Our History

A History of Rockin'

The original Sweetwater opened in 1972, in a rustic, downtown Mill Valley storefront previously occupied by a local watering hole called the Office.  On its opening night, the Sweetwater presented an acoustic folk‐rock group that played for a crowd that lined up halfway down the block to get in.  While the Sweetwater enjoyed a most auspicious beginning, it wasn’t until a decade later that the tiny 90-seat tavern with a stage earned its rightful place in music history. At the Sweetwater Music Hall, that history continues on today.

The once-in-a-lifetime show was a commonplace occurrence at the original Sweetwater. The roster of artists that have crowded onto the club’s little stage reads like a Who’s Who of roots & rock music: Bob Weir, Aaron Neville, Big Mama Thornton, Carlos Santana, Clarence Clemons, Elvis Costello, Etta James, Gregg Allman, Huey Lewis, Jerry Garcia, John Hiatt, John Lee Hooker, Maria Muldaur, Mimi Fariña, Odetta, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Richie Havens, Robert Cray, Sammy Hagar, Townes Van Zandt, Van Morrison and many more musical luminaries. In the ’80s, the Times of London hailed the Sweetwater as one of the best nightclubs in America.

In September 2007, sadly the original Sweetwater closed its doors… 5 years later, we reopened only a couple of blocks away on Corte Madera Ave, as the Sweetwater Music Hall. This reincarnation holds true to the heart of the old days, and aims to feed the soul with music, community, and excellent food. The journey is just beginning at the new Sweetwater Music Hall, and we hope to continue feeding the soul of the Bay Area & beyond, for years & years to come. 

Skip to content