Welcome to the “original” Trident Restaurant’s website! 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.
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!
in 1968 I went to work for the Kingston Trio at the Trident when it was a jazz club…it was a happening scene..Mills Davis..Sergo Mendes and all the Jazz greats..I was a cocktail waitress..a bad coctails waitress…this was pre LSD and Tune in ..Turn on..Drop out…when that happened The Trio and Frank Werber decided to close it down and hip it up…the finished Restaurant was amazing..I was the first hired because I had previously worked there…Many beautiful women were hired…Frank of course oversaw everything but we had a manager who’s name I can’t remember now..a gentle older man that I adored…It was the “IT” place..I would be serving people likeNeil Young as he wrote lyrics on a napkin…dealing with David Crosby and his over the top fun personality…if there was a celebrity in San Francisco they would cross the bridge to have the Trident experience…many good times..many friends..Helen stands and of course Gretchen and her homemade cookies…but Frank was my very very dear friend…loved him and he was always there for me…there were some bad times of course…cooks who were grouchy…and bartenders that were so demanding..I wasn’t a very good waitress but because I was well liked I kept my job..even during the times I needed to leave to go to Maui and other places ..I would always have a job waiting for me when I returned…it is also where Bill Cosby decided it was me that he knew he wanted and it is a horrible memory of what he did to me..I couldn’t tell anyone because he was so beloved and no one would have believed me…there were many great times with big stars with big egos and some with very big hearts..Lily Tomlin comes to mind….and of course the night we closed for the Rolling Stones..What an honor to be chosen to be there that night..with all their bad boy reputation they were total gentlemen..I left at the end of 1972 with fond memories and gratitude for my time there. Donna Motsinger email: email@example.com
Donna and her son Jeff “back in the days” when she was working at the Trident
Recent “comment” to this site from Eric Albronda
While producing Blue Cheer’s 4 th album in San Francisco I went to the Trident all the time . At one point a dear friend of mine Buck Sumski was hoisting Michael James Brody Heir to Oleo Margarine fortune and then recent Ed Sullivan Preformer . He loaned me his briefcase Phone . I took it to the Trident and boy did I feel like a big shot –Actually I was there that day to Meet with Nicky Hopkins , Piano Player for the stars > I wanted to produce a solo album of his which never happened because after our meeting and my explaining what a good idea it was he did it himself . At the same meeting was Jeff Beck who was lurking in the shadows. L:eave it to those Brits they never miss a trick.
Fond memories of The Trident – no that special feeling will never come back but as Ken Babbs told me when I was asking him why I felt so strongly about the time he answered by saying – If you had the spirit and you still have the spirit then it is your responsibility to share that with as many people as possible . I try to do this every day but oh what a feeling back then – I am so glad I was alive and participating in the music scene at the time. thank you everybody that added to my experience at the Trident.
Bobby Lozhoff on KTVU television January 11th, 2016 – being interviewed for being the creator of the modern day Tequila Sunrise. Post from Jeff Burkhart aka “The Barfly” who writes for a variety of publications including National Geographic.
The Tequila sunrise legend finally gets his due A friend who works in the film business once said, “Being on a film set is just standing around watching other people standing around.” And that is exactly what I was doing.
I had been invited to the shooting of a documentary/commercial being filmed by Jose Cuervo at the legendary Trident restaurant in Sausalito. I was not there at the behest of the Cuervo people, I was there as a guest of the star of the show itself, Bobby Lozoff, former Trident bartender and the legendary inventor of the tequila sunrise. It was the first time in nearly 40 years that Lozoff had set foot back in the Trident. “I walked out of this place on Dec. 14, 1975, and I haven’t touched another bottle since,” he whispered to me. The Trident officially closed that day and Lozoff subsequently moved to Hawaii where he opened the Blue Max, a live music nightclub patterned on his incarnation of the Trident (the Trident was reopened in 2012 by Bob Freeman who also owns the Buena Vista in San Francisco).
I knew Lozoff because I had interviewed him back in 2011, first for my Barfly column in the IJ and then for a feature story I wrote for the National Geographic Assignment blog in 2012. Over the years we have kept in touch, but since he lived in Hawaii and I lived here, we had actually never met in person.
Now we stood in the bar of the rechristened Trident and swapped bartender stories while an army of film people swarmed around us. Lozoff is something of a celebrity these days. In the bar and cocktail world it is rare to actually have the inventor of a world-famous cocktail still around, or even identifiable, for that matter. Cocktails come and go, but the really famous tipples are all 75 to 100 years old. Even the Moscow mule, which is all the rage right now, traces its heritage back to the 1940s. One of the relative newcomers is the tequila sunrise. The name was coined in the 1930s but the drink, as we know it — tequila, orange juice and grenadine — was invented in the early 1970s by Lozoff at the Trident. It’s almost like being able to ask Ian Fleming himself exactly what he meant by “shaken, not stirred.” Regardless of what you think of the drink, there is no denying its far-reaching fame. Movies and rock songs have made use of it. On a recent trip to Paris, I saw the drink on at least two cocktail menus. That kind of fame does not go unnoticed.
