.Bay Way: ‘Davey Jones’ Deli in Sausalito

When I think of Otis Redding sittin’ on the dock of the bay, I pretty much imagine David “Davey Jones” Johnson sitting right next to him. The following is my interview with Johnson.

What do you do? I started Davey Jones Deli (inside the Bait Shop in Sausalito). I cater a lot, weather permitting: paella, BBQ, soup for harvest parties… I play in an acoustic jazz band, The Hot Clams, with a nod to Django and standard American jazz. I maintain a couple of small wooden sailing dinghies.

Where do you live?

On a houseboat. Where else?

How long have you lived in Marin?

I rented my boat a year before I ever visited back in ’09; I just knew this would be my place.

Where can we find you when you’re not at work?

Between the back door of the deli, the front door of my house or out on the bay.

If you had to convince someone how awesome Marin is, where would you take them?

It’s the access to nature that makes Marin so spectacular.

What’s one thing Marin is missing?

Diversity. That said, I reckon my shop is the most diverse place in southern Marin.

What’s one bit of advice you’d share with your fellow Marinites?

Don’t leave your house until you’ve had food and water. Your blood sugar and hydration affect the way you treat people more than you know.

If you could invite anyone to a special dinner, who would they be?

I’d like to meet the ancient cooks: The first caveman to put blueberries in a black bear stew. The people that discovered lutefisk (and why!). The Egyptians who developed leavened bread and beers. Who ran the huge fireplaces inside Mont St.-Michel. The people that worked the Sultans soup guild…

What is some advice you wish you knew 20 years ago?

None, or I wouldn’t have the stories I do. Well, maybe to learn to save some money.

What is something that in 20 years from now will seem cringeworthy?

That I spend every penny I get on travel? Nah!

Big question. What is one thing you’d do to change the world?

Make sure everybody has healthy food to eat.

If he’s not working, Johnson is out traveling the world with his wife, the artist Kristine Barrett.

Nish Nadaraja was on the founding team at Yelp, serves on the San Anselmo Arts Commission and attempts to play pickleball at Fairfax’s Cañon Club.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Nice, David! I love reading what others see in you, the deli, your life, your wife, your world…….

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  2. I sailed on the Dennis Sullivan with Dave as our chef. He is an amazing chef and person!

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  3. Great article, David! Miss having fun with you and your family! Oxox

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  4. I really enjoyed hearing more about your life and interests David! You make such a difference in Marin! Thank you for your great sandwiches, salads and positive attitude!

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