Carmel visitors often want to visit "Clint Eastwood's restaurant" in Carmel, but information about it is often out of date or just plain wrong. Here's the straight story: Clint Eastwood and his partners once owned the Hog's Breath Inn at San Carlos and Fifth Avenue in downtown Carmel, but they sold it many years ago.
Today, Eastwood owns the Mission Ranch, a former dairy farm saved from becoming a housing development when he purchased it.
Besides a charming lodging complex, there's also a restaurant at Mission Ranch. Even if no one famous owned it, we would like this place. Inside, it's comfortable and the food is great, especially the prime rib, but it's the outside that's Mission ranch's strongest point.
A brick-paved patio faces an idyllic pasture-ful of grazing sheep and beyond that, you can see waves crashing on the rocks at Point Lobos. Sunday brunch on a sunny day is incomparable. You'll find a piano bar nightly and a live jazz ensemble on Sundays.
Why is Clint Eastwood so Partial to Carmel?
Eastwood probably likes Carmel for the same reasons the rest of us do: crashing waves and sea otters playing at Point Lobos, incomparable ocean views hidden around every corner and relaxed ambiance to calm the most frenetic of souls.
Eastwood is a native Californian who discovered the Carmel area during the Korean War when he was stationed a few miles north at Fort Ord. After leaving the military, Eastwood's friends Martin Milner of Route 66 and David Janssen of The Fugitive persuaded him to try acting and the rest is movie-making history. Eastwood spent his early movie-making years in Los Angeles, but he eventually returned to the Carmel area, where he still lives.
Eastwood demonstrates his love for the Carmel area in his professional life. He named his production company, Malpaso Productions for a creek just south of town. He even directed his first movie here in 1971: Play Misty for Me, the story of a late-night jazz DJ who is terrorized by an obsessive ex-lover. The film was set in Carmel and Monterey and features many local sights, including nearby Point Lobos and downtown Carmel.
As if all this weren't enough, in 1986 Eastwood wanted to build a small building in downtown Carmel. The town’s bureaucratic government stymied his efforts and he decided to do something about it. He ran for mayor, winning with 72% of the vote. During his two-year tenure, he successfully made it easier to build or remodel property, got a tourist parking lot built, rescued the historic Mission Ranch from developers and opened a children's annex to the city library.