Jose Cuervo tequila has used the drink twice to promote its product — once in the 1970s and again recently in a television ad using the Rolling Stones’ 1972 tour as a backdrop. It was Lozoff himself who introduced Cuervo to the Stones at the Trident in 1972. The first time around Cuervo neglected to mention Lozoff. This time around the company appears to be more than making up for it.
“We’re almost ready for you,” a pretty film assistant said, interrupting Lozoff as he pointed out the espresso bar that he helped build more than 40 years ago.
“They want me to make 10 or so fancy cocktails,” he tells me. “Why don’t you do it?” The Cuervo people want none of that. “I’m just an old hippie bartender,” he said, declining. “In my day it was, ‘You’re not ready [to order]?’ Next!” he said pointing to an invisible patron.
It might have been 40 years ago, but Lozoff is still a bartender at heart. He’ll be the first to admit that he doesn’t particularly care for grenadine; he calls it a name unfitting for a newspaper. But as any real bartender will tell you, what the customer wants is what the customer gets, and back then grenadine ruled the day. Lozoff prefers a sunrise with crème de cassis, a black currant liqueur, but he acknowledges that the drink is prettier with grenadine. He also adds that “making it with both” is optimum. The new Trident agrees, featuring that version on its menu. As for Cuervo and the Stones’ preferences, we will simply have to wait and see.
The last I saw of Lozoff, assistants were powdering his face for a close-up. Forty years later he’s finally getting his due. Better late than never.
Jeff Burkhart is the author of “20 Years Behind Bars: The Spirited Adventures of a Real Bartender” as well as an award-winning bartender at a local restaurant.
The Rolling Stones 1972 Tour is the stuff of legend — debauchery in full swing, the epitome of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. More than four decades later, Cuervo tequila pays homage to the group’s hedonistic past in a new commercial.
The spot, which you can watch above, states the band connection from the start: “In 1972, the Rolling Stones took Jose Cuervo on tour. Rock ‘n’ roll would never be the same.” The commercial unfolds aboard a plane full of musicians, groupies and hangers-on. “The tour that became legend. The drink that fueled it,” says an onscreen tag.
According to National Geographic, Mick Jagger was first introduced to the golden elixir at a party shortly before the tour. “Mick came up to the bar and asked for a margarita,” recalled Bobby Lozoff, the man behind the Tequila Sunrise. “I asked him if he had ever tried a Tequila Sunrise, he said no, I built him one and they started sucking them up. After that, they took them all across the country.” In his 2010 autobiography, Life, Keith Richards said the 1972 road show was known as “the cocaine and Tequila Sunrise tour.”
The Stones themselves don’t appear in the ad, and there seems to be more fantasy than fact playing throughout the clip. But that soundtrack has us a bit confused. As a pretty lady wanders the plane aisles handing out glasses of tequila, the Rolling Stones can be heard loud and clear. The only problem? The song playing is “Miss You,” which wasn’t released until 1978.
Artistic license, perhaps, but still a glaring mistake in the timeline. “The spot is inspired by the Stones in the ’70s, and with so much passion around this legendary band, song choice would naturally spark debate,” said a spokesperson from McCann, the company behind the ad. “As we developed the creative, we found that this iconic song best captures the spirit of that era.”
Even though Cuervo was wise to avoid reenacting any of the coke snorting, dope shooting and other less-than-family-friendly scenes from the tour, we think the commercial itself comes off a little too squeaky clean to have any real ties to the gritty surroundings of that era.
As the story goes, the Rolling Stones had a chance encounter with a Tequila Sunrise cocktail while on their 1972 U.S. tour — at San Francisco’s Trident bar to be exact — and were completely swept off their feet. They traveled around the country ordering it various bars thereafter. According to Huffington Post, Keith Richards called the tour’s unofficial name the Cocaine and Tequila Sunrise tour in his book Life.
Sam Andrew was a dear friend, and in many ways a Trident alumni. Sam and Janis visited the Trident quite often. On February 12, 2015 Sam passed away with his wife Elise at his bedside. Thoughts and prayers go out to Elise and all those many people that loved Sam. RIP mi amigo. You will be missed! This video was shot in 2010 at the Trident. This is Sam being Sam. An amazing person, and incredible guitarist! Love you Sam!
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.”
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