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April 18, 2011 / Linda Hartong

The Hog’s Breath Inn- “Make my day.”

We just returned from a week in Carmel and it is looking so good. Bill went for the Sea Otter Classic – a bicycle event and I went to get more photos for YOU.

Years ago we had our first , and only , dinner at the Hog’s Breath Inn made famous by it’s former owner, Clint Eastwood.  Clint and his partners owned the Hog’s Breath at San Carlos and Fifth Avenue in downtown Carmel, but they sold it many years ago. 

It was, as they say, a dark and stormy night and the restaurant side with its warm fireplaces felt very good.

The Hog hung over the mantel and surveyed his domain.

The waiter spilled a drink on me and our dinner was comped by management. I have to agree with other reviewers that the food and drink are only passable. But the atmosphere is fun.

Eastwood is a native Californian who discovered the Carmel area during the Korean War when stationed at nearby Fort Ord. He eventually returned to Carmel where he still lives. In 1972, a friend was showing him around a building he owned. “Wouldn’t this make a great saloon?”, he asked. Clint must have agreed because when his friend left town, he bought the building and made into the now legendary Hog’s Breath.

In 1986 , when he wanted to expand the building, he got bogged down in Carmel’s notorious red tape. So he ran for Mayor and won by a 72% landslide. In his two years as Mayor he got sidewalks put in on the downtown streets, an annex built for the library and his building enlarged. The Hog’s Breath closed in 1999 and then re-opened under new management.

The atmosphere is pure Hollywood and most enjoyable. As I walk downstairs at the Eastwood building , I am treated to a view of the lovely patio setting.

Two girlfriends and a baby sit in front of one of the many cobblestone fireplaces.

The mural and the living tree create such an atmosphere. The courtyard sits between the dimly lit dining room

and the pub.

There is variety in the menu but items such as Dirty Harry burgers and Hog’s Breath Baby Back ribs predominate.

     

I checked on “Yelp” to see what customers thought of the drinks. It varied from “there was no alcohol in my drink” to “boy, can that guy make a great martini”.

If I didn’t have to get home and take the clothes out of the dryer , I would plonk down in front of the fireplace for a Pale Rider Ale.

The Hog’s Breath is a little hard to find as the entrance in down stairs in the center of the Eastwood Building.

www.hogsbreathinn.net/


5 Comments

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  1. jeanette sclar / Apr 19 2011 3:04 pm

    LOVE that mural on the patio wall! Sorry about the drink…!

  2. AB / Mar 4 2013 4:59 pm

    I was there last week
    I now can be called the empty schair inn.
    No body there and the food was passable.

  3. lisa / Nov 1 2013 11:34 pm

    I was there a week ago and LOVED it.Food was gorgeous( steak) my dirty Harry Cadillac was spot on. The whole place was my kinda place xx

  4. Kathy gunderson / Dec 27 2014 4:38 pm

    What an awesome restaurant. I went there in late 80s. I’m glad it’s still there.

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