.Restaurateur Peter Schumacher of Mill Valley

There was a time when Mill Valley just felt like a quiet extension of San Francisco, at least when it came to eating and going out. I credit Peter Schumacher and his partners with changing all that.

What do you do? I’m the co-owner of Playa, Bungalow 44, Buckeye Roadhouse and the soon-to-open Corner Bar. I grew up in the restaurant business; my grandparents and my parents had restaurants back in Switzerland. I cooked in some of the best restaurants for 10 years, which adds a lot to my understanding of how to run my own establishments.

Where do you live? Mill Valley. I felt an immediate connection with Marin—my longing to live in California with a good injection of the outdoor Swiss lifestyle suited me right away.

How long have you lived in Marin? My wife and I moved from Zurich via a six-year stint in NYC in 1991.

Where can we find you when you’re not at work? On my deck, enjoying the morning sun with my wife and dogs. Then either on the tennis court, on a mountain bike ride, or at TJ’s Gym or Sausalito Crossfit. I love to ski Palisades; even coming from Switzerland, that mountain never gets old.

If you had to convince someone how awesome Marin is, where would you take them? Use an e-bike, start in Sausalito at Cavallo Point, ride along the water through Sausalito towards Tiburon for lunch at Sam’s. Then towards downtown Mill Valley, shop a little, and have drinks and a bite at Playa before catching a show at Sweetwater, or Comedy Night at 142 Throckmorton.

What’s one thing Marin is missing? A fun place that has energy past 9pm. That’s why my partners and I are opening up Corner Bar this spring. It will hopefully make downtown Mill Valley stay alive after the dinner hour.

What’s one bit of advice you’d share with your fellow Marinites? We’re all truly blessed to live here and should treat each other accordingly, which for the most part people do. Let’s try and pass it forward.

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

Wolfgang Puck, Danny Meyer, Angela Merkel, Roger Federer, Trevor Noah.

What is some advice you wish you knew 20 years ago? Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life throws you enough big curves.

What is something that in 20 years from now will seem cringeworthy? Polluting gas cars.

Big question. What is one thing you’d do to change the world? Invasions and power-hungry leaders are unacceptable to our planet. Future generations will never forgive us.

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.


  1. I, too, moved from NYC to Sausalito in 1991. I loved it. But in 1995 my rent was going up a lot. If I could have found another apt. to live in I would have stayed. I felt like it was my home as soon as I got there. I remember walking past some tourists on Bridgeway right after moving there and they stopped me and asked if I live there. I can’t tell you how happy and proud I was to say “yes, I do”. I’ve been back several times and wish things had been different enough to have kept me there. (say hello to Yoshi at Sushi Ran).

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