Sausalito Restaurants That Have Closed
The Net's only comprehensive list of old Sausalito restaurants from the City's past... with some not-so-old ones as well! If you see any errors or omissions, please let us know. This list reminds us that running a restaurant is a hard job and that we all should respect the people who do it.
The Alta Mira Hotel and Restaurant -- Once the Grande Dame of Sausalito, the hotel is now a rehab center for The Rich and Famous. The fabulous-view restaurant (pictured in a 1950's publicity postcard at left) is closed to the public. The link above in this paragraph has more information.
Amy's Cafe -- Closed in 2011 after two separate brief runs in the old Peter Pan Donuts building. The space is now vacant.
Antidote -- Had a short life in the space that had been Chart House, then was succeeded by Gaylord India, now closed.
Benkei Sukiyaki -- In the 1970's Benkei held the Caledonia St. spot later occupied by Fukusuke and now the newly-opened Rossetti Pizzeria.
Big G Super -- Market and deli purchased in 1988 by natural foods grocer David Bennett and turned into the anchor of what would become the Mollie Stone's chain, a pioneer in the "natural foods crossed with a supermarket" concept that spawned Whole Foods. Mollie Stone's expanded by buying the former Petrini's chain in 1996 after Trader Joe's had bought them from the Petrini family in 1988 and then proceeded to alienate the customer base, but that all came after the early stores in Sausalito and Palo Alto.
Blue Fin Inn -- 1950's occupant of the building that houses Saylor's.
Cafe Rio -- Coffee Shop in the office building at 3030 Bridgeway, now closed.
Caffe Trieste -- Now Taste of Rome.
Caruso's -- Now Fish.
Christophe's -- Once a very well known and renowned French restaurant, now a hair salon.
Cork Enoteca -- Wine Bar next door to the Fire Station -- now the site of Philz Coffee.
Fukusuke -- Moved to Larkspur; their spot is now the home of Rossetti Pizzeria.
Gate 5 Road -- Became Saylor's Landing, now Seahorse.
Gaylord India -- Located in the old Valhalla and Chart House space, closed in December, 2008.
Glad Hand -- The hip 1950's and 60's inhabitant of the building now occupied by Scoma's, with a famous large hand logo and hand-lettered sign on the side of the building. This was a landmark of the Beat Generation in Sausalito, next door to the Trident (see below; photo courtesy of Scoma's).
Guernica -- For years a successful Basque restaurant, now Saylor's.
H. Salt Fish and Chips -- After being acquired by Ice Cream Tycoon Michael Lappert the franchise name was dropped and the shop became Fish and Chips of Sausalito, with a Lappert's Ice Cream counter added. There's also a separate Lappert's Ice Cream shop down the street on Bridgeway, hence the occasional confusion about "the two Lappert's shops."
Horizons -- Temporarily closed for renovations that are running longer than the original 30 day plan, will reopen in Summer, 2012 under its old name (1966-1976) of The Trident.
Houlihan's -- A centerpiece of downtown Sausalito from 1980-1998, became Water Street Grille. Upstairs now closed; downstairs is now Il Piccolo Caffe. This was one end of the famed "Houlihan's to Houlihan's 12K" race that ran between the two restaurants (in San Francisco and Sausalito) from 1984 through 2002. The race continues today as the "Emerald Across the Bay 12K" that runs from Fort Baker in Sausalito across the Golden Gate to San Francisco. The building is the former home of the Purity Market (see bottom section below).
Il Piccolo Teatro-- A beautiful remodel of the old Patterson's Bar that opened at the start of the Recession, it featured wine and small plates of Italian food. Closed in 2011, replaced in Spring, 2012 by Copita.
Juanita's Galley -- Famous artists' and musicians' gathering place on The Ark (see below).
