Note: For your trip down Memory Lane was also have a list of Sausalito Restaurants That Have Closed.
We’re still compiling the first version of this list, but here is what we have thus far. The sad part for me is that several of the stores listed below were favorite spots for our family to shop.
The Art of Tim Cantor focused on the work of Northern California-born artist Tim Cantor, particularly paintings in oil. It was located at 599-B Bridgeway.
Big G Super — Market and deli purchased in 1988 by natural foods grocer David Bennett and turned into the anchor store of what would become the Mollie Stones 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 change the store’s quality values and alienate the customer base), but that all came after the early stores in Sausalito and Palo Alto.
Ciao Bella Italy — This small shop on the southern side of Princess St. featured wonderful ceramics imported from Italy. There are a fair number of Bay Area shops that are devoted to these kinds of items, but the OurSausalito Editors agreed that the choices here were more diverse and interesting than what you usually see. We bought several items here, typically hand’painted bowls, plates and trivets, and the owner gave shoppers great guidance when you’re looking for something special. This shop was the most similar local Italian Ceramics store when you compare to the ones you see in Florence or in Venice. With the quality, however, came prices higher than at the copycat shops with mass-produced items.
Duke’s Plumbing Shop — A fixture on Bridgeway for many years, the owner Duke would teach homeowners how to do their own projects and sketch plumbing plans tro help them get started.
EyeItalia — The retail outlet closed in 2014 and was replaced by Warehouse, although their original mail order business (which pre-dated the shop) remains active. This Italian gift and stationery shop on the northern side of Princess St. felt like it would fit well in Venice or Florence. It was my go-to place for unique note cards I use for thank you letters, because hand written letters really have an impact in this era of email — now I’ll have to order my cards for hand-written notes… by email. The building is also historic and for generations was the home of the wonderful, now-relocated Tapia Art Gallery.
Isn’t That Life — The hanging sign that saids they carry cameras, batteries and memory cards may have led you to think this is just another souvenir shop. But Isn’t That Life offered far more than meets the eye. Our Sr. Contributing Editor Sabine Stetson points out that when you first walk into this shop on Bridgeway the artwork with stylized images of young women may look familiar, and you may have seen it before in shops around the world. What´s different is that the style in this Sausalito shop is not just another copy of someone else’s style, it’s the original version and the original style that started it all, created by Sausalito artist Connie Pecoraro, with her character “No Name Girl”. It’s the sincerest form of flattery that so many companies big and small have been “inspired¨ by Pecoraro’s art, but here you are looking at the work of the original artist. The good news: the shop has closed so that Connie can focus on her work and her business through her website.
Low Tide Club — This shop sold hand-crafted items and gifts, closing in January, 2014. They were located at 215 Caledonia St.
Out of Hand — This Princess St. shop occupied two different storefronts in a ten year run before closing in 2015. They had an ecclectic mix with everything from greeting cards to jewelry to clothing to home decor and more. I almost never actually buy something in this kind of shop, but we regularly bought things in Out of Hand and were sorry to see it close.
The Port Hole — In the late 1940’s and 1950’s this new and used clothing shop, which also sold fishing gear, was also a cleaners with a seamstress named Cora to take care of the items you bought. Ernie, the proprietor, was famous for somehow knowing what items were used clothing for sale and which were cleaned clothing to be picked up.
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 the beautifully remodeled Barrel House upstairs in the prime San Francisco view area of the old building. A plaque in front of the building commemorates its historic status, which is more respect than other deserving local buildings have received.
The Sandal — Ladies shoe store during the 1960’s, in the storefront at 755 Bridgeway that now houses Barcelino.
Sanyok Gallery, which operated in 2013-14, featured the paintings and sculpture of gallery founders Michal Tavrovsky and Jenny Belotserkovsky. These two artists show a mastery of a variety of media and themes, which they describe as Romantic Avant-Garde and Idealistic Abstractionism. This reminds us that we need a far better way to describe our writing here at OurSausalito, something more sophisticated than “informative, well-organized and constantly updated!”
Sottovento — Clothing store that operated at 649 Bridgeway (the location of the old Tides Bookstore) from about 2008-13.
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. One of our editors took his wife there on one of their first dates in Sausalito. The “crookedest stairs in the world” Lombard St. style stairway at left is now part of the remodeled Casa Madrona hotel.
Workshop, at 52 Princess St., was a women’s clothing store in the period around 2014-2016.