Bistro and wine bar adds brunch in Bolinas

08/17/2017

After two years of renovations, fund-raising and sourcing suppliers, sisters Rebecca and Kate Sterlin quietly opened their new wine bar and bistro “Eleven” this June in Bolinas. With pizza, oysters, salads featuring local ingredients and an extensive wine list, the restaurant is now open for dinner Thursday through Saturday and for a weekly brunch on Sunday. “We wanted to introduce the restaurant slowly, because we foremost want it to be a spot that is accessible to community members,” Rebecca, who brings a background in graphic design and catering, said. “We designed it based on what we would want in a restaurant where we would want to go with our own kids.” The sisters first hatched the plan a few years ago, after deciding they needed to pool their creative endeavors. Kate, a photographer and interior designer, relocated to Stinson Beach from New York to launch plans with her sister, who has lived on and off in West Marin for 20-some years. “This has been a group effort, a community effort really,” Kate said, describing the help they had both from within their family—their brother, Matt Sterlin, lives locally and rebuilt the interior—and from farmers, craftsmen, business owners and others in the area. Though they have a few larger investors, including California wine company Deux Punx, “at our one crowdfunding event to raise funds, everyone who donated was our friends,” Rebecca said. Located at 11 Wharf Road—Eleven’s namesake—the restaurant is the site of an 1890s farmhouse once home to institutional Bolinas businesses such as Wild Rose restaurant and the Blue Heron Inn. The sisters lease the building, and rent rooms above the restaurant on Airbnb. Still, “we also want to give back,” Rebecca said. “It’s very sad that Bolinas is returning to what it used to be—a bedroom community for the rich. People are moving in with money and taking this place away from families. Our vision is to keep a big, 14-inch pizza pie at $15, and eventually even start doing a free meal once a week.” Their vision for uses of the farmhouse include renting it out for private events, hosting artist residencies and bringing in pop-up chefs. They also plan to launch a happy hour and, come September, a wine club.