About The Forge
“The Forge” moved to its present location on the corner of 5th and Junipero in 1944, when master builder Hugh W. Comstock constructed the current Forge at a cost of $1,200.00, according to a building permit dated 25 September 1944 and issued to Francis Whitaker, another artist, and a master blacksmith.
Mr. Whitaker used The Forge to produce much of the hand-wrought hardware (hinges, door latches, sign holders, etc.) that still adorns many of the historic buildings in Carmel. Mr. Whitaker was also active in civic affairs and served on the Carmel-by-the-Sea City Council for 13 years. The actual anvil, vise, and hearth used by Mr. Whitaker, as well as photographs of him and the original Forge building, are on display inside the current Forge in the Forest Saloon.
Artist and writer Henry Miller and the internationally renowned writer, John Steinbeck were frequent visitors who met with other locals inside The Forge, to drink, tell stories and talk. The Grapes of Wrath novel was reported to have been inspired inside The Forge as a result of one such meeting. When Francis Whitaker left Carmel in the mid-1960s, The Forge became an artist’s studio. In the fall of 1970, The Forge was then converted into a restaurant and saloon.
The Forge’s hand-carved Brunswick mahogany back bar was discovered languishing in an old rotting barn by a previous partner in The Forge in the Forest business while seeking shelter from a snowstorm. It was originally brought to California “around the Horn,” by a clipper ship from England during the Gold Rush era and is reputed to have been used in a California gold country bordello.
Fast forward to 2013...
Most notable for its abundance of fauna and flora, The Forge, formerly known as The Forge in the Forest, has embedded itself into the Arcadian charm of Carmel over the last 46 years. Recently purchased by The Profeta Family Trust —owner Greg Profeta has taken the active ownership role in running the day to day operations as well as being directly involved in the transformation of the Forge. While Judie and Bob Profeta retain a passive role, everyone is devoted to bringing this classic back to its full luster. We have assembled a team of fresh talent, including the addition of our talented and personable General Manager Carolyne Geisler. She has assembled and manages a team of dedicated professionals that have taken the restaurant to new levels of service excellence that you will feel from the moment you walk onto the property. Each and every one of the staff members are here to make your dining experience with us not only memorable but unforgettable. The Forge has also undergone a physical rejuvenation that preserves the restaurant’s old-world charm while imbuing an allure of casual elegance.
Retaining the award-winning ambiance of the Upper and Oak Patios’ lush gardens and outdoor fireplaces is paramount to the new owners. The Upper Patio, while still enveloped by pine trees and foliage, now offers a deep-seating lounge where patrons may relax all the more. Meanwhile, pet enthusiasts can still enjoy the Dog Pound Patio where pooches may order specialty items from their own menu. In this way, The Forge, having been voted “Best Outdoor Dining” on the Central Coast for 19 years, aims for its 20th. Known for its amazing Banquet, Wedding and Private Party room parties as well as complete property buy-outs, the Forge is continuing this tradition with additional high end, delectable edibles to the already fantastic menu options.
The new renovation is paying homage to the bar’s existing décor, including the copper walls and the horn bar that dates back to the late-1800s, by applying a new face to the furnishings. With tables made from weathered Canadian birch, updated lighting, and a new sound system, The Saloon is putting a twist on shabby chic. Guests will also enjoy the newly designed private dining room and meeting room featuring mahogany cabinets by fourth-generation wood maker Frank Lonardo of Lonardo’s Woodworking. Blending custom cabinets and a domed ceiling for sound-enhancing acoustics with the existing space, the wine cellar offers an intimate space for quaint gatherings where the focus is on the food and beverages. For all intents and purposes, they are resisting the old adage “you cannot put new wine in old bottles”, at least metaphorically. The former Oak Tree room has been completely renovated to reflect the cozy, romantic ambiance of the Forge with magnificent stone walls that have been organically placed by artisan masons and beautiful local art pieces set within the hand-played niches all complimented by the eccentric ceilings of wine box lids collected from the 40+ years of patronage to locals and visitors alike.
Since no restaurant is complete without a comprehensive wine offering, The Forge boasts a 2,000 bottle wine cellar complete with local vintages from Bernardus, Talbot, Pisoni, Caraccioli, Boekenoogen, Pessagno, Justin, Rombauer, Stag’s Leap, Qupe, Beaulieu Vineyards and more.
“You’ve known us all these years, you’ve supported us, and now we’re all grown up,”…Come in and see just how a dining experience can be so much more than just great food!