Marin is resilient, pushing through pandemic related shelter-in-place orders and all manner of difficulties to keep people working and businesses running. Despite some shuttered storefronts, San Anselmo is charging ahead, working to keep the town’s character intact and its downtown bustling. Benvenuto Salon, an institution in town, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. A new “extension” of Creek Park includes a hand-washing station and plenty of well-spaced picnic tables to facilitate safe outdoor dining. To keep the momentum going, the Chamber of Commerce, via the San Anselmo Community Foundation, distributed $45,000 in $1,000 grants each, to businesses that committed to staying open. “The balance of the money raised will be used for a marketing campaign to promote our great town,” says Chamber member, Benedetto Cico. The below businesses and more are recent arrivals in town.
EAT & DRINK
Serving the community he loves was the idea that eventually became DG Cafe. But when Covid hit, owner and San Anselmo resident Clive Nisse turned the idea into reality, defying gravity (get it?) to open this sliver of a restaurant. Sandwiches are named for local landmarks (Mt. Baldy, Creek Park), salads are customizable and the picnic packages are, yes, designed for eating outside. A new takeout window makes takeout a snap.
New owner Jukreewat (Jackie) Suthon added outdoor patio space, a sleekly painted exterior and a new ordering system as part of a complete remodel of The Baan Thai restaurant. Reopened in late November, the restaurant’s menu still sports familiar plates of corn cakes, Crying Tiger salad and mango sticky rice for dessert. Newer dishes on the extensive menu include house-made fresh spring rolls and steamed dumplings.
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Though Cucina sa has been a fixture in town for many years, a new heated parklet on the adjacent bridge and heated parklet on San Anselmo Avenue provide ample opportunity to enjoy the wood-fired pizzas and handmade pastas for which the restaurant is known.
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The work of owner Kris Galmarini, Longway doesn’t just sell ethically and sustainably made women’s and men’s clothing made in California and Peru. The store is a community space featuring artists and designers who share a belief in purposeful production and human creativity. Grab a cup of coffee, eat a poke bowl and celebrate the slow in fashion, art, and life by lounging for a while in their parklet or, when Covid desists, on the wide couch at the back.
Ross native Nora Narbutas wanted to support the vibrant, family-friendly and locally-owned downtown experience that she treasured in her youth. When Covid struck, standing together with her community became even more important. It also presented an opportunity to pursue her dream of interior design. She opened Curate to celebrate women-owned designs, which, along with handmade and small-batch items, are at the heart of her store’s collection.
Opening a gift and stationery store was a business idea that The Sassy Post owners and Corte Madera residents Liz Brusseau and Colleen Day-Flynn kept coming back to. Covid gave them time and a space to make the dream a reality. Look for beautiful cards and gift wrap alongside an assortment of seasonal gift items. The duo aims to host events in the hopefully soon-to-be post-Covid world.
After closing her loft space above Black Rabbit Trading Co. on the San Anselmo/Fairfax border when Covid hit in March, owner Belinda Wickwire saw a spike in Instagram sales for her eponymously named jewelry company. Quickly recognizing the importance of a storefront location as a long-term strategy, she sought a bigger space and reopened downtown. Known for bejeweled adornments with a historical twist, Belinda Wickwire Jewelry fuses the antique with the modern for a new take on heirlooms.
How to Help
For more ways to support local businesses, go here.
For more on Marin:
- Take a Dive into Tahoe’s Most Unusual Park — Emerald Bay
- Ode to the Avocado
- Marin County’s 5 Must-See Kayaking Spots
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 child’s school, 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.