The Sweetwater Music Hall is ready for one heckuva comeback.
Save for a short-lived Summer Pop-Up Tiki Bar for food and beverage takeout in June 2020, and the more recent construction of its newly covered outdoor patio, the Sweetwater Music Hall has been the sound of silence for the duration of the pandemic.
On the heels of a painful, largely music-free 16-plus months at Mill Valley’s venerable music venue, with its dozens of employees left waiting for a return to work, the Sweetwater’s braintrust has unveiled its long-awaited, raucous comeback. It’s a double dose of both sonic and mouth-watering treats.
In a deft move given the expected re-learning curve for music fans ready to see some of their favorite bands in downtown Mill Valley, the food and drink are first on tap at the Sweetwater. On August 2nd, they’re unveiling the debut of the Rock & Rye restaurant at Sweetwater Music Hall, with lauded chef Rick Hackett (Bocanova, Florio, MarketBar) cooking South American and New Orleans-inspired dishes on an ultra-seasonal menu. The bar program led by Joshua Fernandez showcases an extensive collection of American, Irish, Scotch, and Japanese whiskeys; as well as craft cocktails named in tribute to independent music venues nationwide that are persevering and reopening after the pandemic. FULL MENU HERE.
One month later, on Sept. 3, the legendary Sweetwater stage will be alive with music, starting with a two-night run from George Porter Jr. and his band Runnin’ Pardners. The lineup of shows runs well into November, including local favorites like Koolerator, Petty Theft, Mustache Harbor, Zepparella, Super Diamond, The Mother Hips and renowned mandolinist David Grisman.
“I am so looking forward to returning with my Runnin’ Pardners to such a great venue as The Sweetwater Music Hall for their reopening this September,” Porter Jr. says.
“Holy sh**! Sweetwater is reopening – been way too long!” says Grateful Dead legend and Sweetwater co-owner Bob Weir. “I can’t wait to light the place up again!”
At the helm is general manager Maria Hoppe, a nearly 30-year music industry veteran who says she’s thrilled for the opportunity to lead the Sweetwater’s coming out party.
”It’s an honor, honestly,” says Hoppe, who first made her name in the business working for former longtime Journey manager Herbie Herbert. “This is a legendary place, and I get to bring it back to life after the pandemic.”
With all that said, there’s even more goodness to celebrate, including the Sweetwater’s newly minted nonprofit entity in addition to the venue to further their education and community arts initiatives, an expanded its dining room, a significantly brightened venue with lighter flooring and clearer windows and the more recent construction of its newly covered outdoor patio.
CHECK OUT THE FULL LINEUP HERE. Note: Like many venues, bars and restaurants in California, the Sweetwater will be requiring proof of vaccination for its concerts.