Italian restaurant La Gastronomia to replace 123 Bolinas vacancy in Fairfax


Isabella Nash

123 Bolinas Restaurant remains empty before the new restaurant La Gastronomia opens.

In January 2020, wine bar and organic restaurant 123 Bolinas closed after nine years of serving the Marin County community. Now, Italian restaurant La Gastronomia is set to take its place in early 2022. La Gastronomia strives to become an Italian restaurant where people can bring home fresh, locally sourced, Tuscan food to enjoy with friends and family.

123 Bolinas opened in 2010 as a modest wine bar, but over time developed a full-time kitchen. Opened by James Gregory, Jacquelyn Mahaney, Jeff Mahaney, and Dominic Phillips, 123 Bolinas aimed to promote “living well through eating.”

That was until 123 Bolinas posted on Facebook on Dec. 17, 2019, saying, “It comes with heavy hearts that we must say goodbye to 123 Bolinas. We thank you for the past 9 years of community and memories. Fairfax has been our home and has meant the world to us. We have decided to move on to our next chapter but please stay in touch for our future endeavors.” 

123 Bolinas went on to say they would continue to book parties until Jan. 18, 2020. Since then, however, the restaurant has remained empty.

“We closed end of January 2020 because our lease was ending and the landlord raised our rent. Sort of a blessing in disguise,” said Brittney Adamo, previous chef partner at 123 Bolinas.

Before 123 Bolinas, health food store Good Earth owned the space as their first location. It opened in 1969, before moving to its current Fairfax location  in 2000. 

In 2021, Elena Fabbri and husband Gustavo Mutul planned to open an Italian restaurant, La Gastronomia. Based on Tuscan cuisine, La Gastronomia, meaning “deli”, will be a place where people can receive pre-made food sourced with fresh, local ingredients.

“I’ve been a chef and managing restaurants pretty much all my life…My hope is that people can stop on the way home from work and just grab pasta, sauces, deserts, pizza, sandwiches, and more,” Fabbri said.

Fabbri found Fairfax to have the right atmosphere for her restaurant.

“I was looking for a place to open a restaurant and I think in Fairfax, there aren’t too many restaurants and they don’t have anything like this,” Fabbri said.

The owner of Sorella Caffe, Sonia Kang, felt perplexed about why Fabbri wanted to open another Italian restaurant in Fairfax.

Public notice of application to sell alcoholic beverages stands above old 123 Bolinas writing. (Isabella Nash)

“I think it’s a little strange because we’re providing the same kind of food… The Italian place down the street, Fradelizio’s, [does] different things,” Kang said.

One AWHS student shared her concerns about La Gastronomia opening.

“It’s right next to Sorella’s… I’ve gone to Sorella’s since I was a kid and I don’t want [La Gastronomia] to take business from them,” said AWHS sophomore Katie Griffiths.

Longtime Fairfax resident, Mark Mohtashem, has a different perspective on the entrance of La Gastronomia, considering the money and people it could bring to Fairfax.

“There are plenty of restaurants in Fairfax that draw in a lot of people on the weekends and crowd our streets…but it’s nice to have a new restaurant to bring money into Fairfax,” Mohtashem said.

La Gastronomia will open in  the beginning of 2022, taking the place of wine bar and restaurant 123 Bolinas. While some are still unsure about the introduction of this new restaurant, its owners hope it will become a staple in the town of Fairfax.