Furnishings from Original Restaurant Create Familiar Ambiance and Dining Experience
The Far Western Tavern ushers in a new era with the upcoming opening of its new restaurant at 300 Clark Avenue in Old Town Orcutt starting with lunch on Monday, October 29.
“We are pleased with how the new location reflects the distinctive spirit and ambiance of the original restaurant,” said third-generation co-owner Renee Righetti-Fowler. “We all grew up together as a family at the Far Western Tavern. Many of our customers have also enjoyed special meals and celebrations at the Far Western Tavern over the decades. We wanted to honor those memories by creating a familiar sense of place and community in the new building.”
The original restaurant in Guadalupe closed permanently after the dinner service on October 7, allowing the staff to make the transition to the new location. Clarence and Rosalie Minetti, along with Rosalie’s cousins Richard and Jean Maretti, established the Far Western Tavern in 1958. The Far Western Tavern is now owned by three generations of the Minetti family.
Images of the new Far Western Tavern as well as online reservations can be accessed at the restaurant’s new web site at www.FarWesternTavern.com.
The Minetti family enlisted Halsell Builders to carefully catalogue the entire contents of the original restaurant prior to the move, and sought to incorporate as many existing elements as possible, including the signature antique mahogany bar that has long served as a community gathering place. Like the original restaurant, the new location beckons guests with a signature Far Western Tavern marquee. The interior layout is similar as well, with a welcoming bar, separate dining room and upstairs banquet room.
Other familiar furnishings in the new restaurant include Clarence Minetti’s famous cowhide curtains. Customers will also recognize the iconic mural that was hand-painted in the Guadalupe restaurant by legendary Western artist Ernie Morris. The classic longhorns that once graced the dining room entry are now displayed in the main entry. Cowhide-covered bench seats and flocked red wallpaper in the bar also honor the original décor.
Yet while much of the ambiance and décor are familiar, several new touches are designed to enhance the quality of the cuisine and dining experience, including a state-of-the-art kitchen and a modern wine cellar. Other new facets include an outdoor patio with overhead heating, as well as a picturesque upstairs tower room and a “Treetop Terrace” for parties and special events. Approximately 95 percent of the materials used in the new building were locally sourced by head contractor Berto van Veen.
Chef Rick Manson customized the kitchen equipment and layout to fit the Far Western Tavern menu, enabling him to maximize the quality of the dishes. Co-owner Toby Goodwin crafted the kitchen’s custom stainless steel barbecue pit, which will serve as the foundation for the restaurant’s Santa Maria-style fare. The multi-level wine cellar holds up to 1,200 bottles and supports the restaurant’s emphasis on locally grown wines from the Santa Maria Valley and Central Coast.
“The new restaurant will enable us to continue the Far Western Tavern tradition for many years to come in the Santa Maria Valley,” Righetti-Fowler said. “We are excited to open our doors and share it with the community.”
Welcome to the Far Western Tavern—contemporary California ranch cuisine inspired by local traditions. Owned by three generations of the Minetti family, the Far Western Tavern is recognized as a landmark of Santa Maria Style Barbecue, a renowned regional fare rooted in native ingredients and methods that were first popularized by 19th century rancheros. The menu blends this local barbecue style with other dishes that reflect our heritage in the Santa Maria Valley’s Swiss-Italian ranching community, all prepared with the fresh and colorful signature of Chef Rick Manson. For more information, visit www.farwesterntavern.com.