Welcome to the Trident!

Welcome to the “original” Trident Restaurant’s web log! This site would like your help collecting photos, stories, and memories, from employees, patrons, and anyone that frequented this unique establishment/ experience from 1966 to 1976.

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The Kingston Trio’s Trident, at 558 Bridgeway in Sausalito, uniquely reflected what was going on in the late 60’s and through the mid 70’s in the Bay Area. New York had Studio 54 San Francisco had the Trident.  David Crosby called the Trident, “Ground zero for sex, drugs, and Rock and Roll!  Robin Williams worked there as a bus boy. Janis Joplin had her own table when she came in. Clint Eastwood and Sonny Barger (head of the Hell’s Angel’s) hung out regularly at the bar together. In 1972 and 1975, after their concerts, the Rolling Stones held private parties thrown by Bill Graham. The night the Trident closed in 1976, most of the employees had taken some sort of mind altering substance ,and the “kind” was freely indulged in throughout the evening … without any incidents or trouble from the Sausalito Police who were in attendence. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many stories here.  All surprisingly true!

What a trip!

Have the times changed? Your thoughts, stories, photos, and memories are welcomed!

Video

Trident Flashback

Looking Back

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A few months back David Ganapoler posted an article from the Marin Independent Journal on Facebook regarding the closing of the Trident.  The article was written by Mark Whittington, and here are some excerpts:

“SAUSALITO – The Trident was a symbol of the 70’s that had a special magic. It was happening! The Trident was a hang out for rock stars, with Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin, and Bob Dylan giving impromptu concerts.   Hollywood high brows and local hipsters rubbed elbows there with drug dealers and Hell’s Angels.  The carefully chosen waitresses turned heads.   Frank Werber opened the Trident in 1961 (the third version of the Trident officially closed in 1981.  We’re onto the fourth version presently 2014) patterning it after the jazz super clubs of the East Coast.

Werber discovered a folk group in Menlo Park, turned them into the Kingston Trio, and managed their rise to success.  The Trident was one of the groups real estate investments used to shelter the groups money.  Werber also managed to survive several controversial marijuana arrests beating all but one conviction.  The Marin Judge ruled that Werber’s use of pot for religious purposes wasn’t constitutionally protected.  The Trident’s special feeling spilled over to the employees, who had a family type relationship.”

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Marin Magazine Trident Article

9LookingBackTrident2014 They say if you can remember the 1960s and ’70s, you weren’t there. Not always. In 1974, Tiburon’s Mark Lomas worked at the Trident Restaurant in Sausalito, the erstwhile gathering place for, literally sex, drugs and rock and roll. Featuring psychedelic-colored menus, tasty organic dishes, Ramos gin fizzes, candles in bowls, Boston ferns throughout and, most notable of all, enticingly attired waitresses, the Trident reigned supreme at 558 Bridgeway between 1966 and 1976 (it’s now Horizons, a popular bayfront restaurant whose interior has barely changed over the past 34 years). And Lomas, now a Marin realtor, recalls those times surprisingly well. “Each day I came to work wondering what was going to happen next,” he says. “I started there as a dishwasher one Friday summer evening with Robin Williams training me, and shortly thereafter we were both moved up to the ever so glamorous position of busboy.”  Lomas also recalls encounters with Trident diners Pink Floyd (“Nicest guys you’d ever want to meet”) and Walter Matthau (“‘You’re standing on my foot,’ he informed me when I cleared his table”). Surprising to many, the Trident was owned and developed by that clean-cut singing group of the 1950s the Kingston Trio and their entrepreneurial manager Frank Werber. As for the Trident’s legendary waitresses, Lomas puts it this way: “They were really sexy, intelligent and very creative; they dressed and acted as they pleased and many were respected artists in their own right—they were like goddesses.” The list of Trident customers is also legendary: Janis Joplin had a favorite table; rock impresario Bill Graham hosted two post-concert parties here for the Rolling Stones; Woody Allen staged a scene from Play It Again Sam there; other regulars included David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Groucho Marx, Clint Eastwood, Joan Baez and Tommy and Dickie Smothers. “In the late ’60s and early ’70s, it was the place to be in Northern California,” concludes Lomas. “Now, those of us who were once there gather occasionally on a website—tridentrestaurant.com.” Photo by Jiro Yoneshige

