Since June 2016, the owners, managers and employees of Miller Ave.-area businesses have displayed a number of attributes in spades: Patience. Creativity. Brilliance. Resilience. (Did we mention patience?).
The 18-month Miller Avenue Streetscape construction project promises a more vibrant, sustainable, community-oriented street that will be safer for everyone. In the meantime, the people that make the Miller Ave. community thrive have worked extremely hard to persist. Through our MillerUP campaign, we’ve asked you in a variety of ways to support those businesses. To those of you who have done just that, thank you!
We thought it would be fun to connect faces – and cinematic, culinary and musical tastes and more – to the names behind some of your
favorite restaurants, shops and businesses in the Miller area.
It’s only a partial list – we urge you to support any and every Miller Ave. business you can. Below is a list of a few folks who are keeping MillerUP, and their answers to 5 Questions:
1. What’s your guiltiest food pleasure?
2. What’s your secret talent?
3. Favorite band and/or film?
4. What the first thing you’ll do when you’re president?
5. What’s your favorite place (of any kind) to go in Mill Valley?
Kendal Savelli, Co-Owner, Malugani Tire, 493 Miller Ave.
Dan and Stella Malugani opened their tire shop behind the 2am Club in 1948. Nearly 70 years later, their granddaughter Kendal Savelli, her husband John and her siblings continue to thrive.
1. Special Ravioli at La Ginestra!
2. Don’t have one – will work on it.
3. Steve Miller Band.
4. Rescind recent executive orders.
5. Hiking anywhere on Mt. Tam. The Matt Davis trail is so green right now!
Lisa Palter, Owner, Law Office of Lisa Palter, 254 Miller
Specializing in U.S. immigration solutions for foreign artists, entertainers, athletes and coaches, it’s safe to say that Palter has been busy of late.
1. Chocolate cake!
2. Teaching / educating.
3. “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
4. Boost environmental protection and arts funding. 5. Anywhere on Mt. Tam where there’s a view.
Clarke Pomeroy, Manager - Whole Foods Market, 414 Miller
1. Nachos, with a ton of stuff on them!
2. I’m a guitarist and singer.
3. Hard to just choose one! The Beatles. Currently listening to Johnny Marr and Ramsey Lewis. Film: “The Shining.”
4. Bring people together to acknowledge that differences are strengths in any group. Diversity is what makes life interesting. Compassion is the highest virtue. We can thrive without fear.
5. I love Old Mill Park; I have great memories of family picnics/BBQs. It was one of my mom’s favorite spots.
Rover Benecke, Owner, Tea Fountain, 363 Miller Ave.
While there’s no doubt that the 94941 hearts coffee, Rover Benecke knows there’s plenty of love for tea here too. Benecke says the shifting demographics of tea drinkers over the years and better education about the benefits of tea have put him in a unique position.
2. Captain Beefheart.
3. Better schools.
5. The parks.
Nadine Curtis, Owner, 7 on Locust, 7 Locust Ave.
One of the founders of the Mill Valley Design District, a collective of innovative, design-focused businesses on and off Miller Avenue, it’s no coincidence that some of Mill Valley’s best brands have gotten their jumpstart at Curtis’ boho-chic shop over the years.
2. Pack for an overseas trip all in a carry on roller. 3. The Rolling Stones.
4. Tear down the wall.
5. Lovell Street.
Jesus Garcia, Manager, Super Duper Burger, 430 Miller
Remember a few years ago when it seemed like a new casual burger place was popping up in town every few months? Super Duper has stood the test of time – look no further than the lively, family-friendly scene on most evenings at the Miller Ave. hub.
2. Building and fixing stuff.
3. Carlos Santana.
4. Not sure.
5. The Dipsea steps.
Megan Acio, Co-Owner, WIGT Printing, 324 Miller Ave.
Acio and Hendrik Idzerda took over WIGT from Barry Taranto and Eva Shoshany three years ago, and they’ve steered of one Mill Valley’s most beloved businesses with aplomb.
1. Cookies and chips and french bread and...
2. Print Wizardry
3. “Priceless” with Audrey Tautou.
4. Hire Michelle Obama.
5. Piazza D’Angelo.
Quoc Phan, Co-Owner, Tam Bikes, 357 Miller Ave.
Since they opened the shop in 2009, the owners of Tam Bikes owners have hung their hats on being a bike shop for the whole family, from young to old and from novice to grease monkey.
1. Fettuccine Carbonara.
3. New Order (band) and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (film).
4. Abolish the two party system.
5. I’ll give a hint: anyplace narrow and in the trees on Tam.
Janet Hall, Biz Development, Henrybuilt, 356 Miller Ave.
1. Making pizza in our Henrybuilt showroom kitchen for lunch (tip: a great time to schedule client meetings in our studio).
2. Finding amazing secret food ingredients that create a “wow” that I take all the credit for!
3. Soft spot for food-centric films: “Babette’s Feast” and “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” top the list.
4. Preserve, fund, and expand National Parks.
5. Walking the hidden trails tucked in and about town.
Cece Bechelli, Director, Happy Feet Dance School, 15 Montford
2. Secret? Well it’s not really a secret, but besides teaching dance, I teach a humanities course called Values in American Life, at SFSU!
3. Film: The 1943 movie “Stormy Weather” feat. Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and the Nicholas Brothers!
4. We already have a National Tap Dance Day, it’s May 25, the birthday of “Bojangles” Robinson.
5. I love walking the Stolte Grove loop with my family! (Jocelyn Knight Photo).
Randy Green, Owner, Ultimate Fitness, 457 Miller Ave.
