What’s Hot: The Junction Beer Garden

The Junction

Liz and Dez Fiedler were done with food when they sold their chain of frozen yogurt swirl shops, Loving Cup, in 2018. Dez’s heart, however, pined for beer. The duo, who live within easy walking distance of their new beer garden in Mill Valley’s Tam Valley neighborhood, started this beer-focused business using micro-local connections. “We walked up to the business next door,” Liz said. The space, formerly Marin Auto Science, would soon be available. “Dave was retiring and Jack and Judy Martin [who own the adjacent business and parking lot] pulled together the parcels for us.” Contractors were secured and the build-out began.

Knowing they wanted a food component, the Fiedlers connected to Jeff Krupman of San Francisco’s PizzaHacker, on a referral from their plumber, Pete. Turns out Krupman was in the process of moving to Sausalito. Kismet. Opened during the coronavirus pandemic, the indoor space currently acts as a placeholder for future enjoying indoor pies and beer — a separate room will host live music or private parties — while all the action is currently in the enormous, bi-level backyard. Enter via the parking lot (it’s shared with The Dipsea Café), then place your order digitally via scanning a QR code taped to your table. Margarita pizza is a classic and allows immediate interpretation of Krupman’s pizza style, which he describes as Mid-Atlantic. “It’s somewhere between New York and Naples,” he says. At 14 inches, it is big enough to share or pair with an Intermezzo Salad, chock-a-block with Mariquita Farm’s rainbow carrots and organic cucumbers. (Gluten-free pies are in the works.) With 30 taps and a robust can program, Dez sources familiar beers, like the Woodfour New Ridge Lager, and experimental bottlings, like Barebottle Brewing’s Tangberry Typhoon. Grab your fleece to sip one by a fire pit after dark when the fog breeze picks up — outdoor heaters, soon to be installed, await Pete’s deft hand.

WHO Liz and Dez Fiedler run The Junction beer garden; pizza and salads from Jeff Krupman’s PizzaHacker. 

WHAT An expansive beer garden serves unique brews, pizza and salads in Mill Valley.

WHERE 226 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, thejunc.com; thepizzahacker.com

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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.