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The Birds Café Invades Bodega Bay

The Birds Cafe - Bodega Bay.

The timing just seemed right for sisters Melissa and Mindy Freeman to open The Birds Café on Highway One in Bodega Bay. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller, The Birds, which took place in the nearby town of Bodega.

The Freeman parents were extras in the movie, and remained friends with star Tippi Hedren over the decades. And the space the sisters found for their café boasts a large cliffside deck, perfect for bird watching overlooking the ocean.

So naturally, the sign, set on weathered wood, features an ominous looking silhouette of a bird in spooky black.

The Freeman family has lived in Bodega Bay for more than 60 years, and owns the Compass Rose Gardens wedding event site in town. That’s where Melissa got her start in catering, evolving later to home and office meal plan deliveries.

Appropriate for the setting, the menu focuses on seafood, including clam chowder, fish-n- chips, fish tacos with creamy cilantro, and prawns-n-chips dipped in Lagunitas IPA beer batter.

There is also a burger, made “drive-in style,” according to Melissa, of seared ground beef topped in American cheese, special sauce, lettuce, onion and tomato, with optional Valley Ford Cheese Co. Estero Gold or Hwy. 1 cheeses, bacon and grilled onions.

Entrée prices are around the $7-$12 level, including chicken strip and corn dog baskets with fries, a shrimp Louie salad, and deli sandwiches like albacore or egg salad.

A few of the dishes are unexpected fun, like artichoke fritters, deep-fried pies, and fried bananas made to-order, and to wash it all down, there is ice cold beer or wine.

Details: The Birds Café, 1407 Highway 1, Bodega Bay, 707-875-2900, thebirdscafe.com. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

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