The new owner of one the innovative fitness hub has been looking to spread the word about the merits of slow motion strength training
1. I’m a vegetarian and eat natural/organic products but my guilty pleasure is Pringles.
2. I make great ice cream.
3. Pearl Jam & “The Shawshank Redemption.”
4. Resign. That’s a job I don’t want as I would would forever forgo my anonymity.
5. Take the Dipsea Steps to my friend’s place on Edgewood.
Keri Kellerman, Managing Dir., Marin Theatre Co., 397 Miller Ave.
Moving over from Minneapolis’ Playwrights’ Center in January, Kellerman teams with Artistic Director Jasson Minadakis to run one of the Bay Area’s most renowned theaters.
1. In-N-Out burger, animal style.
2. I’ve got a mean 3-point shot.
3. Velvet Underground, always and forever.
4. Invest in funding for the arts and humanities and STEAM.
5. Into the woods for a good long run.
Sharon Gallagher-Rivera, Internal Fire Pilates, 457 Miller
A pilates instructor for nearly 18 years, Gallagher-
Rivera opened her studio inside Ultimate Fitness in 2013, just two months after her husband was deployed to Afghanistan and just four months before she gave birth to their son. She’s built a fervent community ever since.
1. Red wine and good chocolate.
2. I can fly in my dreams.
4. Undo everything Trump.
5. Roco is one my happy places.
Karen Olson, Co-Owner, Juice Girl, 45 Camino Alto
Three years after it opened, Juice Girl is far more than a local eatery – it’s “a community gathering spot for kids and parents to enjoy healthy food together – sort of a healthy Cheers,” Olson says.
2. I’m a skilled multi-tasker!
3.“Love Actually.” I love the old Hugh Grant movies. 4. Open our border to Mexico.
5. I love to go for runs in Blithedale Canyon or hike to the pancake breakfasts at West Point Inn with my family.
Gayle Nicoletti, Owner, Bloomingayles, 129 B Miller Ave.
In the nearly four years since it opened in a converted shipping cointainer at the Mill Valley Lumber Yard, Nicoletti’s shop has exuded the creativity, passion and charm of its creator.
1. Champagne & Oysters Rockefeller.
2. I paint with flowers.
3. “Out of Africa.”
4. Pass legislation to protect our planet.
5. I love hiking up to West Point Inn on Mt. Tam.
Gabriel Leis, Owner, Joe’s Taco Lounge – 382 Miller Ave.
Leis has been deftly running this MV institution since 2003.
1. Strawberry balsamic & sugar cookie ice cream sandwiches from Bi-Rite.
2. Expert dandelion kicker.
3. No such thing as favorites in art.
4. Eliminate standard time. Daylight savings year round!
5. Old Mill Park. It reminds me of childhood.
Michelle Bevilacqua, Owner, Revelation, 401F Miller
Bevilacqua’s shop at the La Goma Street end of Egger Plaza is steeped in style, from intriguing furniture and objects to a curated assemblage of industrial metals, velvets, and glass.
3. “The Artist.”
4. Change the constitution so it says all “people” are created equal.
5. The forest.
Gary Scheuenstuhl, Owner, MV Music, 320 Miller Ave.
1. Burgers and fries.
2. I am a pretty fair drummer and percussionist.
3. Bands: Pink Floyd, Yes, King Crimson. Films: “The Godfather” or “Harold and Maude.”
4. Get special interests out of government & make it so that politicians help real people – probably unrealistic!
5. I like to see (and play) music at Sweetwater & Throckmorton.
Dr. Seth Labott, Owner, Cafe of Life Marin, 465 Miller Ave.
Labott is passionate about releasing “the infinite wisdom of the body to heal in all who desire it.”
1. Blue Corn Tortilla Chips by the bag .....saltier the better.
2. I am ridiculously flexible. Yoga helps but genetically freakish.
4. Change health care to actually focus on health instead of symptom sickness and disease.
5. Mt Tam.
Barbara Chambers, Owner, Chambers + Chambers Architects, 420 Miller Ave.
1. Dandelion Chocolate – cocoa beans & sugar homemade each bar by hand in SF (a little every day!!!).
2. Gardening – whenever I have time.
3. Any film with Woody Allen.
4. Simplify the tax code – then I can do my taxes all my myself!
5. The Depot to sip coffee and watch people – and the library to fetch my favorite new book.
Brian Kim, Owner, Samurai Sushi, 425 Miller Ave.
Kim took over Mill Valley’s first-ever sushi restaurant, one that had a devoted following for more than three decades, in 2012. He renovated and modernized its infrastucture – and has been thriving ever since.
1. Garlic cheese fries with a vanilla milkshake.
3. “Godfather” 1&2.
4. Put a rush on that Miller project.
5. Downtown square.
Sol Hernandez, Owner, Sol Food – 401 Miller Ave.
Though a bit camera-shy, the creator of Marin’s
Puerto Rican culinary juggernaut has had lines down the block since opening her second location in Egger Plaza off Miller in 2013.
1. Tostones con queso.
2. Aerial acrobats.
3. Hector Lavoe & “The Piano.”
4. Take a bath.
5. Throckmorton Theatre.
Jeffrey Levin & Bonnie Powers, Co-Owners, Poet and/the Bench, 10 Locust Ave.
This couple’s lifestyle store, jewelry atelier and art
gallery oozes creative energy, walking visitors through the life that they’ve created together, a celebration of craftsmanship, creativity and a love for the arts.
Jeffrey: 1. Adult grilled cheese with quince jam dipped into homemade tomato bisque.
2. I can make my nose twitch like a rabbit.
3. Underworld (band).
4. Free undergraduate college tuition.
5. Old Mill Park.
Bonnie: 1. Molten chocolate cake with vanilla custard sauce.
2. My accent changes when speaking to others with an accent.
3. “Toto the Hero”
4. Reinstate Planned Parenthood funding.
5. Old Mill Park.