Lion's Share -- In 1968 this was a small folk and rock club at 100 Caledonia St., at the corner of Caledonia and Pine. The Grateful Dead played there at least once, as did other seminal local bands. The building burned down in 1969, and the club relocated to San Anselmo, where it lasted until 1974. A small office building now occupies the location.
Margaritaville -- On the site of the classic Zack's by the Bay, succeeeded by Paradise Bay and now Salito's Crab House.
Marina's -- Became Gate 5 Road, then Saylor's Landing, now Seahorse.
Mikayla -- Retains its location and name as a bay-view private dining room and terrace booked for banquets and groups at Poggio.
Miramar Cafe -- Built on a long-vanished pier at the foot of Johnson St. near what is now Bar Bocce, the 1910 Cafe burned twice between 1911 and 1915. The second time the owner was sent to jail for arson.
North Sea Village -- For many years a Chinese restaurant on the water, now Wellington's Wine Bar and In The Kitchen
North Shore Oyster and Chop House -- We have a Sausalito newspaper copy from 1905 (saved because of a piece about an editor's family) that contains an ad listing the North Shore as being located on Water St., the name of which was changed to Bridgeway as part of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937.
Northpoint Coffee -- Coffee shop closed in January, 2009; now Bar Bocce.
Ondine -- Still operates, but only for group events. This historic restuarant opened upstairs from The Trident (see below) in 1959.
Paradise Bay -- Under new ownership as of 2011, now Salito's Crab House after a gradual name change.
Peter Pan Donuts -- Became the now-closed Amy's Cafe.
Plate Shop -- One of the long line of short-term successors to Gatsby's on Caledonia, closed in February, 2013 and immediately replaced by Fast Food Francais
Pomodoro Pizza -- Near Best Buy; closed in January, 2009.
Purity Market -- Built in 1941 on the site that had housed the Sausalito City Library, Purity Market was long the locals' neighborhood grocery at 666 Bridgeway at the intersection of Bridgeway and Princess St. When big supermarkets invaded the area the market was finally closed in 1968 and converted to a visitor-targeted mini-shopping mall, and throughout the 1970's the building was extensively remodeled. The current facade dates to 1981. Most of the tenants in recent years have been jewelry and accessories stores with Houlihan's, Water St. Grille and now Il Piccolo Caffe in the "San Francisco view area" of the old building. A plaque in front of the building commemorates its historic status, which is more respect than some local buildings have received.
Rickshaw Chinese -- Near Best Buy.
Sausalito Food Company -- Became Marina's, then Gate 5 Road, then Harbor Grill, then Saylor's Landing, now Seahorse.
Sausalito Inn -- Located at the junction of Bridgeway and Princess St. at 599 Bridgeway, the Sausalito Inn was a favorite of the local Art community in the 1950's, and Sterling Hayden was a regular on his visits here after he moved to live on a barge on the Seine in Paris. They had food downstairs and rooms for rent above.
Sausalito Sweet Shoppe -- Moved one storefront south and changed its name to Winship Restaurant.... a change that dates back over 60 years.
Saylor's South of the Border -- Renamed Saylor's Restaurant and Bar when its menu was merged with that of the long-popular Saylor's Landing after the latter's closure due to a lease dispute.
Star's Barbecue -- Near Best Buy.
The Tides Bookstore and Coffee Shop -- One of the most famous Beat Generation "coffee shop plus bookstores" in the Bay Area, it operated from 1957 to 1972 at 749 Bridgeway (now the Sottovento clothing and souvenirs store, a couple of storefronts north of Copita.) They published a literary magazine upstairs and served as a home base for local writers and artists, long before Borders and Barnes & Noble embraced the books and coffee concept. Over time the bookshelves expanded and the coffee shop shrank, and in 1972 the owners sold the place. The new owners tried to keep the same spirit for a few years, but the storefront's placement opposite the Ferry pier has made it a souvenir shop for the last 30+ years. (Recognize the Artist's name "Elig" from Waldo Point? Please use the comments box or contact us to fill us in!)