The Trident Movie

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Trident alumni Ed Gutekunst has written an amazing original Movie Treatment/ Short Story about three women coming of age in 1974 while working at the Trident. One of them is a Manager named Dagny(?), and the other two are two waitresses named Josie and Chelo.   This is a beautiful story about friendship, loyalty, and redemption.  Fiction written over real events that took place at the Trident. The summer of 1974. More about The Trident movie to follow… and perchance you’re in touch with Alexander Payne, Ron Howard, Billy Crystal,  or George Lucas we’d love to talk to them!

You also may have noticed a new look here.This site previously was birthed on a GoDaddy quick blogcast web site account.  Although I had paid up to 2018 for the site to be hosted by GoDaddy – GoDaddy decided that they were not making enough money off of their Quickblogcast accounts, and dropped them…thereby ending (sent to the grave)  all those web sites including yours truly. This is a WordPress web site.  All previous post are being rescanned (Photos/images), videos recovered, and articles copied and pasted into this new format which will take weeks? Months? Thank you for your patience here as we restart/rebuild this web site… July 15, 2014

Prior to this WordPress web site being created –  according to GoDaddy’s Statistics:  www.TridentRestaurant.com has had over 2 million views to date since it was first created in 2006.

Thanks to everyone that’s contributed here!  All the best in 2015!

Mark Danforth Lomas  MDLomas@gmail.com  805.845.2888

Josie

A little story of my “Trident days!
Ahhh “The Trident”, my very first job, ever!  I met so many cool people, celebrities (Rod Stewart, who whistle to get my attention and got my reply as his friends were flabbergasted), the Stones whom I partied with at the Mark Hopkins, Bill Wyman, who had a thing for me and sent his limo to pick me up at 3 am to hang with him at the Record Plant (his woman at the time who threatened me for being with him),  and oh so many other interesting men I met!.
I worked with some of the most amazing women I have ever known! I am forever grateful of having been there at that special time. Shout out to my girls, Mimi (RIP), Patsy , Monique, Katie, Jan, Noreen, Leigh, Kathleen, Marsha, Donna, Poppy, Cassandra, Stevie, Bonnie, Sharlee, Herta (my partner in Boob Flashing the Ferry first thing in the morning!). Remembering how we all trailed to the ladies room when someone gave us a stash!  A special thank you to the man who came every day I worked and gave me a $100 bill folded and full! (you know who you are). These women somehow are part of my life!
Bobby the bartender who was always pissed at me cuz I didn’t know how to order the drinks, he once told me it was a good thing I was so cute, because i sucked as a waitress…bahahaha.  The kitchen guys whom I always flashed (for my orders) , just to make them smile, Pierre (RIP) who loved my boobs! I could have anything I wanted in that kitchen, I loved my job! Lou the sweetest and most compassionate man I ever met, his family, also form part of my entourage of dear people close to my heart growing as a woman.
I learned and mentally grew at that restaurant. I will forever be thankful to have been one of the Trident Girls, even though I was told many times that I wouldn’t be hired because of this!  I tell the tales to my kids, (sans some details) of how I was such an outrageous waitress, what a great time we had! These memories will forever live in my heart!
Thank you Mark for giving me the chance to connect with some of the girls and
 re live some of that wonderful ride that was “The Trident”
Josie
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Trident Babes recently submitted  left to right:  Monique, Mimi, Josie and Patsy …looking good! And Josie back in the day!

Jiro, Marty, Eric, and Robin

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If the parking lot could talk…. ?

We’ll Always Love You Robin!

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And we always did… 

Robin worked at the Trident Restaurant in Sausalito, California in 1974, 1975, and 1976.

Robin was the first person I met in 1974 when I was hired to work  there. He trained me as a busboy.  In 1976 the Trident closed for repairs, and we went out looking for work together. On our second day out we were  interviewed together (only job interview I’ve had with another person?), and hired to work at the Sausalito Food Company as bus boys.

