Terrapin Crossroads logoPhil LeshPhil Lesh and his wife and partner Jill Lesh had been making a concerted effort to open a local music venue close to their Marin County home for quite awhile now, and have finally found a spot, not far from the Grateful Dead‘s old studio Club Front

A new website was quietly launched a couple days back, with Phil posting to their blog on January 2:

“I was recently re-reading Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, and Jill and I started reminiscing about the 1987 rehearsal sessions with Bob that took place at Club Front, the Grateful Dead San Rafael studio/boy’s club from the late seventies until the mid-nineties. We were having lunch in the area one afternoon and decided to take a drive by the old studio. While we were driving around we went by The Seafood Peddler restaurant, where Furthur did some rehearsal shows a couple years ago in their Palm Ballroom. We pulled into the rear parking lot and we saw a large painted Grateful Dead logo with the words Buckle Up Kids above it. We looked at each other and both had the same flash – that the Seafood Peddler had the foundation for us to realize our long-held dream of finding a place in Marin County to make music.

Earlier today, with announcements via Facebook, Phil and Furthur let the cat out of the bag.  Fans have been commenting all day, and joining the new fan page for Terrapin Crossroads.

Phil Lesh has purchased the spot, and is now building his long anticipated local music venue.  Lesh was inspired by Levon Helm and his Ramble, which Levon host’s at his studio in Woodstock. The Rambles feature Levon, his friends, and family, all of which are wonderful musicians.  Phil, as well as Bob Weir, and many others, have sat in on a Ramble or too when they are in the area, and have a free night.

>^.^< and John Kadlecik, outside the Palm Ballroom 6/2/2010 - Furthur RehearsalsPhil has been wanting a place to hold his own Rambles, with his family and friends as well, near his home in Marin County California.   Earlier this year he announced intended plans to use a space in Fairfax California, closer to his home than San Rafael (by about 15 minutes, in traffic!) but was met with resistance by the Fairfax neighbors, some of whom posted signs around his neighborhood protesting the yet to be built club.   Despite a public proposal that was very thoughtfully put together, and a town meeting to discuss the details, Phil and Jill did not move forward in Fairfax, and instead announced they would give up on Fairfax;  and it was no secret he was searching for sound location elsewhere.

As Phil stated, this new spot is a great location, and it already has a feel good local vibe, and history.  Not far from where Club Front was, in the Canal district of San Rafael, and also, the site of some of Furthur’s rehearsal on May 24, 25 and then again after Furthur Festival, on June 2, 3,& 4.      A few lucky fans gratefully got to be there, myself included.

The Palm Ballroom, which is the presumed location for the Grate Room, has been a local music haven lately, with so many great shows.  Just in the past year I have seen the Mother Hips, Mark Karan and Jemimah Puddleduck, Moonalice, and David Nelson Band there – just to name a few.  The Palm has been being managed by Murphy Productions and Publicity – the party responsible for these fun friendly musical parties at the Palm.

While most all of Phil’s fans, and the general Dead Head community is very excited about what is to come, there is some fallout from the Phil zone… Murphy Productions was not aware that this deal Buckle Up Kids - Steal Your graffiti right off the shed!had gone down, until Phil and Furthur posts came around on Facebook.  They are not part of the new project, and had shows planned for the coming months,and so are looking for a new venue to book. Though they have taken a good attitude about it, stating “Let live music thrive in any way it can!”

Phil Lesh’s new Terrapin Crossroads will include a restaurant, replacing the soon to close Seafood Peddler.  I hope they keep the boat, it is a great landmark (the sign is a small boat, in the sky atop a pole).   There are plans to open in the very near future, with an upgraded sound system, and then to close down later in the Fall for a major remodeling, and grand reopening in 2013.

Full Information: http://terrapincrossroads.net

Intersting note. The new website is selling t-shirts and gear with the “Grafitti Stealie” logo that Phil and Jill saw painted on the building near the restaurant.  After years of  Dead Head parking lot Vendors “appropriating” the bands icons, Phil steals it right back!  Steal Your Graffiti right off your shed!