Tin Angel -- The rowdy 1940's place in the former Lange's Launches boat landing building, succeeded by the famous Glad Hand restaurant and bar, now occupied by Scoma's.
Topolino Ristorante -- The 1950's occupant of the building that later housed Guernica and is now home to Saylor's.
The Trident, then owned by the Kingston Trio, opened in 1959 and was a center of San Francisco Rock Music culture from 1966-76. Janis Joplin had her own table, Robin Williams worked as a busboy, Bill Graham feted Mick Jagger and the Stones, and it was the place to see the musicians who came to town to record at The Record Plant and other studios. After being renamed as Horizons for many years the Trident returned with its old name as of Summer, 2012 after a major renovation and restoration.
Sally Stanford's Valhalla, the restaurant of famous San Francisco madame turned Sausalito Mayor Sally Stanford (became Chart House, then Valhalla again under different owners out to leverage the famous name, then Antidote, then the recently-closed Gaylord India). A sign on the door in April, 2009 suggested that a restaurant named Valhalla may be reopening at the site but nothing ever happened beyond a small construction permit and no concrete plans have been announced.
Walhalla or Walhalla Biergarten -- Renamed from Walhalla to Valhalla when Sally Stanford took over the building in 1948. Its use as a restaurant dates back to the 19th century Walhalla Biergarten over a hundred years ago.
Water Street Grille -- Took over the site that for many years had been Houlihan's. Upstairs is closed; downstairs is now Il Piccolo Caffe. The inside joke of the name: Before the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1936 Sausalito's main thoroughfare, now known simply as Bridgeway (shortened from the original Bridgeway Boulevard), was called Water Street.
Waterfront Cafe -- Now Le Garage.
Wimbledon -- 1960's occupant of the building that now houses Wellington's Wine Bar.
Winship -- After a run of almost five decades, Winship has as of April, 2012 been sold and replaced by the Napa Valley Burger Co. Some of our editors have fond childhood memories of Sunday breakfast there as they were growing up.
Zack's by the Bay -- Became Margaritaville, then Paradise Bay, now Salito's Crab House. This was the pre-disco-era singles scene restaurant and bar in Sausalito's 70's, and the scene of many a local rite of passage. Well, sometimes it was the parking lot that was the scene of the rites of passage, or Dunphy Park just down the street, or the pier at the foot of Johnson St., or.... You get the idea.
And we should not forget...
The Ark -- A club and performance venue in the 1960's, the Ark was the popular name for the old ferry boat Van Damme. Local bands like the Redlegs (still playing locally as The Gaters and as Catfish and Tate) played benefits there in an unsuccessful effort to save the antique boat. Old handbills from the Ark can sell for hundreds of dollars each on the collectors market.
The Gate Theatre -- Located at 668 Bridgeway in Sausalito in a spot now occupied by an art gallery, this movie theatre was built as the Princess Theatre (being near Princess St.) and was renamed the Gate in honor of the new Golden Gate Bridge in the 1930's. By 1953 it had come under the control of the Blumenfeld family, who over time acquired most of the movie houses in the County. As television sets became standard features of American homes movie attendance dropped and The Gate was closed in favor of the nearby Marin Theatre (now Cinearts at Marin, a modernized three-screen facility), also then owned by the Blumenfelds. Some stage productions were still held at The Gate through the mid-60's, and the San Francisco Mime Troupe called the place home in 1965. The Grateful Dead played there at least once in the mid-1960's.
Trade Fair -- From about 1962-71 this was a floating complex of shops on the old 1898 Ferry Berkeley. In 1973 the ship was towed to San Diego to become part of a maritime museum. The image above shows Trade Fair as seen from the Bay, and below as seen from shore.
Village Fair, a four-story honeycomb of shops carved out of an old ferry parking garage. From the 1960's through the 1980's it was a highlight of coming to Sausalito. The stairway at left is now part of the remodeled Casa Madrona.