What’s New in Town This January, 2021

Even with Covid-19, new businesses are still opening, and it’s a better time then ever to support local. Here are some new openings, happenings and updates to check out (safely) around Marin County this January.



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A post shared by Red Whale Coffee (@redwhalecoffee)

Marin Magazine’s 2019 Best of the County winner for Best Coffee Shop, Red Whale Coffee, expanded its footprint to Mill Valley, opening an outpost in the space most recently occupied by Starbuck’s at Tam Junction. Look for the same ethically-sourced beans and a longer wall of pinball machines than at the San Rafael original.

E. & J. Gallo Winery is the force behind a new tasting room in downtown Napa, dedicated to the distilled beverage, brandy. Step inside California Brandy House to become an adventurer engaged in a quest — the meaning behind the Argonaut brand — or discover the Cognac-driven spirit and independent ethos behind Germain-Robin in guided tasting flights and single-barrel samples, among other offerings.

Opened earlier this fall, Be Bubbly brings boatloads of the bubbly beverage known as sparkling wine or Champagne to a dedicated wine lounge and bottle shop in downtown Napa. With domestic and international selections and 50% of all purchases given back to local downtown charities each month, choices are legion and offer a better reason than ever to pop a cork.



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A post shared by Gott’s Roadside (@gottsroadside)

Arriving just in time to blow up your new year resolutions, new sauces from the local burger chain Gott’s are now available for individual purchase onsite at all of their locations, including Greenbrae, or through pickup and delivery. The sauces — there are 13 including their famous Secret Sauce, Ranch and Charred Jalapeno Mayo — are made by Gott’s at their production kitchen in St. Helena.


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A post shared by Farmhouse Lab (@farmhouse_lab)

Flower Petal Salt is the latest addition to a line of insanely fresh and organic dressings from Farmhouse Lab owner and Corte Madera resident Daniela Kratz. Rose, marigold and cornflower petals are tossed with lavender buds, coarse Celtic sea salt and beet root powder and add gorgeous color and flavor to any salad or bowl. Look for them at Good Eggs and Bay Area Doorstep Market, among other locations.



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A post shared by Lifehouse, Inc (@lifehouseagency)

After a years-long Home for Life campaign to raise the funds needed to purchase and renovate, San Rafael’s Lifehouse Agency moved into its new building — ahem, home for life — in November where it can more fully meet the needs of the individuals with development disabilities it supports. The move is a return home to a building where the organization first rented space in the 1990s.


Owner Jon Ballack (who also owns Novato’s Orange Theory) and Geoff Price pivoted Strawberry Village’s Orange Theory in Mill Valley to an outdoor program earlier this year. The pair is opening a massive tent on January 2, complete with treadmills, rowers, video screens, music and those famous orange lights, all for your covered yet airy workout pleasure. 


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A post shared by Metta Yoga Studio (@mettayogamarin)

Amy Greywitt of Larkspur and Temple Schauble of San Anselmo planned to expand their all things yoga footprint with a new studio — Metta Yoga — in downtown San Rafael just as the pandemic was getting underway in March. Though they were able to kick-off with virtual classes, the true spirit of metta, or “loving kindness,” is best experienced at their studio space, which re-opened in October.

How to Help

For more ways to support local businesses, go here.

For more on Marin:

Christina MuellerChristina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract PublishingSunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her child’s school, and supports the Marin Audubon SocietyPEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.