Three years ago on a crisp spring evening, legendary Grateful Dead bassist and new proprietor, Phil Lesh launched the first of a four night soft opening at a former seafood restaurant in San Rafael, California. It did not take long for the now renowned and beloved “Terrapin Crossroads” to capture the attention of music and food lovers in this lovely Marin County setting. With little publicity, the venue was packed to capacity by start time, with dozens of folks outside in the parking lot hoping to make it in.
Over the course of the last 3 years, Terrapin Crossroads has held hundreds of live shows in The Grate Room with nearly every one selling out, as well as free music shows in the bar 5 to 6 nights a week. The list of stellar musicians that have played here contain the likes of Grateful Dead bandmate Bob Weir, Warren Haynes, Chris Robinson, Mike Gordon of Phish, Boyd Tinsley of The Dave Matthews Band, J. Geils, Joan Osborne, Nicki Bluhm, John Scofield, Stanley Jordan, Jackie Greene and recently a surprise appearance in the bar from Greg Allman.
This weekend, the venue commemorated Phil Lesh’s 75th birthday which is next Sunday, with a three show run with members of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Stu Allen & Ezra Lipp. The future expansion of Terrapin Crossroads now includes an approved plan to hold 30 outdoor events in the adjacent park property with the blessing of the City of San Rafael. Old and new friends continue to foster a growing local community along with visitors from all over the country who come to the Crossroads. With the upcoming 50th Anniversary Grateful Dead farewell shows in Chicago this July, it promises to be an exciting year ahead. The compass always points to Terrapin!
Written by Rob Scalcione for Deadheadland