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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.


Leave a Comment
  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.

  5. Christina Coyle / Jul 23 2017 2:34 am

    We had lunch there back in the middle 70’s.. Food was ok but it was a fun place to eat. I bought a “Hog’s Breath Inn” tee-shirt that was lost many years ago. I wonder if they still sell them?

  6. Linda Bertolotti / May 22 2018 11:15 pm

    I worked as a waitress when it first opened what fun we had Clint was there a lot along with side kick Doug McClure. I am now 67 years young but the memories never grow old. Linda Bertolotti (Stewart) back then

    • Robert Douglas / Oct 14 2018 11:35 pm

      Thanks for the memory!

    • Robert Douglas / Oct 14 2018 11:35 pm

      Thanks for the memory!

    • patrice / Dec 22 2020 3:39 am

      My father was Paul Lippman an early partner in the Hog’s Breath with Clint and Walter.I have fond memories of the old Hog’s Breath.It was quite the meeting place.Malcom Moran was there and many more.

    • Barbara Williams / Aug 8 2021 7:42 pm

      I visited in 1981 coming from Surrey England when I back packed around California one night went to Hoggs Breath in Carmel as we met a married couple who lived there said they haven’t seen Clint there but they took us on a bar hop and went to Hoggs Breath as we were there Clint walked in and everyone was in awe I didn’t have a camera to take a photo. This guy is the best actor and director in the whole world and I couldn’t take a picture. I have always admired him.

  7. Kathy Osgood / May 31 2021 9:37 pm

    I was a cocktail waitress at the Hogs Breath Inn and worked the weekend shifts. I recall that Clint did not like Doug Mcclure very much but did hang with Merv Griffin, Gene Hackman and James Brolin. I recall the night John Wayne was a guest and all the stars were star struck by him. I remember waiting on scores of movie stars. It was a lot of fun, but we all sure drank a lot. We sometimes played dice after the bar closed.


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