Closed Restaurants in Sausalito (Starting with Letters M-Z)
Madame Rety’s — See section alphabetized under “Rety’s” below.
Madrigal Family Winery Tasting Room — Classy wine tasting ro0m and art gallery on Bridgeway that opened in about 2017 in the space below the Casa Madrona Hotel. It closed during the 2020 pandemic lockdowns. although the winery continues to flourish in Calistoga, up in the wine country.
Marina’s — After it was Sausalito Food Company, this spot on Harbor Drive near the post office became Gate 5 Road, then Saylor’s Landing, now Sausalito Seahorse.
Mikayla — Once a separate restaurant within the Casa Madrona Hotel, Mikayla today 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 1960s and 1970s. 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 Wellington’s has now been replaced by The Joinery.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 sad ending was inevitable. The building remains vacant.
Paterson’s Bar — Once a darkened setting worthy of a Humphrey Bogart 1940s 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.
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’s The Bump Bar, 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 with the city. 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 predecessors in the building for many years.
Pomodoro Pizza — Near Best Buy, this outlet in the national chain closed in January, 2009.
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 Louise-Estelle Rety’s French Hotel Restaurant was built in 1871.
Madame Rety’s had a reputation in the hearts of 19th century French foodies similar to that of Sushi Ran for Japanese gourmets today, drawing customers from far away with its reputation as being one of the best restaurants of its kind on the Pacific coast. It was bought by Vincome Gaston Domerque (and I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that he was also French) and the building was moved a block east in 1874, and then sold and renamed Kench’s Restaurant in 1887, and finally closed in about 1895. The building was moved again, this time 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 2000s.
Rico’s — An Italian place back in the 1960s, 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 Sausalito bohemian icon and restaurateur Juanita Musson 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 you read about on the menu, not pizzas with ingredients you read off of lists on 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 1970s in the spot which for many years has housed Hamburgers.
Rustico — One of a succession of restaurants in the old Gatsby’s space, Rustico closed in January, 2009. Followed by Plate Shop and now Fast Food Francais, which finally beat “the Gatsby’s curse” and is now a long-term fixture in the storefront on Caledonia St.
Samurai Sushi — This building on Bridgeway was vacant for several years after the closure of Samurai Sushi, then divided into two new restaurants, Taste of the Himalayas and the now-closed El Patio, the first of a series of Taste of the Himalayas’ neighbors to come and go in the adjacent spot in the building.
Sarky’s — 1970s club at 1201 Bridgeway, now the site of a commercial building called “Sarky’s Center” that houses 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 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 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.
Skipper’s — A restaurant that operated in the 1950s (and perhaps earlier) at the corner of Bridgeway and El Portal St. 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.
Starbucks (Downtown) — Starbucks’ historic building in Sausalito suffered severe damage from a discarded cigarette in the alleyway outside, and the coffee shop had to close. (see video below)
Video from the Starbucks building fire
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.
Tin Angel — This was a rowdy 1940s 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 1940s photo it’s being battered by a storm on the Bay.
Topolino Ristorante — The 1950s occupant of the building that later housed Guernica and is now home to Saylor’s.
Two Turtles Bar — Operated in the 1970s in the space at 688 Bridgeway now occupied by the Sausalito Ferry Co. novelty store.
Village Coffee Shop — This coffee shop was located in the old Village Fair shops structure in the 1960s and 1970s, 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.
Vitality Bowls — This outpost of the Vitality Bowls Chain near Subway in Marin City opened before the pandemic in 2018, and was closed as the shutdowns hit.
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 was used for a scene between film legends Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth (bizarrely with her famous dark hair dyed blonde at Welles’ request) in the 1948 film Lady from Shanghai.
Water Street Grille — Took over the site that for many years had been Houlihan’s. Upstairs has reopened as Barrel House; downstairs was converted to retail after the closing of Il Piccolo Caffe. The inside joke of the name: Before the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937 Sausalito’s main thoroughfare was called Water Street. In honor of the Golden Gate it was renamed Bridgeway (shortened from the original 1937 “Bridgeway Boulevard”).
Waterfront Cafe — This spot on Liberty Ship Way in Marinship is now occupied by 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.
Yacht Dock — “A casual place for food and drink” in the 1940s and 50s. 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. It was originally built in the 1890s as a yacht club.
Zack’s by the Bay — Became Margaritaville, then Paradise Bay, now Salito’s Crab House. Zack’s was the pre-disco-era singles dance scene restaurant and bar in Sausalito’s 70s, 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, for the record, I named no names and gave no specifics. In fact, I insist that I was never even there.
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.