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Peek Inside the Refreshed Nick’s Cove Restaurant and Cottages

The popular Marshall restaurant and cottages have been carefully updated to maintain their charm. It's yet another reason to get a coastal trip on the calendar.

Local seaside destination Nick’s Cove has received a face-lift but it’s so subtle you barely notice it. And that’s a good thing.

As you pull off Highway 1 in West Marin, the Marshall restaurant and cottages look the same: still charming and with stunning views of Tomales Bay. But on the inside, the nostalgia-laden property is sporting a new, updated look just in time for high season on the Northern California coast.

Nick’s Cove has long been a popular destination for locals and visitors looking for a coastal escape. The original owners, Nick Kojich and his family, built the waterfront cottages and restaurant in the early 1930s and sold shrimp and crab cocktails to hungry tourists. When prohibition ended in 1933, Nick (a rumored bootlegger) added alcohol to the menu.

Over the years, Nick’s Cove changed ownership several times and eventually shuttered. The recent revamp is the first major change made to the property since it reopened in 2007.

All 12 cottages at Nick’s Cove in Marshall have been revamped and refreshed. Jerry’s cottage pictured here. (Courtesy of Kristen Loken)

“Each cottage has maintained its unique charm and history,” says Wade Nakamine, General Manager at Nick’s Cove. “You can expect a brighter, refreshed color palette which compliments our beautiful coastal surroundings.”

Along with freshly painted walls and new furnishings, overnight guests will find custom throw rugs, colorful patterned throw pillows, new bedding and towels, refinished hardwood floors, wood burning fireplaces and cheerful nautical wallpaper in the cottages. In several of the cottages, views of Tomales Bay can be enjoyed from the comfort of a bed topped with a fluffy down comforter. Luxurious bathrooms come with oversized soaking tubs, heated ceramic tile floors and wallpaper decorated with sharks and ships.

Cheerful wallpaper in one of the cottages at Nick’s Cove in West Marin. (Courtesy of Nick’s Cove)

The restaurant at Nick’s Cove has also been updated. The taxidermy that previously graced the restaurant’s walls is gone (some local regulars were happy to give it a new home) and new tables and chairs are in the works.

The restaurant pivoted to counter service during the pandemic and added more tables to the deck and the pier to provide ample outdoor seating. This shift has helped decrease the amount of time guests need to wait for a table at the popular restaurant. After ordering at a window, guests are given a pager or buzzer and when their food is ready, they can pick it up at a counter located opposite the bar.

“This fast casual style is welcoming to all guests, whether celebrating a birthday or anniversary, or coming in with sandy toes straight from a kayak or the beach,” says Nakamine.

Dining on the pier at Nick’s Cove in Marshall. (Courtesy of Kristen Loken)

One thing that hasn’t changed at Nick’s Cove is the menu. Executive Chef Kua Speer continues to craft longtime favorites like the Tomales Bay BBQ’D Oysters, Dungeness Mac & Cheese, and cioppino. The onsite garden, The Croft, provides greens, herbs and vegetables to the restaurant, and offers more stunning views of the bay.

Whether you are staying the night or simply stopping by for a meal, save room for S’mores. Handmade marshmallows and golden grahams are paired with gourmet chocolate and, for every S’mores kit sold, Nick’s Cove donates $5 to local nonprofit, Mentor Me Petaluma.

Rates for waterfront cottages start at $495; water view cottages at $415. There is no resort fee. Wi-Fi is reliable, but cell service is spotty at best. Select cottages are dog-friendly. 23240 Highway One, Marshall, 415-663-1033, nickscove.com.

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