. Darin told me at one of my many visits, “Willie, if something doesn’t happen soon, I’m going back to college.” And by “something happening” I think he meant “making money”. In 2002 they decided to go all-in and moved about 600 yards west to a new building on  Schirra Court.

Inside the Schirra Court brewery and restaurant.

Inside the Schirra Court brewery and restaurant.

They moved the brewing equipment, outfitted it with a kitchen and lined the walls with original art by local artist, Ryan Rickard. Oh, and don’t forget the museum of collectable vintage motorcycles, Harleys, Indians and a bunch of Japanese bikes.

In spite of the fact they don’t benefit from “drive by” traffic, like they would get, say, if they were located facing White Lane, the restaurant and brewery thrives. Octoberfest, Saint Paddy’s day and New Year’s Eve are sell-out events. They even have a cool little meeting room in the brewing area that you can rent for special occasions or company parties.

Vintage motorcycle

Jeff and a bunch of his buddies restore vintage motorcycles out back and display them in the bar.

We designed the menu and various t-shirts along the way.

A couple of Octoberfest shirt designs.

A couple of Octoberfest shirt designs.

Lengthwise Menu

Lengthwise serves up some delicious pub food. Killer chili (my fav), Fish and Chips and fantastic hamburgers... and don't forget the "Stinky Fries"!

They even roast their own coffee and have a line of seasonings.

Coffeee and Spice labels designed by Willis Design

Things were going so great that they decided to bring Lengthwise to the Northwest. On July 15th, 2011 they opened up their second location on Calloway just north of Rosedale highway. Despite the fact that there was no fanfare, no ads, no guy standing on the corner with an arrow, the response has been tremendous. On a typical day Jeff said they were serving three times as many pints of beer than the original location. In a recent email I received from Jeff, he said he’s got his eye on downtown next. I don’t doubt it. When you have the quality and service that Lengthwise has, your success is almost guaranteed. I like to think Willis Design was part of that success.

Lengthwise The Pub
2900 Calloway Drive
Bakersfield, CA 93312
Brewery & Restaurant
6720 Schirra Court
Bakersfield, CA 93313



Don Ambriz - August 2, 2011 - 6:38 pm

Great post Mike….fabulous design work! Makes me wanna be a beer drinker…

Don - August 2, 2011 - 7:02 pm

Send my logo to Dave. Oh that was last week’s

Don Mason - August 2, 2011 - 7:55 pm

Awesome design as always Mike.

I have to admit, Lengthwise renewed my interest in drinking beer.

Deep fried Twinkies, not so much :)

David Norris - August 2, 2011 - 8:03 pm

Mike, you told me I never post a comment on your blog so guess you can’t say that anymore! However, I digress, and wanted to thank you for the blog on Lengthwise but wanted to stress their fresh roasted coffee is every bit as good as their GREAT beer!

Scott Park - August 2, 2011 - 9:53 pm

The Northwest store is a hit for sure. I was there on Saturday night and it was packed. They are pouring a few other micro brews too, which is great if your not a big fan of their beer. Food is good too. I miss the swamp cooler in the Southwest store, something about a cooler blowing away the hot summer night in B-town.

John Stallone - August 2, 2011 - 9:58 pm

great to hear all the history and know you have been a huge part of our branding for the last 23 years and your design work for our Mtn bike festival is alsways great as well. Stop by on thrusday and lets have a beer at KRBC thanks

chingpea - August 2, 2011 - 10:27 pm

Great post! I love Lengthwise! It’s great to know their history and that you’re a part of it.

Ryan Northway - August 2, 2011 - 11:44 pm

Mouthwatering post. Sometimes my local BevMo just doesn’t cut it. Big shout out to AV on stinky fries :)

Byron Waylan - December 4, 2012 - 4:36 am

I lived in Bakersfield in 1997 and Frugatti’s and a Voluptuous Blonde was my favorite. I heard that the lengthwiser golden ale was the same recipe. Is that true? If there is any print work available of the Voluptuous Blonde, would be interested. If they ever get rid of the banner at Frugatti’s let me know. I could also use a 5L keg of the beer if they make/mail.

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Michael Rochelle - August 13, 2014 - 12:41 am

I miss the original, original location…just a brewery and bar, but had more character than everything subsequent.

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