Vignette > Sweetwater

Part of historic Masonic Hall on Corte Madera Ave. has been renovated. It now houses Sweetwater’s large room for music and restaurant. Opening night was January 27, 2012. From 1964 to 1971, the bar located at 153 Throckmorton was called The Office. In the basement of this historic building were lockers for hikers who changed clothes there in 1938 when the building housed Hiker’s Retreat. On November 17, 1972 Fred Martin, owner of The Office converted the bar into a saloon with live music. He named it Sweetwater. In 1980 Fred sold Sweetwater to Jay and Jeannie Patterson. After their divorce, Jeannie acquired ownership. When Jeannie retired in 1998, Thorn and Becky Steere came to the rescue. They kept the doors open until 2007 when a rent increase caused them to close. Over three decades of presenting rock and blues on Throckmorton came to an end. The Steeres tried to open a new Sweetwater at 32 Miller. They began to renovate the space, but high construction costs killed the project. In July 2007, the Steeres established Sweetwater Station, a nightclub in Larkspur. That venture lasted until the end of 2008 when the building’s owner, American Legion Post 313, evicted them. A few years later, a group of investors, many from Mill Valley, raised $3 million for a new Sweetwater in Masonic Hall. The group purchased the name from the Steeres. Jeanie Patterson gave the venture her blessing. The Sweetwater Music Hall is a successful community gathering place and live music venue dedicated to bringing back the Sweetwater’s musical legacy to Mill Valley.