Despite Covid restrictions, new businesses are still opening, and it’s a better time than ever to support local. Here are some openings, happenings and updates to check out (safely) around Marin County this March.
Covid-19 restrictions remain in place. Please support these brave local businesses; check with the sites below to see how each is adapting their business to thrive during the pandemic.
EAT & DRINK
Named for owner Steve Franchetti’s father, who went to high school in San Rafael in the 1940s, a new market, deli and cafe featuring all things Italian opened in early 2021 just off the downtown strip. Italian style sandwiches, salads and entrees — Il Padrino (aka The Godfather), Mamma’s Meatballs — and a range of imported Italian packaged goods, wines and coffee/espresso are available. 1304 Second Street, San Rafael
Co-owner and chef Timothy Maharjan and co-owner and manager Atit Subba got their start at San Francisco’s St. Regis Hotel, but chose San Rafael’s Montecito Plaza to open their modern Indian restaurant — in part for its proximity to Maharjan’s wife’s shop, Eyebrow Threading Salon. A tandoor oven turns out naan, roti and other breads while Chicken Tikka Masala and Masala Chai Tea are already local favorites. 227 Third Street, San Rafael
If the lines at the February pop-up are any indication, the crowds clamoring for the Japanese curry at the first American location of the famous Tokyo curry house in San Francisco’s Marina neighborhood will continue. The limited initial menu included Katsu Curry, SF Original Chicken Tenders Curry, and SF Original Karaage Curry, all served over white rice. 3347 Fillmore Street, San Francisco
San Anselmo residents and serial entrepreneurs Jill Portman and Gary Shinner sold Mighty Leaf years ago, creating space to bring their latest “natural pharma” venture to market. An organic coffee, a green tea and an herb and jujube-infused formula capture the benefits of mushrooms and other adaptogens, products with much-needed benefits like immunity boosting, sleep support, and energy/focus. 844.420.1154
Popular West African staples like fufu flour, jute leaves and pepper sauce are the focus of a new market in downtown San Rafael from owner Cece Koroma. Unrefined red palm oil, popular in African and Central and South American cooking, is a hot seller. 774 A Street, San Rafael
Part-time Dillon Beach resident Sarah Bird led the marketing team for Annie’s Homegrown before stepping into the CEO role at this wellness products company. The company launched a line of plant-based broths boosted with adaptogens, herbs, and spices in early 2021.
Heather Hardcastle, owner of Mill Valley and San Anselmo’s Flour Craft Bakery & Café, released her first cookbook in April, The Flour Craft Bakery & Cafe Cookbook. Fans of Hardcastle’s gluten-free lemon drizzle cake, coffee cake and cinnamon rolls can now make them at home at their leisure. 702 San Anselmo Avenue, San Anselmo; 129 Miller Ave, Mill Valley
Though their classical pilates studio in San Rafael’s West End opened in the months before Covid struck with hurricane force, owners Carolyn Coombs and Sarah Hester pushed through, pivoting to workout videos and appointment-based shopping. Their Spring Workout Challenge kicks off on April 3 with a series of short videos to get your stretch on. 1800 Fourth Street, San Rafael
How to Help
For more ways to support local businesses, go here.
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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.