It’s a new day for Historic Highway 1 stop the William Tell House: Restaurateur Ted Wilson (The Hall, Fine & Rare) has taken over the Tomales bar and restaurant (26955 Highway 1), whose sign declares it the county’s oldest saloon (est. 1877). Wilson is aiming high, bringing in chef Austin Perkins (Nick’s Cove; Cyrus) and adding drinks from consulting beverage director Ethan Terry (Alembic; 15 Romolo). But he still hopes to keep the place a local favorite for its simplicity and history.
“The history is what brought us up there,” says Wilson. “It’s just this massively charming old mahogany bar you wanna sit and, and just have a simple, good cocktail, with a good burger, that’s it.”
Next week, Wilson and co. will reopen the bar (it’s been closed) with a limited “pop-up” menu (below). The biggest change so far is a fast-casual service format: Customers can order bites like oysters, chowder, and Dungeness crab deviled eggs at a big new oak slab counter.
Chef Austin Perkins says he wants to “localize” the food menu: “It’s in a tiny town surrounded by quality farms and ingredients, and [The William Tell] hasn’t always taken advantage of that.”
Perkins’ fuller menu, with options like a Stemple Creek Burger, is on the way — but first, some renovations to the building will be necessary. In November, Wilson will close the William Tell House to make those changes, returning in full force this spring.