Closed Restaurants in Sausalito (Starting with Letters M-Z)
Madame Rety’s — See section alphabetized under “Rety’s” below.
Marco’s Hotel Sausalito & Cocktail Lounge — When Marco Melevich owned the Hotel Sausalito back in the 1930’s and 1940’s, he logically called it Marco’s Hotel Sausalito. The cocktail lounge of that time (we theorize) today is Cafe Tutti.
Marina’s — Became Gate 5 Road, then Saylor’s Landing, now Sausalito 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.
Norse Hus — Scandinavian restaurant located in the old Village Fair shopping area in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Before becoming a cluster of visitor-oriented shops near the ferry, Village Fair’s building was originally a garage built for for patrons of the the old pre-Golden Gate Bridge ferry pier. Today the building is the southern half of the Casa Madrona Hotel, which also hosts Poggio Trattoria.
North Sea Village — For many years a Chinese restaurant on the water, then subdivided into the now-closed Wellington’s Wine Bar and the now-moved In The Kitchen cooking school. Wellington’s has now been replaced by The Joinery.
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 at a point just north of downtown Sausalito; now Bar Bocce. In the 1960’s this was a popular store that sold braid and embroidery supplies that were then popular for personalizing jeans and other youth clothing in the San Francisco Rock and Woodstock era. (Did you see how skillfully I avoided using the word “hippie”?)
Ole’s Bakery — Scandinavian bakery that operated from the late 1950’s to the late 70’s, first at 8 Princess St. near Bridgeway and later in the spot now occupied by Copita.
Outback Steakhouse — This Outback, which was at the freeway exit in Marin City, closed in August 2018 after a long, sad downward spiral in the management of the restaurant. In 2008 it was a busy hub where you walked in and got a lot of personal attention. By 2017 it looked like each employee had to try to cover three full-time jobs and the management was vacationing somewhere with no cell service, so this result was inevitable.
Paterson’s Bar — Once a setting worthy of a Humphrey Bogart 1940’s detective movie. Became the now-closed Il Piccolo Teatro after an extensive and beautiful renovation of the dark, dank space, then became Copita after another major renovation.
Patty’s Restaurant — In the 1960’s and early 70’s this place operated at 721 Bridgeway, a spot now occupied by the Burlwood Gallery.
Peter Pan Donuts — After a long run from 1981 to 2008 this landmark to generations of Sausalito kids (OK, and adults like me) closed. The building became the now-closed Amy’s Cafe., which kept a donut on its menu as an homage to the prior tenant. Now California Caviar, which does not offer donuts.
Philz Coffee — Located at the site of the former Cork Enoteca Wine Bar next to the Fire Station on Johnson St., Philz closed in mid-October of 2016 after a dispute with their landlord and problems with signage approvals. The space is now the site of Firehouse Coffee and Tea.
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. Thankfully, F3 appears to have broken the “Gatsby’s Curse” (knock on wood!) that had doomed all of its successors in the building for many years.
Pomodoro Pizza — Near Best Buy, this outlet in the national chain closed in January, 2009.
Madame Rety’s French Hotel Restaurant — This is part of a trivia question that will stump most locals: “What famous Sausalito restaurant from 1871 was located in a building you can still visit today?” Located at the corner of Pine St. and Caledonia St. (the intersection that houses Arawan Thai today in a different building), Madame Madame Louise-Estelle Rety’s French Hotel Restaurant was built in 1871 and had a similar reputation to that of Sushi Ran today, drawing customers from far away with its reputation as being one of the best French restaurants on the Pacific coast. It was bought by Vincome Gaston Domerque (and I’ll go out on a limb and guess that he was also French) and moved a block east to what is now Bridgeway in 1874, and then sold and renamed Kench’s Restaurant in 1887, and finally closed in about 1895. The building was moved a short distance to its present location at 323 Pine St. (at Bridgeway, but set back a few feet) in 1933 to escape road construction. It was badly damaged by a fire in 2009 but restored, and now contains professional offices. It’s the brown shingled building at the corner of Bridgeway and Pine.
Rickshaw Chinese — Near Best Buy, this fast food outlet was replaced by Panda Express in the mid 2000’s.
Rico’s — An Italian place back in the 1960’s, Rico’s followed the Bridgeway Inn in the present location of Angelino. Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio was one of their customers, and a party for Juanita of Juanita’s Galley was held there that drew hundreds of people in 1964.
Rossetti Pizzeria — A highly-rated small local gem, this “pizzas with flavor profiles off the menu, not pizzas with ingredient lists off the wall” restaurant operated from late 2010 until June, 2014, when it was sold and closed for remodeling. In September, 2015 Sandrino opened at this location, with a more diverse menu but a similar philosophy.
Ruby’s Coffee Shop — Operated in the early 1970’s in the spot which for many years has housed Hamburgers.
Sarky’s — 1970’s club at 1201 Bridgeway, now the site of a commercial building called “Sarky’s Center” that houses Sausalito Stationery (facing Caledonia St.), Katya Fused Glass, Marco Art of Hair and others.