In 1976 Robin entered the first San Francisco Comedy Competition and came in second to Bill Farley, and Bob Sarlatte came in third.  Here is the link to the Bay Area Magazine’s Robin remembrance:  BAM Robin Remembrance

In 1977 , while we were working at the Sausalito Food Company, Robin joined an improvization group that was performing nightly for two weeks at Gatsby’s Bar  on Caldonia Street in Sausalito.  Every night he was amazing, and stood out from the rest of the performers.  The second week there a writer (or writers) from the Richard Pryor Show on NBC  were sitting at the bar.

The following week Robin was introduced on the Richard Pryor Show as one of the show’s new writers?  Shortly thereafter  he would become a regular performer on the Richard Pryor Show. (There’s information online that would suggest Robin had already met Richard Pryor at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles?  This is curious since Robin was working at the Sausalito Food Company (because he needed a job), and didn’t have a car? But, anything is possible I guess? If it’s online it must be true?

It would appear that Robin was discovered at Gatsbys in Sausalito in 1977. From budding San Francisco comedy talent to writer and performer on NBC television.  And, from there….

Illustration by Hilary Slaughter 2014

  Jeff Burkhart “The Barfly” Remembering Robin 

Early Cirque Du Soleil

18RobinEricHertaOne2014Not too many people know that Cirque Du Soleil began in the parking lot of the Trident back in the mid 70’s.  This also was thought to be a pyramid scheme but was simply multi-level marketing.   Very clever in its day …..  Herta, Eric, and Robin …top to bottom…

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Thomas Rain Crowe

I worked with Robin for three years at the Trident Restaurant in Sausalito (on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge). We worked the same three-day shift as busboys in the Trident–that hired only young people who were serious and active in the arts. I was publishing Beatitude magazine and living in San Francisco in those years (the old original Beat generation magazine which was started in the late 50s) and taking the ferry to work every day.

Robin was a hoot and the restaurant was in stitches whenever he was working his shift. Nothing and no one was safe from his sketches and antics. I remember him pulling down Katie’s elastic top one afternoon. This was typical occurance when Robin was on his shift. Robin was doing stand up comedy at small venues in the city, then, some of which were venues where I was doing poetry readings on different nights. I knew him as a pensive, intellegent and very well-read person, who despite his constant antics in public, was a rather quiet and somehow sad person behind the mask of his social personae. He always seemed “troubled” to me.

Guess I was right–given his substance abuse problems and now his suicide. He had qualities of genius, even then, and everyone recognized that potential. He more than lived up to that potential, clearly. Too bad he couldn’t enjoy that on into old age. Big loss, this news. It will rock the world a bit.

Thomas Rain Crowe
Poet/publisher of New Native Press

I probably could have written a short novel on my years at the Trident. What a place. I think Robin’s sudden and dramatic death has stopped everyone’s clock. Rationally you can say, “yes, he was carrying a heavy load and this could have been the outcome.” But emotionally it’s hard to digest. We lost a good man. He gave it all he had and just ran out of steam. But his legacy–like Joplin, Hendricks, Lenny Bruce, etc lives on.

Thomas

Vince Guaraldi

          John Beck wrote in the Marin Independent Journal’s Here Magazine recently that, “Vince Guaraldi became an institution at Clubs like the Hungry i in San Francisco, and the Trident in Sausalito.”

          At this year’s Sausalito Film Festival director Andrew Thomas and producer Toby Gleason premiered their new film The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi. Guaraldi saw himself as a boogie-woogie player, and didn’t want to write hits, he wanted to write standards. Vince Guaraldi passed away at the age of 47. In this film, putting his life into perspective are such luminaries as George Winston, Dave Brubeck, Dick Gregory, Malcolm boyd, and David Benoit.
 
          Curiously, the one time Mill Valley resident may be best remembered for scoring more than a dozen songs for the “Peanuts” TV Specials and pulling off the ultimate slight of hand where he made parents and children bob their heads and tap their toes without even knowing they were listening to Jazz.

For the entire John Beck article click on:  Vince Guaraldi The Most Unknown Jazz Musician 

Click here for Paul Libertore’s Vince Guaraldi article: George Winston Pays Tribute to Marin Jazz Pianist Vince Guaraldi

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