Sausalito’s Trident was THE Place to Be! It was the archetypal fern bar, the creme de la hip Sausalito saloon that floated on sex, drugs, and Rock and Roll. The Trident was open from 1961 to 1980. Launched as a Jazz Club by the Kingston Trio, it was refurbished in 1968 by the group’s manager Frank Werber, who sought to catch the spontaneous, give peace a chance spirit of the day.
It became a mecca for rock stars,celebrities and hipsters, young and old. “It was like riding a hurrican,” says Werber, now 61 and living in Maui. “The Trident was definitely a manifestation of it’s time and a forerunner and trendsetter for multitudes of restaurants, and it’s effects are still being felt in the cool 90s.
Staffers were like family members who regarded the place as a chapel, it was a spiritual experience.” The Trident hosted impromptu concerts by Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin, threw legendary parties and provided the setting for a scene from Woody Allen’s “Play It Again Sam”” It’s story attractions included platoons of attractive waitresses hired as much for their good looks as their ability to charm customers. Robin Williams, then a struggling comedian, worked there for a time as a busboy, getting the job “because of his antics,” Werber said.
Employees were hired after Trident executives reviewed Polaroid pictures of them. A prospect’s persona was also critical. Among the
Trident’s hallmarks were handcrafted wood, stained glass, art and music. Organic food laced an eclectic menu. The menu – a psychedelic work of art that now sells for $100 a print – exclaimed: “Welcome to our space. Positive energy projection is the trip.”
Located at 558 Bridgeway beneath the old Ondine’s and now the home of Horizons, the Trident was favored by Woody Allen, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Clint Eastwood, Tommy Smothers, Groucho Marx, David Crosby,StevenStills, Pink Floyd, Allan Watts, and scores of other noted customers.