From tech titans and Shark Tank contestants to execs seeking to back young people with compelling business ideas, Mill Valley is steeped in entrepreneurial spirit.

Entrepreneurship is imbued in Karen Goldberg, who has created myriad local brick-and-mortar businesses over the years, including the always popular Tamalpie and her more recent creation of The Warehouse, a consignment exchange at 444 Miller Ave., (just across the street from TamalPie).

Goldberg’s creativity never ceases. This week, they opened for lunch and “we really feel that doing grab and go is really missing on the street,” she says. 

“We’ll have slices and salads, quick and accessible at reasonable prices for the first week,” she says. It will all be “free.” Our hours are going to be lunch until it’s gone, and of course you can still sit down and order a glass of wine  and have your pizza alfresco and any of our favorite, but we wanted to fill a void on the street, which is slices, healthy salads, quickly – “Tpie On the Fly.”

477 Miller Avenue!

For those not already in the know, Goldberg’s current ventures come on the heels prior successes with Rustico restaurant in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill district. A native of Pittsburgh, Pa. who has lived in Mill Valley for more than 30 years, Goldberg closed Rustico in 1996 and then bought Annabelle’s, in the space that later became Vasco on Throckmorton Ave. at Bernard Street.

She then moved on to Tamalpie, the pizzeria and community gathering space she opened at 477 Miller Ave. in January 2012, a longtime Mill Valley staple that remains as popular as ever more than a decade later.

In 2014, Goldberg began a lengthy effort to renovate the space at 41 Throckmorton Ave., where Champagne was from 2002-2013 and where the legendary deli/cafe Sonapa Farms had been from 1959 to 1995 (with a Noah’s Bagels stint from 1998 to 2000 in between). She eventually garnered approval to open Playa. , before selling Playa to Real Restaurants which owns Mill Valley landmarks Buckeye Roadhouse and Bungalow 44 as well gems like PiccoBar Bocce and Bix.

While she was knee-deep in those efforts to renovate the Champagne space and open Playa, Goldberg took over the space at 34 Miller Ave. when Beth Setrakian moved her Beth’s Community Kitchen bakery and retail shop from 34 Miller Avenue to Bolinas, where she lives. In 2015, Goldberg opened a candy shop called Bon Bon before handing it off to Honeymoon Ice Cream before it eventually became home to Urban Remedy.

We’re out of breath just writing about all this nonstop creativity and deal-making, let alone actually doing it. And we’re not done yet.

Karen Goldberg.

In 2018, Goldberg opened a second Tamalpie location at 55 Tamal Vista Boulevard in Corte Madera, the former home of Brick & Bottle restaurant, and she got the green light for an expansion of Tamalpie in Mill Valley to include a new 465-square-foot private dining room. She later turned the second Tamalpie into Moseley’s Spirits and Sports, a venture with Tiburon resident and freestyle skiing legend Jonny Moseley that drew praise from the Marin IJ for both its menu its decor.

Wanting to stick closer to home while riding insane turbulence of the COVID-19 crisis, Goldberg closed the Corte Madera restaurant, freeing up her relentless entrepreneurial spirit to open The Warehouse, particularly with Tamalpie in Mill Valley seeing continued success.

“I love furniture design and building houses – those two things have always been my passion,” Goldberg says. “When I closed Moseley’s, I said to myself, ‘well, I’ve got to do something else, and I would love it to be close to Tamalpais. Now we’re right down the street from each other.”

Goldberg has emphasized the societal and environmental value of shops like hers, as inexpensive home goods made in low-wage overseas factories have flooded the U.S. in recent decades, a “convenience” that comes at a great environmental cost. “Building and shipping a single piece of furniture (Amazon, Target, Wayfair) emits an estimated 90 kilograms of carbon, the equivalent of flying a Boeing 747 for an hour,” she says. “And Americans throw out 12 million tons of furniture annually, up from 2 million tons in 1960, which clogs our landfills and wastes the wood, metal, plastic, and energy required to create it.”

The Warehouse’s arrival at the southeastern end of the commercial corridor on Miller comes as the block is experiencing a revitalization of sorts, with Leo Vassershteyn moving his popular Iron Lion Gym there and the continued popularity of the gem-laden Diamonds in the Rough.

“We’ve gotten so many people stopping by to check it out already,” Goldberg says, noting that the Warehouse has art, pillows, glassware, Mid-century modern furniture, collectible tables and much more.

“I really want this to be affordable and fun,” Goldberg says. “That table that you’re sick of looking at – we’ll buy it and give you store credit or cash credit.”


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