Posted in Blogging Marin on Monday, August 29, 2016 by MCVB Staff
By Whitney Butler
There’s a reason Marin’s nightlife is so authentic, and that’s because the area is home to several famous musicians, and is the birthplace of many more. Classic rockers like Sammy Hagar, Phil Lesh and Huey Lewis have had a huge impact on the music community here, which has also been a home to music greats Tony Bennett and Carlos Santana.
Music roots run deep in these parts, spurring a medley of restaurants, lounges and live music venues that honor the musicians who continue to inspire us.
Whether you’re looking for an intimate venue, celebrity sightings or great cocktails to motivate some dance moves, here’s a list of places in Marin County known for delivering a good time on and off the dance floor.
Fenix Supper Club
For music lovers who enjoy fine dining with a beat, Fenix Supper Club is a great place to experience live music in Marin.
Expect delicious, Southern-style food here, with, of course, a healthy Marin-style twist. You’ll come for the food and definitely stay for the dance floor, which they make room for at nearly every live performance.
Fenix Supper Club has invested in state-of-the-art sound technology, with live streaming equipment used to broadcast these intimate performances online for the entire world to see. They call it a “streaming live production restaurant,” but you can call it a good time.
Known for house-made microbrews like the Hopmonk IPA and refreshing Hopmonk Hefeweizen, this live music haven is also a great place to get your groove on. Hopmonk Tavern in Novato features several musical genres you won’t find elsewhere in Marin, like reggae, beat music and punk, as well as popular varieties like classic rock, R&B and acoustic tribute bands.
The Session Room is an intimate space where Hopmonk Tavern puts on several shows throughout the week. These include an open mic night every Wednesday and, typically on weekends, scheduled performances from popular local bands and national talent.
Kick back a cold one and enjoy a juicy burger before a live performance. Aside from great beer, the food here is great at pleasing a crowd, with seating options available outside.
The outside beer garden is another place that features live music, and during the summer it’s the hottest place to bust a move.
Sweetwater Music Hall
If there’s one place in Marin that you can count on for live music day or night, it’s Sweetwater Music Hall—a community gathering place, complete with dining options and cocktails, now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Bob Weir (former member of The Grateful Dead) is another Marin native who has dedicated his life to music. Thanks to investments from Weir and other local supporters, the once run-down music hall got a second chance in Mill Valley at its grand reopening back in 2012.
Today it serves as a place for people to gather for craft cocktails, boogie on the large dance floor, and take in the talents of touring musical talent.
Speaking of The Grateful Dead, Bob Weir isn’t the only famous guitarist with a trendy music venue in Marin. Phil Lesh, the band’s bass guitarist, also celebrates his roots in Marin County, at a place he opened with his family called Terrapin Crossroads.
Lesh and his gang of local musicians can be seen performing at his swanky restaurant/lounge located near the water in San Rafael nearly every night of the week. He plays for happy hour guests and weekend brunchers—the brunch menu, by the way, is nothing short of amazing.
Terrapin Crossroads has a large, separate music venue, where touring bands come in for intimate shows at ticketed events.
While there’s no telling who will show up for impromptu jam sessions, Terrapin Crossroads is a sure bet when it comes to finding a good beat.
Dugout Bar and Log Cabin
If you’re looking for a place where you can dance to your own special rhythm, San Anselmo’s Dugout Bar and Log Cabin is the perfect place to enjoy a laidback evening dancing to music you play on the jukebox.
This self-proclaimed dive bar is only open Wednesday through Saturday, but they keep the lights on till 2 a.m. It’s a popular place for those who wanna boogie into the late, late night.