Sartaj India Cafe by Lotus — OK, let me see if I can explain this. Sartaj India Cafe was a long-time mainstay on Caledonia St. here in Sausalito, but was affected by a fire in the owners’ apartment upstairs in May of 2015, a fire that destroyed most of their belongings. In late 2016 the hassles of temporary living were too much and they sold the restaurant to the their friends who run Lotus Cuisine of India in San Rafael, and the name was changed to Sartaj India Cafe by Lotus, which opened in December, 2017. After just a few months the new menu wasn’t working and the friends all agreed that the old owners would run the restaurant in their old way on behalf of the new owners but without the new “by Lotus” label. So we took Sartaj India Cafe out of this “closed restaurants” listing and added back the now-closed Sartaj India Cafe by Lotus. All I’ve got to say is that they can’t change names again for at least five years, because I’m worn out re-writing this article every few months! Oh, and there will be a quiz on all this next Wednesday.
Sausalito Food Company — Became Marina’s, then Gate 5 Road, then Harbor Grill, then Saylor’s Landing, now Sausalito Seahorse. They had decorated the building as a greenhouse when they started out back in the 1970’s.
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 before he moved to live on a barge on the Seine in Paris. They had food downstairs and rooms for rent above.
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.
Seven Seas Greenhouse Restaurant — Seven Seas was part of the downtown Sausalito restaurant scene for over 60 years, a long run for any business and similar to its now-closed neighbor Winship. In the 1950’s it was run by a couple named Paul and Della, and the matchbook at left dates back to when Sausalito phone numbers began with “EDgewater” instead of the numbers “33” before the implementation of area codes and all-numeric numbers in the early 1960’s — the phone number had not changed six decades later when the restaurant closed. By the 1970’s a back room had been decorated with potted plants and Seven Seas became the Seven Seas Greenhouse Restaurant. By the 1990’s it had the weird combination of a full bar serving alcohol on one side of the front entrance and an ice cream bar for the whole family just across the aisle, and served an assortment of cuisines including pizza. As old neighbors were replaced by modern and elegant new restaurants like Napa Valley Burger Co., Barrel House and Copita, Seven Seas began to show its age, and the windowless “greenhouse” lost its charm. The axe finally fell when the building’s owner passed away in January, 2016 and the restaurant was closed. The space has now been converted to retail.
Skipper’s — A restaurant that operated in the 1950’s (and perhaps earlier) at the vorner of Bridgeway and El Portal St., the current home of Petri’s Fine Art. They were replaced in this spot by Peter Alioto’s Arbordale, which was in turn named after a German Hof Brau that was operating at Skipper’s location in 1908. Got it? There will be a quiz on Wednesday.
Star’s Barbecue — Located in Marin City near what is now Target, closed in 2009.
Thai Noodle House — This place made a short 2016 appearance in the rotating series of restaurants in a seemingly cursed northern Sausalito office area spot, including Bio, El Patio, La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant and Bua Thai Kitchen.
Thai Terrace — After over ten years in business in the little commercial center at the corner of Caledonia and Bridgeway, they closed in 2017 (a year when competition peaked at an unsustainable level in Sausalito Thai restaurants as Arawan Thai reopened after a long remodel and the now-closed Bua Thai moved in), and the site was remodeled and re-opened as a new branch of San Rafael’s My Thai called ThaiTanic Street Food.
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. They published a literary magazine upstairs and served as a home base for local writers and artists, long before Borders and Barnes & Noble. 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 contact us to fill us in so we can share the story with our readers!)
Tin Angel — This was a rowdy 1940’s place in the former Lange’s Launches boat landing building, succeeded in 1951 by the famous Glad Hand restaurant and bar, now occupied (after the addition of a dining room on the far end of the pier) by Scoma’s. Tin Angel today more or less is the bar space at Scoma’s. In this 1940’s photo it’s being battered by a storm on the Bay.
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 sold and renamed as Horizons for many years the Trident returned with its old name as of Summer, 2012 after a major renovation and restoration that preserved its historic paintings and woodwork.
Two Turtles Bar — Operated in the 1970’s in the space at 688 Bridgeway now occupied by the Sausalito Ferry Co. novelty store.
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 later plans for a hotel on the site were scuttled by community opposition. The current proposal is to turn the building into condo’s.
Village Coffee Shop — This coffee shop was located in the old Village Fair shops structure in the 1960’s and 1970’s, which had previously been a parking garage for the old ferry pier and today is the newer, southern end of the Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa and the home of Poggio Trattoria.
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. The location for a scene between film legends Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth (bizarrely dyed blonde) in the 1948 film Lady from Shanghai.
Water Street Grille — Took over the site that for many years had been Houlihan’s. Upstairs has just reopened as Barrel House; 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.
Wellington’s Wine Bar — High quality place that lost its lease in autumn of 2014 and had to close. It occupied the building that a generation ago housed North Sea Village. The building is now home to The Joinery.
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.
Yacht Dock — “A casual place for food and drink” in the 1940’s and 50’s. Became The Trident in the 1960’s when bought by the Kingston Trio, then sold and renamed Horizons, and then re-renamed The Trident again
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 Charles 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, about the time the name was changed to Sausalito Little Theatre. The Grateful Dead played there at least once in the mid-1960’s.