Our Story

Clarence Minetti and Richard Maretti with the original staff

For more than five decades spanning three generations of Minetti family ownership, the Far Western Tavern has been driven by a timeless appreciation for regional cuisine and an inherited commitment to hospitality.

The Far Western Tavern was established in 1958 by local ranchers Clarence and Rosalie Minetti along with Rosalie’s cousin Richard Maretti. Located in the historic Palace Hotel building in the town of Guadalupe, the Far Western Tavern quickly became a hometown favorite, attracting locals and visitors alike with its legendary fare and welcoming hospitality.

Since those early days, the Far Western Tavern has outlasted countless culinary trends, remaining true to its original style while keeping pace with contemporary tastes. As Clarence was fond of saying, “To last in this business, you have to like people and you have to serve great food. It’s that simple.”

Over the decades, the Far Western Tavern has developed a loyal following as well as numerous accolades. In 2009, Sunset Magazine named it one of the West’s best barbecue restaurants. When Bobby Flay came to the area for his Food Network show BBQ with Bobby Flay, he chose the Minetti family to show viewers how to prepare Santa Maria Style Barbecue. In 2012, the Far Western Tavern and the Minetti family were showcased in an episode of Man, Fire, Food on the Cooking Channel.

Today, the Far Western embarks on its next chapter after moving 10 miles down the road to a new location in Old Town Orcutt in 2012. Modeled after the original restaurant and incorporating many of its signature appointments, the “new” Far Western Tavern Orcutt restaurant is ultimately designed to meet the high standards set by Clarence and Rosalie more than 50 years ago.

“We are following the same blueprint established by my grandparents,” says co-owner Renee Righetti-Fowler. “When it comes to food and hospitality, they set a remarkable example that guides us to this day.”