Gott's Rolls Into Walnut Creek
Jan 31, 2018 02:02PM ● Published by Fran Miller
Joel Gott on His Recipe for Success
Your first clue that Gott’s Roadside is no ordinary fast-food joint is the line-up of premium wines behind the bar—a collection curated by owner Joel Gott. An admired Napa Valley vintner, Gott selected the wines for his Walnut Creek outpost - which include Turley, Shafer, Duckhorn, and Rombauer - to showcase the best of his hometown. “I personally enjoy the wines I’ve chosen for Gott’s Walnut Creek and I know each winemaker; it’s a pleasure to feature friends’ wines in our restaurants,” he says.
Founded in 1999 in Saint Helena by Joel and his brother/partner Duncan Gott, the upscale burger chain has expanded to Napa’s Oxbow Market, San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace, Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village, San Francisco International Airport, and now to Marin and Walnut Creek.
The diner’s design mixes rural roadside elements with contemporary industrial touches, including an entire wall of rollup garage doors for al fresco dining. The large dining room, bookended by the order counter and the bar/lounge, overlooks a glass-fronted kitchen.
Coming from five generations of California vintners, it was only natural for Gott to become a wine and food entrepreneur. Born in Napa Valley and raised in the Sierra Foothills, he worked at Sonoma’s Kenwood Winery after high school before joining a real estate firm. Soon after, Joel and Duncan purchased a market in Calistoga, transforming it into a gourmet retail and wine shop. Winemaking came next, and Joel produced Zinfandels that garnered hearty industry praise. In 2009, he began a joint venture with Trinchero Family Estates for the marketing and distribution of his eponymous Joel Gott Wines.
Flavors at Gott’s Roadside are spot-on. Niman Ranch burgers are cooked medium and garnished with iceberg lettuce, tomato, secret sauce, and an optional layer of American cheese, then served on a perfectly baked bun. The large format menu features a dozen meat and seafood choices plus fresh salads, and of course French fries. Crowd pleasers include Ahi Poke Crispy Tacos, Citrus Avocado Chop Salad, and the vegetable Impossible Burger. No meal is complete without a creamy milkshake made with Three Twins organic ice cream. 1275 S. Main Street, WC, gottsroadside.com.