For Mill Valley lovers of deliciousness, the hits just keep coming.
First came the arrival this year of Michelin-starred, Chinese-American Chef Brandon Jew’s Mamahuhu’s arrival in the former MV Beerworks space. Then came MIXT, the widely loved purveyor of great salads and sandwiches that transformed the corner of Camino Alto & Blithedale into a vibrant gateway to town.
That was followed this month by the opening of the Mill Valley location of Local Kitchens, a digital-centric micro food hall featuring seven popular food truck and brick-and-mortar brands like Oren’s Hummus, The Melt, Sushirrito and Proposition Chicken.
This Saturday, Oct. 29th marks the official, long-rumored Mill Valley debut of Bob’s Donuts, which has been doling out dynamite donuts for 62 years and is one of the Bay Area’s treasured institutions. Bob’s is located at 252 Almonte, the former longtime home of the Bamboo Hut across the street from CNL Native Plant Nursery and Proof Lab.
Unlike the 24-7 service at the original location on 1621 Polk Street, Bob’s hours in Mill Valley to start are 5am-1pm this weekend, 5am-5pm going forward and eventually extended to 9pm if foot traffic dictates. The team plans to incorporate accordion doors to open up the space and eventually provide an outdoor eating experience in the coming months.
“We’ve always wanted a business in Marin,” says Ahn, whose family lived in the Almonte neighborhood of Mill Valley from 2000 to 2012 before moving to San Rafael. “We lived up on Morningsun and I was a regular customer at the Bamboo Hut.”
Their children attended Strawberry Point Elementary School, Mill Valley Middle School and then went to Redwood High as they were drawn to its rowing program.
After the passing of the shop’s namesake, Eleanor Ahn took over the shop in 1977, keeping it in the family’s hands ever since. Daughter Aya Ahn and her husband took over the business in 2001 after Eleanor passed away, and have continued to run the shop with family ever since. Bob’s opened a second location in 2019 on Baker St. near Divisadero.
Their daughter, Rebekah Ahn, has been running the shops’ operations in recent years. “The base product is the same – we’ve stuck to the same successful recipes,” Ahn says. “We’ve added some more designer donuts – fancier donuts – but the original base is always the same. A lot of the bigger companies have automated and gone with machine-made but we hand cut every one of them. The last time those recipes were tweaked was over 20 years ago and we don’t intend on changing them.”
Like the Bob’s shop in Santana Row in San Jose planned for a 2023 opening, the Mill Valley Bob’s seeks to blend classic recipes with contemporary retail design, all while continuing to lean heavily on fried dough superstars like apple fritter and the glazed, along with old fashioneds, jelly-filled, cinnamon-sprinkled and other favorites.