Fossil Wine Bar: Trendy new addition to Entrada’s evolution

Paul Zuniga, co-owner of Fossil Wine Bar, is ready to share his knowledge and pour some hand-selected wines, beers, meads, and sake for visitors to enjoy. (Photo by Allyson Woolley)

The Jurassic period inspired wine bar, Fossil is the newest addition to an evolution of downtown Atascadero’s Entrada Avenue. Owners, Paul and Anita Zuniga, opened in November of 2018 at 5992 Entrada and saw the potential of the location as well as an opportunity to share their passion for great wine and beer.

Fossil offers a large selection of wines including reds, pinks, whites, bubbles, and dessert wines; as well as beer on tap, cider, mead, and sake. Each selection made by the Zunigas is tasted and chosen with care providing a unique menu of wines that will intrigue and engage the palate with its diversity.

“We carry wines and beers that we have tasted and enjoyed and in many cases hand-selected while tasting with the winery or brewery,” Zuniga explained while kicking back in a plush gray high-backed love seat. “We carry local wines from ONX, LXV, and many other local boutique wineries and tend to stick to small-lot producers that are little known to offer something special to our customers. We also carry international wines from Greece, Spain, France, and Chile and will continue to carry a diverse selection of international wines to taste and compare.”

The wine list is vast and revolving offering something new every visit. The beers, meads, cider and sake have also been a hot commodity at Fossil. Zuniga said that the kegs go fast with local brews from Dead Oak, Earth and Fire, and Firestone rotating through the taps.

“Opening this business has been a great experience and we have met a lot of wonderful people since we moved here three years ago that really helped us get to this point,” he said. “All the connections I have made in the industry working in tasting rooms and tasting around really influenced our offerings and our knowledge base. It was really the owners of LXV, Neeta and Kunal, and Tommy Booth over at The Wine Boss in Paso that gave us the push to go for it and it is going great.”

Zuniga went on to explain the theme for Fossil was born out of a dual interest in wine and beer and a childhood love of dinosaurs and with the logo of T-Rex encircled in a wine glass splatter, a visitor can’t help but be intrigued.

“T-Rex was always one of my favorites as a kid, so we went with that and the ring around the image is actually a wine splatter that the base of a wine glass would make,” Zuniga said explaining that it took a long time to settle on an iconic dinosaur. “We really had fun with it and the name Fossil really falls in line with the philosophy of terroir and its impact on the flavor profile of wines. With that in mind, we inspired our amazing contractor and my wonderful wife really brought it all together and created a space that looks amazing and is very inviting.”

The bar is industrial chic and was designed with a great deal of attention to detail — from the succulents hanging on the walls in built-in boxes to the section of wall made of wine barrel bisections from the winery where Zuniga got his start pouring — the space is made to be enjoyed.

According to Zuniga, Fossil has become a popular hangout for locals and visitors from millennials to baby boomers.

“We have been busy since we opened and are really enjoying the experience,” he said. “We are so grateful for the support and friendship of our patrons. People really seem to enjoy the space and tasting through our diverse menu of wines. We had a group in the other day that was enjoying the lounge area and talking about the wines and another at the bar enjoying beer and mead that were in there late 20’s.”

Fossil Wine Bar is open Sunday, Monday, and Thursday from 3 to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. and host winemaker pop-ups, wine tasting education nights, and participate in Atascadero Wine Walks and events. To find out about new additions to the tasting menu, events, and more, visit


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