Sally Stanford’s Valhalla Inn
201 Bridgeway, Sausalito CA 94965
What if Brooklyn could get the Dodgers back? What if the six Lost Wonders of the Ancient World were restored? OK, we’re exaggerating, but for almost 100 years the Valhalla was part of life in Sausalito. It even provided the setting for a scene from Orson Welles’ and Rita Hayworth’s 1948 film, The Lady from Shanghai.
From the late 1800’s until after World War II it was called the Walhalla Biergarten, but its greatest fame came when it was purchased 50 years ago by former madame and Sausalito mayor-to-be Sally Stanford, who restored the Valhalla name. After her death it went through a number of different incarnations, but in the spring of 2009 a sign appeared on the shuttered door promising the return of Sally Stanford’s Valhalla Inn. Unfortunately, by the summer of 2009 the signs were gone and with them our hopes.
The building was then proposed as the site of a huge renovation and expansion for conversion into a boutique hotel, a proposal that was very unpopular with neighbors, particularly over increased building height, and was scrapped.
In 2014 a plan for a 20-unit condo complex was presented, with no increase in the height of the structure but with the building covering the old parking lot. This plan has been making its way through approvals and its chances of success appear good. The current proposals and documents can be read on the Sausalito city website here.
Tell your GPS: The physical location of the restaurant is at the corner of 2nd St. and Main St. in Sausalito. Everyone thinks of this stretch of road as Bridgeway (it’s named 2nd St. for four blocks). The address on Bridgeway dates back to when the boardwalk here was considered a continuation of the street, which leaves you about a block short when punched into your GPS.