By Nissi Guiao
Downtown is coming alive right before our eyes. And it’s because of good-hearted Stocktonians like Jacob Benguerel, owner of the local hotspot, Deliberation Room, who can see a better future for our city before it’s ever even in plain sight. Benguerel opened up shop not too long ago and he shares, “Deliberation Room was something that I decided to do because, as a kid, I saw what Modesto went through when it was worse than Stockton is now. My dad owned a business downtown and they had the same struggles we have, but it all began to turn around when restaurants and bars moved in. Being a big part of the downtown Stockton turnaround, I decided, ‘Why not?’”
That same care hasn’t changed for Benguerel as he understands that what’s “most important is that right now downtown businesses have to be a destination.” He’s been paying attention to the needs and wants of the community and states that they “are trying to respond to what [their] customers have told [them] they want.” Since taking notes on what their regulars are looking for, DR has gone through a bit of a transformational process, only making it an even better place to spend nights and weekends locally. “I’ve always been conscious of the fact that we need to be willing and able adapt in order to survive in the early stages of the revitalization process,” says Benguerel, and he’s not all talk. They’ve recently added an adult arcade (AN ADULT ARCADE!!!) “on top of the craft cocktails and handmade pizza” (yum) they’ve got going on, which truly “makes [them so] much more of a destination” nowadays.
Bringing life and excitement to Downtown
DR brings so much life and excitement to our community downtown. “Historically [they’ve] done drag shows, comedy shows, costume parties, live music, paint parties…” which naturally promotes the ever-growing nightlife scene in the area. As they’re getting ready to celebrate their “three year anniversary this coming New Year’s Eve,” Benguerel says, “We are looking at our events calendars starting next year to see what events we might carry over and if there are any new events we wanna bring in like arcade tournaments….” (and if that happens, we are so here for it).
Picture non-boring hangs with all the nostalgic feels playing retro games, drinking through their “good selection of signature cocktails.” Nothing quite beats that set-up, especially with your fave hype (or chill) crew. There’s always a reason to come in as “Melanie is always coming up with different drinks each week using fresh produce,” says Benguerel. As far as the changes go, what he enjoys “the most about the new concept is that [they] have this mixture of a completely unique ambiance, great pizza and awesome craft cocktails.” He tells us that “the two most popular [are] the ‘Stop and Frisk’ and the ‘Barely Legal,’ so go give those a try if you haven’t treated yourself to them yet.
Since all of this is legit not fake news or even too good to be true, this is your cue to accept the open invitation to make face at the newly remodeled downtown destination we’re so stoked about. We’ve made it easy for you with all this cool info. Actually, they have (with all the fun additions), so no need to deliberate, just grab some friends and celebrate all the fun changes. Really, now the only thing missing at the Deliberation Room, well, is y-o-u!
(More “deets” about DR, take notes)
“Deliberation Room in Downtown Stockton has undergone big changes while maintaining its unique environment and decor. They have installed an adult arcade, pool table, air hockey table, dart board and jukebox. The arcades have ALL of the classic games that you grew up playing…Pacman, Centipede, NBA Jams, Mortal Combat, Street Fighter and many more. Also new to Deliberation Room is a full menu of fresh, hand made pizzas that will soon be available through Grubhub and DoorDash. As always they also have great craft cocktails, craft beer and over 50 different whiskeys! The Deliberation Room is open for happy hour and dinner each Tuesday through Friday and each Friday and Saturday ’till 2am. The new additions make it a perfect spot to host your next business event or to go out with coworkers for happy hour. You will be the hero when your coworkers are introduced to the new Deliberation Room and find out that it was your idea to bring them!”
Downtown Fast Q&A:
- What’s your go-to Downtown coffee spot?
“I don’t drink coffee but if I did it would obviously be my neighbors…Trail Coffee!”
2. What Downtown winter event are you most excited about?
“The boat parade. Its a pretty awesome experience down there at the waterfront!”
3. What is Downtown’s Spirit Animal?
“It’s gotta be the racoon….totally shocked the 1st time I saw a racoon run through the city streets!”
4. Describe Downtown in one word.
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