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Whipper Snapper is a fun vibrant restaurant that serves delicious tapas, comfort food and the BEST sangria. We blend Latin American flavors with local farm fresh ingredients, organic and sustainably farmed when possible. Whipper Snapper is also a certified Green Business — we recycle and compost, and are partners in the food to energy program in San Rafael. With our Caribbean decor and lush back patio, its a tropical oasis! 

Chef /Owner

Bill Higgins

Bill’s first job was working on a farm near his parent’s house followed by a second job as a dishwasher at a steak house in upstate New York. He’s been in the restaurant business ever since — becoming a chef at age 17—and continues to enjoy close relationships with local farmers.


Prior to opening Whipper Snapper in 2008, Bill was Executive Chef for the Cha Cha Cha restaurants in San Francisco for 14 years. His restaurant history includes working with some of the great chefs of California—Masataka Kobayashi (Masa’s) and Joachim Splichel (Patina Restaurant Group)—and for some of the top restaurants in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orlando.


According to Bill, “Food has always been a great medium for me to make people happy. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing the menu and specials. Everything is made from scratch, one of the keys to our success. I also enjoy connecting with customers and meeting new people, even if it’s just a quick hello or good-bye.” 


Restaurant Manager

Mary was hired as a server early on, and quickly rose to the manager position. Her professionalism, positive attitude and service skills have been key to our success — first-time customers become regular patrons and employees stay with us and love to work here.

debra mcknight HIGGINS

Marketing Yogipreneur

Debra is Bill’s wife and #1 restaurant promoter.  She works as a consultant to nonprofits and leads yoga retreats internationally.

“I love sitting at the bar at Whipper Snapper and watching Bill cook.  We've been married almost 30 years, and I still think his food is the best!”

Patrick Maloney

Resident Artist

Patrick is an award-winning local artist from Nicasio who has filled Whipper Snapper with his amazing mosaics, wrapped sculptures, lighting sconces and paintings.

“There are so many things around us, from nature or cast off items from our homes. This is why I like to work with recycled or found materials; primarily to show that the imagination is the most important thing.”

"I love this place. Bill the owner and chef is thoroughly competent and a quality product comes out of the kitchen every time. They do a great sangria and during good weather you can sit on the patio out back. The menu has items that you won't find at other restaurants which makes it fun and unique. I highly recommend this place, the food is amazing."

Thomas B.

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