The History of El Paseo
In 2009, two Mill Valley, California residents were introduced and struck up a friendship over a shared love of food. Dinners at each other's homes were a natural progression and it was during one such event that a partnership was formed based on a plan to create a new echelon dining experience in their neighborhood. Two years later, with the opening of El Paseo, Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Sammy Hagar and famed chef Tyler Florence realized their vision of a welcoming, fine dining restaurant that heightened the concept of a traditional chop house through an emphasis on fresh, local and sustainable ingredients.
Their decision to restore El Paseo, a historical centerpiece dating back to 1948, would prove to be the most challenging. For two years their team oversaw the restaurant's arduous restoration, ensuring their updated design maintained the integrity and feel of its original structure, including the famed Costigan Room, a private dining room set within the wine room that was named after Gus Costigan, the original architect who sketched out the plans for El Paseo by candlelight while serving in WWII. They made sure Cotigan's original "artist compound" feel remained intact - from the tiled roof, rough-hewn timbers, outside stairways, balconies and fountains to the reclaimed wood beam ceilings from the old Marin railroad.
While restoration efforts were being completed, Florence turned his focus on creating the cuisine; and Hagar on the wine and music playlist. By 2011, they’d opened the doors on a new Mill Valley centerpiece that The San Francisco Chronicle named as one of the Top 10 New Restaurants of the Year by a coveted three stars from The Chronicle’s esteemed food critic Michael Bauer and inclusion in his illustrious list of the Bay Area's Top 100 Restaurants.