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Dec 13, 2010 09:26 AM

Far Western Moving to Orcutt in 2011

This sounds like it will move to the newish commerical development at the west end of Old Orcutt, which is helping a slow revival of the old commercial district with new shops and restaurants.

Far Western Tavern
899 Guadalupe St, Guadalupe, CA

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  1. That is very sad, I love the current location (even have a print of the painting of the exterior that appears on their website).

    Thanks for the post; I'll prioritize making the trek to Guadalupe as often as possible before the move (late next year according to the site).

    1. The appeal of the FW has always been its funky location; rarely just for its food. It was just such an unlikely and odd dining experience to find so out of the way in the rare and charming micro-small town of Guadalupe. We went up there more just to see the angels in the cemetary than for any other reason ...until you sent us over to La Simpatia.

      I think they are making a mistake making this move, but perhaps the building rehab gremlins said earthquake renovate that old building or you are out of business anyway.

      This will be a huge loss of a very special local tradition. it almost was a ritual initiation ceremony to visit here for anyone moving to the central coast.

      La Simpatia Cafe
      827 Guadalupe St, Guadalupe, CA 93434

      1 Reply
      1. re: glbtrtr

        The Far Western is an institution in Guadalupe. This small town struggles for life and the loss of TFW will deal a heavy blow to the economy. The new location in Old Town Orcutt is in a large, rather cookie-cutter Olde Westerne commercial developement, but hopefully they will be able to take some of the stained glass and bar decor with them to retain some character.

      2. Made it to the FW this past weekend; latest ETA for the move is March '12, with a closure of the current, grand old location slated for about 2 weeks prior, alas.

        Onerous seismic retrofit is indeed the issue.

        Clarence Minetti, founder, died in late March after a car accident at the age of 93.

        I can't recommend a visit to this one-of-a-kind experience highly enough. The steaks are well-aged (wet) and a great value versus steakhouses elsewhere in the state, the oak pit burns for all hours of service, and the Santa Maria-style trimmings are at least as good as those of the other purveyors of the cuisine.

        There is a nice video currently on the website

        1. Update- ETA on the move is now August-September.

          We dined at the FW this past weekend. Chef Rick's hand is most evident in the specials (there were 3: a fish dish; a vegetarian dish; and something I'm forgetting- we were there for the classics).

          On the core menu, the most notable update is the salad, which now includes a mix of greens, diced rather than sliced, canned beet, and red and yellow pear tomatoes. I think the bread has been upgraded as well, as the garlic bread was particularly good.

          The steaks were grilled by a longtime employee and he must have been in a groove with the large crowd- mine was very good indeed.

          The place was absolutely packed- it was the first time we haven't been seated at our reservation time (10-15 minute wait- nothing like Jocko's).

          Looking forward to returning before summer.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Pius Avocado III

            Any word on La Simpatia cafe, down the block a bit also closed up for building renovations. That place will still be worth a trip to Guadalupe even when the beloved FWT is but a memory. These things should not happen!!

            1. re: glbtrtr

              Sorry- I didn't get any La Simpatia intel.

              Agreed- this is a travesty.

              1. re: Pius Avocado III

                You inspired me to make reservations at FWT for Friday night 6pm - have to say good-by to this grand old gal. You wrote a compelling post - Open Table confirmed the reservation. so I hope to beat the crowds. Sirloin - medium rare with a large side of nostalgia. Decades of memories at this place. This is SAD! 40 years ago this was "date night" in the SB area to go there -- and always count on a huge surprise from anyone new who could not believe such a place like this existed or the magnificent angels at the cross-roads welcoming us to Guadalupe.

                1. re: glbtrtr

                  I can't tell you how glad I am to have inspired you to return to the FW. I've been telling everyone I know to get down there and I live in Oakland.

                  Enjoy the angels standing sentinel, your meal and the memories.

                  1. re: Pius Avocado III

                    The brand new road is now open to the Guadalupe Dunes park on the outskirts of town that lets you drive across the sweeping sand dunes on each side and out to the roaring ocean, which makes this a worthy road trip dining experience in its own right.

                    Had our wonderful dinner at the Far Western Tavern last night: DH had the 14 oz bullseye cut with the Chef Rick's special corn-based sauce that he is still raving about it with its garnish of slivered, crispy onions. I settled for the 8 ounce Clarence Special top sirloin with onion rings and ravioli: Classic FWT fare, along with beans and toasted garlic bread, relish tray and a beautiful fresh salsa.

                    Two glasses of house cabernet that were robust and appealing. Desserts moved into the realm of extravaganza: banana beignets for me; a blackberry cheese cake fried burrito for DH - rave reviews for them both and thank goodness there was still room, though two of the three beignets came home with me in a box.

                    They expect to be at this original site until August, 2012, so there is time to go back. I don't see how the whole experience can be really transported to the new location because it is the fantasy of opening the nondescript door in this dusty little town and finding this historic bordello opulence that makes the trip to the Guadalupe location one of a kind.

                    Nicely attended on a Friday night, but still plenty of tables and only a few at the long bar so one can drop by most likely at any time and find the very hospitable FWT welcome. This is obviously a well-loved place. I thought I would never eat again after last night's full meal, but just writing about it now makes me want to go back ..... tonight again!

                    Sad report: La Simpatia is still boarded up with the discouraging sign saying "reopening soon" that I think has been there a long, long time. Little work looks like it has been done to its main building at all. Terrible loss if they now ever come back.

                    1. re: glbtrtr

                      Great report- thanks for the update on the road as well, as our trip last weekend was too short for a dunes hike.

                      We'll be back in a few months.

          2. For those of you missing the original Far Western Tavern in Guadalupe, a slideshow of my lunch and some of the interior in August 2011. I had the bullseye steak, amazing crust on that hunk of meat.

            (click on slideshow, then select "show info")

            1 Reply
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Nice pics Melanie. More for those missing the original Far Western from the Huell Howser Archive at Chapman University here:


              The segment inside the restaurant begins at 8:17. The exterior features in the first few segments as well, but the whole thing is really worth watching.

              R.I.P. Huell; you're missed too.