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William Tell House's 100-year-old mahogany bar. Photo: Angela DeCenzo
William Tell House's 100-year-old mahogany bar. Photo: Angela DeCenzo

William Tell House
West Marin's Oldest Saloon & Inn


Jul 1, 2019


By Melissa Crawford 

Refurbishment includes a renovated restaurant and kitchen, updates to the 100-year-old
bar and upgrades to the inn’s four guest rooms

Main dining room at William Tell House. Photo: Angela DeCenzo

July 1, 2019 (TOMALES, CA) – Ted Wilson, owner of the William Tell House, a historic saloon and inn located in the small town of Tomales in West Marin, is pleased to announce the re-opening and completion of a full refurbishment to the property, which originally dates to the late 1800s. Improvements include a completely renovated restaurant and kitchen, updates to the bar, significant upgrades to all four of the inn’s guest rooms, new exterior paint, patio furniture and landscaping, and an uplift to the façade of the building. Locally known as “The Tell,” the William Tell House was purchased by Wilson in June 2018, and he and his team have ensured the renovations reflect its storied history within Marin County and bring a fresh take to the storied California establishment.

Originally established in 1877 and rebuilt in 1921 after the Great Tomales Fire, William Tell House is generally considered the oldest saloon in Marin County. “With the rebirth of The Tell, our goal is to bring a reinvigorated experience to the town of Tomales, its community, and those passing through the area," said Wilson. "The history of this building is so rich and we want to share that with our guests – whether they’re enjoying a glass of wine on the patio or a cocktail at the bar, dining on coastal fare in the restaurant, or staying in one of our charming guest rooms.”

William Tell House Restaurant & Bar

William Tell House's 100-year-old mahogany bar. Photo: Angela DeCenzo

William Tell House (The Tell) intertwines casual and approachable décor with subtle yet modern farmhouse design elements. Upon entering William Tell House, guests are encouraged to take a seat at the 100-year-old mahogany bar that seats up to 35. Adjacent to the bar is The Tell’s restaurant where guests can order a sampling of authentic Marin coastal menu items counter-side. The main dining room offers a laid-back ambiance and features a neutral color palette of crisp whites, dark navy blues, and greys with contrasting accents of dark brass, natural wood tones, rustic table tops, and concrete floors. Swan-neck lighting fixtures harken back to the property’s earlier days while adding a sleek, modern feel to the space. Communal tables and a selection of two- and four-top tables provide ample seating for couples, larger groups, and families. On a sunny day, The Tell’s outdoor patio – complete with communal picnic tables and lounge seating for up to 60, is an ideal setting for guests and passersby to enjoy a crisp glass of white wine or a cold beer.

Seafood Chowder with applewood bacon, Bolinas rock cod, shrimp, Manila clams. Photo: Angela DeCenzoExecutive Chef and Partner Austin Perkins’ appreciation for the lush landscape of Northern California brings a thoughtful, ingredient-driven approach to the cuisine at the William Tell House. Drawing from past culinary experiences at Nick’s Cove, Perkins has captured the true essence of West Marin in his menu for The Tell – showcasing ingredients and produce sourced from local purveyors with an emphasis on seasonality and sustainability. The menu consists of a selection of family-style dishes and rotating daily specials including: McFarland Springs trout dip with cucumber and potato chips ($10); Seafood chowder with homemade applewood bacon, Bolinas rock cod, shrimp, Manila clams (cup $8, bowl $15); Local seafood tower with oysters, gulf shrimp, cured and crúdo (half AQ, full AQ);Buttermilk fried oysters and chips with coleslaw, remoulade, Kennebec fries ($18) and Mexican street corn with local honey, pasilla, lime, cotija ($6).

Overseen by Bar Consultant Ethan Terry and managed by Bar Manager Trevor Miller, the cocktail menu at The Tell features classic, refreshing cocktails created to pair with Chef Perkins’ food offerings and demonstrates an emphasis on seasonal, native ingredients. A wide selection of whiskeys, mezcals, and cordials and a rotating selection of beers and wines sourced from the Bay Area, Marin, and Sonoma are available. With The Tell being the only full bar north of the town of Marshall before reaching Valley Ford, the beverage program has been designed to please local residents and coastal travelers alike.

Assorted cocktails at William Tell House. Photo: Angela DeCenzo

Inn at William Tell House

The Inn at William Tell House comprises four guest rooms located above the bar and restaurant, including one family suite with a king bed and a twin-full-combo bunkbed, one king guest room (sleeps two), and two queen guest rooms (sleeps four).

While the 100-year-old wood floors and pin-and-groove ceilings remain, the guest rooms at The Tell are newly renovated with a comfortable, welcoming and cozy design, perfectly suited for West Marin and the California coast. All guest rooms have been designed to retain the property’s historic California charm. Original hardwood floors have been restored to their former glory while modern, farmhouse-chic design elements deliver a modern yet comfortable feel to guests. All rooms are tastefully furnished with wrought iron king or queen beds, quality cotton bedding with Trek Light throws in Native American-inspired prints, textured woven area rugs, and cognac leather seating. Artwork featuring Tomales Bay history and agricultural diagrams adorn the walls.

Family suite at William Tell House. Photo: Angela DeCenzo

All guest rooms offer quality amenities, including en suite bathrooms with hairdryers and local bath products, organic, memory foam mattresses, sound machines, a mini-refrigerator, an LED flat-screen television with Roku TV, free Wi-Fi, LSTN Bluetooth Speakers, and in-room travel guides.

 In keeping with a traditional inn experience, guests are able to check themselves in with the use of a smartlock code provided with their room confirmation. William Tell House is a dog-friendly and smoke-free property. When booking a room with a dog at William Tell House, an additional non-refundable pet fee of $35 is required. Rates start at $185 per night, excluding tax and gratuities.

About William Tell House

Located along California’s scenic Highway 1 in the small town of Tomales, the William Tell House is a newly renovated, historic saloon and inn in West Marin that serves humble, honest, California cuisine and is home to four charming guest rooms. Just north of Pt. Reyes and dating originally to the late 1800s, “The Tell” is the ideal base for outdoor enthusiasts who want to embark on new adventures whether it’s wine tasting along the Marin Coast, exploring local hiking areas, biking along Highway 1, or kayaking on Tomales Bay.

William Tell House’s restaurant and bar are open Monday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m., Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Happy hour takes place every Thursday and Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., featuring $5 well cocktails and specials on small bites, a selection of street tacos, and $1.50 oysters. Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and live local music can be enjoyed every Friday on the patio from 6 – 8:30 p.m. The William Tell House is located at 26955 CA-1, Tomales, CA.

The Inn at William Tell House please visit,

About Always Fishing Hospitality Group

Founded by food entrepreneur Ted Wilson, Always Fishing Hospitality Group comprises William Tell House, a restaurant, saloon and inn in Tomales; The Alice Collective, a cafe, bar and event space in Oakland; and Metal + Match, an Oakland-based catering company. While each property offers a unique experience and aesthetic, both William Tell House and The Alice Collective (home to Metal + Match) are extensively renovated historical buildings that celebrate their heritage and original character. All three provide simple, honest, approachable food and beverage with an emphasis on local and sustainable ingredients. The name, Always Fishing Hospitality Group, was inspired by Wilson's love of fishing, which is rooted in memories of fishing with his grandfather on the reservoirs of Missouri.



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