San Rafael welcomes a Korean restaurant, Passion Flowers reopens a retail store in Mill Valley and Silverwork Studios brings jewelery making to Northgate Mall, among other openings around Marin and the North Bay.
Featured: SAN Korean Cafe
Mill Valley resident Monica Chang runs a Korean food manufacturing business, turning out kimchi, barbecue marinade, Korean spicy sauce and ssam jang dip (a spicy fermented dipping sauce). More recently, Chang saw an opportunity to bring a broader array of Korean foods to Marin, launching a small café not far from where 580 drops into San Rafael in late November. “We specialize in Korean food,” says Chang, who wanted to share her food and culture with the community. Bibimbap, a rice dish topped sautéed vegetables and beef, and kimbap, a dish akin to sushi, are already hugely popular. The breakfast and lunch café also makes more familiar fare such as bean sprout and kimchi soup and tofu protein rice bowls, banh mi sandwiches and breakfast burritos with eggs and kimchi fried rice.
2165 Francisco Blvd E, Unit C, San Rafael; 415.306.7093.
Eat & Drink
With locations in Petaluma and San Rafael’s West End where their unsweetened chai lattes and mochi doughnuts have developed a dedicated following, the latest storefront from the San Rafael-based coffee business owned by Saandra Bowlus and Joe Carlo arrived in downtown San Rafael in late November. Saandra and Joe’s son and master roaster, Robert Carlo, works directly with farmers to find the best coffees from around the world before roasting them locally. “We saw a need for the downtown San Rafael area to be rebuilt after Covid,” the couple said in an email. “This is a community in so many ways and we will continue to build it.”
1100 4th St, San Rafael; 415.578.2558.
Affectionately named Lagunitas Disorderly House of Brewing, an innovation center next to the Petaluma brewery’s taproom opened in mid-December. Specifically designed to provide brewers with a quick-turn method of creating and fine-tuning small batch brews, the glass-walled lab allows patrons to quaff a beer while watching brews in-the-making come to life. Try the latest craft brewed non-alcoholic brew, sparkling hop water and whatever comes next at the taproom where a QR-code questionnaire is available to rate the brewers’ creations.
1280 N. McDowell Blvd, Petaluma; 707.778.8776.
After 39 years in San Francisco spent nurturing the careers of artists such as Janine Antoni, Larry Bell, Sarah Cain, Leonardo Drew and Teresita Fernández, owner Anthony Meier moved his gallery to Mill Valley, the home of business partner Lauren Ryan. Plans are in place to open on January 31 with a kick-off exhibition, “In the Shadow of Mt. Tam,” focusing on Marin County artists from the 1940s through 1970s, including William T. Wiley, Jay DeFeo, Luchita Hurtado, Barbara Solomon and Jess Collins. “The exhibition will explore the rich cultural history of this unique place and serve as an homage to our new gallery home and community in Marin County,” Meier says.
21-23 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley; 415.351.1400.
Owners, floral designers and partners Renato Gouveia and Marcelo Camillo first opened a retail flower shop in Corte Madera in 2001, that closed in 2010 when they pivoted to flowers for events. Their latest full-service shop in Mill Valley opened earlier this year and plans to offer floral design classes soon. For now, it’s custom flower arrangements for homes and businesses as well as weddings and corporate events.
1 East Blithedale, Mill Valley; 415.888.2624.
Wedged between Chipotle and Peet’s in San Rafael’s Northgate Mall, a jewelry making studio, event space and workshop from Amy Fitzgerald and Kelly Konis opened in late October. The duo, local residents and friends since high school, left the corporate world to bring the experience of making jewelry to their community. Choose from over 35 gemstones to create a ring, bracelet, pendant or pair of earrings in one of their guided workshops.
5800 Northgate Drive, Suite 150, San Rafael; 415.471.7874.
Classes in crochet, weaving, spinning and knitting are just one part of a shop dedicated to the yarn arts that recently moved to a larger space in San Rafael’s West End. Owner Amanda Madlener offers an extensive selection of yarns, needles, patterns, books, knitting bags and accessories, both locally-made and from around the world.
1707 4th St, San Rafael; 415.256.9618.
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.