A new eatery will open later this month at the corner of Levee Road and Highway 1: The Point Reyes Roadhouse. It’s a project of Marisol Salgado, who grew up on the Point Reyes peninsula and has co-owned the Whale of a Deli for the past 19 years. Ms. Salgado is developing a California-style menu with a splash of Mexican plates to honor her heritage. She has already made her mark on the building: a fire-engine red paint job.
“Can you not see it now from a mile away? Plus, red is my favorite color,” Ms. Salgado said. “When you see red, all of a sudden you are happy.”
Ms. Salgado, who lives in Petaluma with her two children, grew up on the B Ranch with a family hailing from the State of Mexico. Her roadhouse will feature ranchers, fishermen and growers within a 30-mile radius on a seasonal menu. For now she will serve breakfast and lunch, but she plans to expand to dinner down the line.
The spot at the southern entry into Point Reyes Station has been a restaurant for the better part of a century, remembered for a long run as Chez Madeleine, a French café that operated there in the ’70s and ‘80s. For the past 16 years, it has served as Marin Sun Farms’ butcher shop and eatery. Ms. Salgado took over the lease on Feb. 1.
She anticipates opening her doors before the end of the month, at first for to-go service and then expanding to outdoor dining.
Customers can expect pancakes—thick ones topped with cream, fruit and nuts—bacon and eggs on the breakfast menu. Her benedict divorciados will riff off huevos divorciados, a Mexican dish that typically has one egg with green salsa and one egg with red salsa alongside beans, rice, cheese and steak. Lunch will include burgers, clam chowder, fish and chips and salads. She might also serve enchiladas stuffed with local crab.
Ms. Salgado will continue co-owning and operating the deli with her ex-husband, but the new restaurant is her own enterprise. “It’s an adventure and I’m ready,” she said. “I’m scared, yes, but I am also so excited. It’s an opportunity to try something new.”
As a teenager, Ms. Salgado worked for the Station House Café. “It was so many years ago that she came to us as a really young person who was so bright and so quick to learn and so energetic—I am completely unsurprised she has found such a great success,” owner Sheryl Cahill said.
Asked about the challenge of opening during the pandemic, Ms. Salgado said she sees it as an opportunity. On the one hand, there is a little pressure with less expected clientele, but on the other hand, business in Point Reyes is not slow these days.
“We have one restaurant down in Point Reyes, and I think we can barely keep up with demand,” she said. “People are still coming to the parks and to the beaches during Covid, and when they are done visiting, they are hungry. Who wouldn’t want to stop at a roadhouse?”