The Lodge brings the number of beer-and-bike focused eateries in Fairfax to three. If there was any question that Fairfax is the birthplace of mountain biking, the trio of bike friendly establishments, along with the Marin Museum of Bicycling should put any lingering doubts to rest.
A couple of things set the Lodge apart from the others—most importantly, the space. As a San Anselmo resident for the last 18 years, I knew the iconic red-and-white trimmed building as the Beauty Bar where my son regularly received his annual haircut. Come to find out—the one-time hair salon has a storied past and a claim as the first saloon in Fairfax. Built in 1908, the clapboard building was originally home to Old Timer’s Saloon (there are still hitching posts outside the front door that are now used for bikes—and instead of a rope to hitch a horse, locks are loaned to customers to secure their mounts).
The place opened April 10 and it took almost two years for Brian Bruckner, the longtime owner of San Francisco–based Big Swingin’ Cycles to restore, update and bring the historic building up to code and make it food-service friendly. The space has been entirely transformed; in place of hair-cutting stations are sleek beige hightop wood tables, gunmetal-grey metal chairs, built-in benches and freshly painted walls with photographs of mountain bikers on Marin trails.
Food is offered from morning to night, but the Lodge is more bar than restaurant. Well-picked craft-style lagers and IPAs make for good post-ride thirst quenchers. Six to eight rotating beers are on tap, two flat-screen TVs hang on the walls and tater tots are on the menu.
Food options are carefully selected. A bright Mediterranean salad with crunchy pita bits, kalamata olives and a tangy lemony dressing is a highlight. A handful of sandwiches include banh mi, and there are several breakfast options and a couple of salads to round out the limited menu. Plans are afoot to utilize the outdoor space, expand the menu and add an espresso machine.
The mountain-bike community has embraced the Lodge and, judging from the early crowds, appear pleased to see this one-time watering hole resurrected as yet another place to celebrate Marin’s beloved sport.
1573 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. 94930 415.991.5625. Open Tuesday–Sunday