.Savoring Sausalito with Restaurateur Larry Mindel

Larry Mindel is a restaurant legend, having created multiple iconic Bay Area restaurants including MacArthur Park, Ciao, Prego, Guaymas and of course Il Fornaio. His main focus these days is on Poggio and Copita, both in Sausalito, Convivo in Santa Barbara and a soon-to-be-opened Copita in San Jose.

What do you do? I’m a restaurateur, mostly because I love people. I knew I wanted to be around those that aspired to have fun and enjoy the atmosphere, community and energy inculcated by restaurants.

Where do you live? Sausalito! I am less than 15 minutes away from every person in my family… all 22 of them! It is the greatest gift of my life. Also, from our house, we can walk to two of our family restaurants: Poggio and Copita.

How long have you lived in Marin? Fifty years. All in Sausalito!

Where can we find you when you’re not at work? I’ve spent most of my free time over the years fishing, whether in Montana or off the coast of Mexico on our boat, Mindy.

If you had to convince someone how awesome Marin was, where would you take them? I would meet them at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, and take the ferry to Sausalito, passing Alcatraz, pointing out sites including the Golden Gate Bridge and Raccoon Straits. Then, walk along the waterfront in Sausalito. If it’s morning, stop and get a freshly baked pastry and coffee at Angelino. After exploring downtown Sausalito and all its shops, have a Tony Negroni and a great Italian dinner at Poggio.

What’s one thing Marin is missing? A proper port in Sausalito that allows boaters the opportunity to dock and spend a day or two enjoying the gifts offered by Marin County.

What’s one bit of advice you’d share with your fellow Marinites? Count your blessings. I often remark how fortunate we are to live in “God’s Country.”

If you could invite anyone to a special dinner, who would they be? Andrea Bocelli and Jimmy Buffett.

What is some advice you wish you knew 20 years ago? Believe in yourself, your mind, your heart and your values.

What is something that in 20 years from now will seem cringeworthy? That I am still here!

Big question. What is one thing you’d do to change the world? Make sure everyone is taught the incredible importance of empathy. It should be incorporated into everything we do, always.

Keep up with Mindel at two of his favorites @poggiotrattoria and @copitasausalito.

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. Terrific article about the culinary Soul of Marin & Beyond!

    Jerry & Laurel

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