Plus, new furniture stores brings IRL vintage and design shopping to San Anselmo and San Francisco’s Marina District, among other happenings around the bay.
Featured: Ounces Outdoors
Noting that Marinites prefer to eat and drink outside, a new beer garden from co-owners Jojo Lawrence and Waz Hewerdine opened at San Rafael’s Northgate Mall in mid-May. “Bring your bocce balls (or use ours) and enjoy a pint while sitting at one of our hand-built picnic tables,” says Waz, who designed and built the space with Hewerdine. Small-batch and local brews from the likes of San Rafael’s Pond Farm Brewing, Petaluma’s Goat Rock Cider and Santa Rosa’s Fogbelt are on hand. The Ozzie and Brit owners want Americans to get comfortable with savory pies – they’ve got a chile Verde pork version and another filled with steak and mushrooms napped in Guinness gravy. Or, try a warm pretzel with mustard or a caramelized onion-grilled cheese sandwich. All can be enjoyed with your pooch next to one of the firepits or at the picnic tables. 5800 Northgate Dr, San Rafael; 877.747.0383; ouncesoutdoors.com
Eat & Drink
Owners Alex and Henry Hautau grew up less than a mile from their new restaurant in San Marin Plaza and close to countless Marin trails. The brothers, who still reside in town, opened what they call “a third wave coffee shop meets craft beer experience” in May. Order chef Jeff Amber’s shareable snacks, salads, sandwiches and bun fun (savory hot dogs) at the counter before grabbing a seat on the all-day café’s shaded patio. The baked goat cheese is a standout and pairs with the 10 local beers and two wines available on tap or from the craft can program. 127 San Marin Drive, Novato; 415.493.6902; trailheadnovato.com
After 18 years at the Hotel Diva in Union Square, the restaurant known for its focus on the cuisine of Central Mexico closed in 2020. Chef Edgar Castro returned to helm the kitchen when it reopened in April at its new home at The Officer’s Club Building in the Presidio. That means the Huevos Benedictinos Estilo Michoacan are back at brunch and quesabirria is back at dinner, along with all the tequila, cachaça and mezcal cocktails. 50 Moraga Ave, San Francisco; 415.678.5170; colibrimexicanbistro.com
Named for an antique shop owner Katie Conway Monkhouse (Katie Monkhouse Interiors) lived next to in England, Westpark Home is located in a space that once housed Monkhouse’s design studio. “We focus on custom furniture designed by our studio and made in Marin by Michael Finizio,” Monkhouse says. The studio also remakes vintage furniture with designer fabrics and other one-of-a-kind pieces. 356 San Anselmo Avenue San Anselmo; 415.295.7294; shopwestparkhome.com
After a grand opening in June, this L.A.-based furniture, design house and lifestyle brand landed in San Francisco’s Marina District, bringing a mix of customizable retro and modern designs in 200 silhouettes and 75 fabric options and a brick-and-mortar furniture shopping experience to the fore. 2000 Chestnut St, San Francisco; 415.960.6750; joybird.com
444 Miller Ave, Mill Valley; 415.888.2757
More from Marin:
- Marin’s Cities & Towns: Mill Valley
- 5 Best Places to Get Barbecue in Marin — With a Global Flair
- Stewards of a Historical Gem: How the Sweetwater Music Hall Was Re-invented as a Nonprofit to Preserve a Legendary Venue
Christina 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 Publishing, Sunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her childrens’ schools, and supports the Marin Audubon Society, PEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.