Hot Summer Nights

Marin’s got the music. Here are seven venues that will rock your socks off.

By Calin Van Paris, Marin Magazine

WITH HISTORIC ROOTS IN THE INDUSTRY — the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Van Morrison, Carlos Santana and more have called the county home — Marin has long been a destination for some seriously impressive live music. These local venues, keeping the toe-tapping tradition alive, are ideal for a summer night out.


Sweetwater Music Hall

The most recent incarnation of the storied Sweetwater (the original hot spot opened in 1972 on Throckmorton Avenue) boasts a courtyard, cafe, full bar and performers spanning all genres — from jazz to blues to the brand of classic rock that helped make the venue legendary. 19 Corte Madera Ave (Mill Valley). 415.388.3850, sweetwatermusichall.com

Throckmorton Theatre

In 2014, Throckmorton Theatre (pictured at top) celebrated a decade of operations in a space that simultaneously celebrated its centennial. The theater — which formerly played host to the likes of Charlie Chaplin — is a destination for visual arts of all kinds including film, music and dance. 142 Throckmorton Ave (Mill Valley). 415.383.9600, throckmortontheatre.com

The Sleeping Lady

Named for the iconic Mount Tamalpais, The Sleeping Lady serves up good food, draft beer and cocktails with a backdrop of mostly mellow live music. Pull up a chair inside or on the shaded patio, and stop by Monday nights for the bar’s traditional Irish music jam sessions. 23 Broadway Blvd (Fairfax). 415.485.1182, sleepingladyfairfax.com

19 Broadway Bar and Nightclub

Home to two full bars, a dance floor and a covered patio, 19 Broadway provides ample opportunity to dance and mingle. The venue has hosted live music seven days a week for more than 30 years and continues to draw performers from virtually every genre, including reggae, funk, soul and more. 17 Broadway Blvd (Fairfax). 415.459.0293, 19broadway.com

Terrapin Crossroads

Founded by former Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, Terrapin is a great destination for music and a meal. The full-service restaurant hosts (sometimes impromptu) bar shows and concerts in the venue’s Grate Room. Count on regular appearances by Phil Lesh and Friends as well as jazz, country rock and other styles. 100 Yacht Club Dr (San Rafael). 415.524.2773, terrapincrossroads.net

Fenix Live

This modern supper club provides a true musical dining experience. Each room in the restaurant (even the kitchen) is primed for acoustics, ensuring the best sound experience possible. Enjoy a healthy take on Southern fare and performances by musicians across all genres. 919 Fourth St (San Rafael). 415.813.5600, fenixlive.com

HopMonk Tavern

Beer, wine, cocktails and an American-food menu make the HopMonk a great place to dine, while a session room showcasing comedians, musicians and more provides a good time. Most shows are standing room only, and warm nights entice patrons into the beer garden. 224 Vintage Way (Novato). 415.892.6200, hopmonk.com