No Name Bar, Sausalito, California
The No Name Bar shouldn’t still be there in Sausalito, California. It’s
time has come and gone. But there it sits on the main drag in the center
of town in one of the most expensive and hip places on Earth.
The doors captured my attention. I can’t find a decent photo of the old
wooden doors with the intricate stained glass windows, but as a former
stained glass artist; I can tell you that those stained glass windows took
weeks to design and make. And they are in perfect shape.
I’d sit at the bar under that smiling sailor and drink $6 pints of pilsner
(very cheap for Marin County), and listen to the few locals in the bar in
the afternoon. I’d be there from noon to 1:30 PM for the two days we
were there. The locals were all my age and drinking weak mixed drinks
down at the elbow of the bar by the street. And the large window on the
street opens/slides up, so lots of light and fresh air come into the bar. I’ve
never seen that before.
The bar was clean, but really not much on the walls. A few painting and
and some Giants memorabilia framed on the wall from when they won
their World Series’.
There was an old persimmon 3 wood on the wall way up high. I asked
the bartender what that was about.
“Oh, that’s for Tate. Tate came here often and he loved to play golf. We
all miss him. He was a good guy.”
The bar is “cash only”…. a sign says, “ATM by the front door.” Oh, I
liked that, too.
The bartender told me that Janis Joplin used to play here and Graham
Nash and lots of other musicians.
There is live music every night in the bar. At least one night a week is
open mike and no cover. Most nights are no cover charge. The stage is
tiny. The light set up is primitive. The ceiling was no doubt there when
Janis Joplin sang.
I wander about to the back and see a glass case with old photos. There is
a color 8 x 10 glossy of Clint Eastwood in his sport coat and tie. He’s
hugging a young woman and smiling. Eastwood is wearing his “Dirty
Harry” costume. He must have come from filming the movie in San
Francisco to the bar. Clint was famous for keeping his costumes in his
room at night so no one would steal them.
The empty or full beer kegs were next to the old photos. No ceremony
The article says that there are new owners. Well, they must be rich and
nostalgic. That bar doesn’t make any money. But I sure enjoyed the
experience. It was like a drinking/music museum from 1971.
They had a crew of two guys rebuilding the bathrooms while I was
there. It was noisy and the patrons were making fun of the slowness of
“Yeah, how many nails do you need Jose?”
“Not sure. How big the nails should be?”
“Maybe we need another board?”
“How many boards do you need?”
They went on like this down at the elbow of the bar for a good ten
minutes. It was hilarious! I pretended to be watching the baseball game
on the TV.
It was a very relaxing two early afternoons at the No Name Bar for me.