A Night Owl’s Guide to Cocktails in Marin County

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Posted in Blogging Marin on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 by MCVB Staff

by Whitney Butler


Those who make the trip to Marin County know that sometimes the real fun doesn’t begin until the sun starts to set. The unexpected pleasures of nightfall can be found all around you, if you know where to look. 

Whether escaping the city or just searching for a new beat to follow, if there’s one thing you can’t miss on your visit to Marin County, it’s the nightlife. And what better way to toast the evening than with a cocktail fit for the stars. 

Here’s your night owl’s guide to some of the best cocktails in Marin County.


Fenix Supper Club

Organic colors and rich textures create a welcoming environment that sparkles with refinement. The cocktail menu at San Rafael’s Fenix Supper Club is just as impressive, mixing up all the classic and signature cocktails that you won’t find anywhere else. 

For something sweet, try the Fenix Rising, a sexy blend of mandarin blossom vodka, Campari, orange, lemon juice and hibiscus syrup. Or spice it up with a Peach Picante Drop, made with peach vodka, white cranberry juice, lime, jalapeño and grenadine. 

With three distinct bars to choose from, and a generous happy hour, this is a great place to start your night. 

Night Owl Tip: Fenix offers a three-course, early-bird dinner special every Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.


Hopmonk Tavern

Located in Novato, Hopmonk Tavern serves up more than craft beer. With an eclectic list of fine spirits to choose from, you can order your favorite cocktail and make your way to the Session Room or the beautiful outdoor Beer Garden.

Outside in the garden, night owls will enjoy the evening air, fire pits and free live music—a great space for entertaining a group. The tavern also hosts music events in its Session Room, featuring a variety of sounds several nights of the week. 

Night Owl Tip: If you’re not in the mood for a cocktail, this is a great place to grab a refreshing craft beer. Their draft menu includes unique house brews and more than 50 different bottled beers.


Sweetwater Music Hall

If you’re headed to Mill Valley, stop by this legendary nightclub and café for a delicious cocktail and local music. Sweetwater is known for being a rock n’ roll retreat, attracting musicians from all over to play on its state-of-the-art stage set in an intimate setting.

At the entrance to the music venue, the Sweetwater Café serves up local, organic, seasonal and sustainable cuisine, as well as notable cocktails to enjoy during a show. Specialty cocktails include The Gary Cooper, a mix of whiskey, fresh lemon, orange bitters and ginger beer. Or try the Mama Cassis, made with gin, cassis liqueur and fresh lemon juice.

Night Owl Tip: Check out the website for a complete list of upcoming shows and events. Tickets sell out quickly.


Terrapin Crossroads

Situated near the water in San Rafael, the whitewashed, aged-wood interior fades perfectly into the foreground during the last moments of twilight. On a warm evening there’s no better place to be than on the patio overlooking the canal—of course, with a cocktail. 

The signature cocktails at Terrapin Crossroads are a true homage to the fresh and local ingredients found throughout the area. The Slow Train, for example, is a beautiful house-infused horseradish and black-pepper gin. Or try the Little Red Rooster, a playful mix of berry-infused bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, bitters and ginger beer.

Night Owl Tip: Terrapin Crossroads is the love child of Grateful Dead musician Phil Lesh. The Great Room regularly features impressive music acts and often surprise appearances by Lesh and friends.


Enjoy an evening in Marin County like a professional night owl. With so many great cocktails to choose from, the hardest part is picking your favorite one.

For all you need to plan your Marin County vacation, visit the Marin Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website or Facebook page.



More information on featured attractions:

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Hopmonk Tavern

Hopmonk Tavern - A celebration of beer, food, music and people.  

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Tags: Nightlife