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Terrapin Crossroads Moves into Closing Seafood Peddler

San Rafael restaurant shuts doors at its Canal location. Phil Lesh-backed music venue to move in in February 2012.

Long-time San Rafael staple, will be shutting its doors in the Canal district at the end of the month. But, the music and food will go on thanks to Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh.

Under an agreement announced today, Lesh and his wife, Jill, will be purchasing the historic restaurant and turning it into an expanded version of his project that was previously proposed in Fairfax.

“It will no longer be the Seafood Peddler,” said Seafood Peddler General Manager Richard Mayfield. “We’ll be moving to another location in Marin.”

The arrangement will go into effect at the end of the month, but the Seafood Peddler’s new location hasn’t yet been determined said Mayfield.

For residents who followed the progression of the Terrapin Crossroads proposal in Fairfax, which was after , the plan for the Canal location looks very different.

According to updates on a newly-formed official Terrapin Crossroads website, the Canal location will feature a dining room with a scaled-down menu starting in February 2012. The dining room will serve sustainable, local food and will expand its menu as renovations continue throughout the year.

The proposal also includes a music venue, called The Grate Room, where performances and concerts will start in March 2012. According to the Terrapin Crossroads website, the shows will feature Phil Lesh & Friends, “Rambles” with guests artists, jazz shows, wine tastings and Sunday morning brunch music.

San Rafael Economic Development Coordinator Katie Korzun said the city received an application for the project today, Wednesday morning, Jan. 4.

Because the Seafood Peddler’s use permit allowed it a banquet room with music and entertainment, the application with the city for the Terrapin Crossroads project simply requests two main changes in the use permit: extending hours to 2 a.m. and changing the main entertainment from parties to concerts and live performances.

“It’s a fairly simple thing,” said Korzun about the application process. Because the application had only been received around 10 a.m., she said they were not sure yet if it would require a hearing process, but “probably not.” There is a stipulation in the Seafood Peddler’s use permit that allows changes like that to be made administratively by staff, but city staff is considering notifying some property owners in the area.

Proposed changes to the building right now include just minor remodeling and upgrades to the interior.

Korzun also noted that the application, filed by McDevitt Enterprise, LLC, does stipulate that there would be a “more substantial project later.”

The official statement from Lesh also makes references to further upgrades later in 2012. The music hall, The Grate Room, will be closed in the fall of 2012 for major renovations with a grand re-opening scheduled for March 2013. The dining room will also expand its hours and menu later in the year.

After the Leshes's proposed community music venue project in Fairfax died, they have been looking for another location in Marin. In their official statement on their website, Lesh said he was inspired to move into the Seafood Peddler location after thinking about rehearsal sessions with Bob Dylan at Club Front in the Canal district.

On his site, Lesh wrote:

I was recently re-reading Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, and Jill and I started reminiscing about the 1987 rehearsal sessions with Bob that took place at Club Front, the Grateful Dead San Rafael studio/boy’s club from the late seventies until the mid-nineties. We were having lunch in the area one afternoon and decided to take a drive by the old studio. While we were driving around we went by The Seafood Peddler restaurant, where Furthur did some rehearsal shows a couple years ago in their Palm Ballroom. We pulled into the rear parking lot and we saw a large painted Grateful Dead logo with the words Buckle Up Kids above it. We looked at each other and both had the same flash – that the Seafood Peddler had the foundation for us to realize our long-held dream of finding a place in Marin County to make music.

The new venue is scheduled to open in February with the Seafood Peddler closing at the end of the month. It may bring more people and business to the Canal district, Lesh hopes.

“It would be really welcomed in the area and really use the restaurant to its full capacity,” said Korzun. “I think it’d be a great idea.”

What do you think of the proposal?

Brian Liston January 04, 2012 at 11:32 PM
I HOPE THAT THEY MAKE IT AN EXAMPLE OF THE BEST IN GREEN AND SUSTAINABILITY WITH REGARDS TO BUILDING, RESTAURANT, MUSIC AND EDUCATION! CONGRATS
Kevin January 04, 2012 at 11:40 PM
STOP YELLING AT US!
Mark Solomons January 04, 2012 at 11:43 PM
What pleasant news to welcome 2012 - now only to try Seafood Peddler before it pulls up stakes - never been!
Michele Rose January 04, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Win, win, win...business, better menu and hot dog...MUSIC!
R Darcy January 04, 2012 at 11:51 PM
wait I saw someone putting up a sign in their front yard
Sierra Salin January 05, 2012 at 12:09 AM
I am sorry that it did not end up in Fairfax, and this is a much better location for a project of this size. Easy public transportation, plenty of parking, and few close neighbors. It is almost right across the "street" from the Borders location I suggested. congratulations and good luck to the Lesh's and to San Rafael community. May it be a smooth and easy win/win endeavor.
Tucker Murphy January 05, 2012 at 12:28 AM
A big loss to Fairfax businesses, real estate values and the kids. Some Fairfax residents couldn't get out of their own way even for their own benefit. The town council did little to help. I'm not sure this place fits in the canal district? I'm sure it will be a lot more profitable for Lesh though. Here's to seeing another abandoned gas station become a parking lot for the next 20 years.
Jim - @MSM January 05, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Hey Now, I think this is going to be really cool man, Walkin along in the Canal... in the Rain...
Life in the Bubble January 05, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Once again, Fairfax loses out on an infusion of millions of dollars and ongoing tax revenue. All because of a few NIMBYs and whiners. Yet another reason Fairfax will be perpetually broke. With the loss of Terrapin Station and the "medical" marijuana store, Fairfax is going to be in the hole more than ever- yet the NIMBYs will still drive out businesses for selfish interest. Congrats San Rafael, for being more business friendly and a huge feather in your cap.
Suzie Gonzales Egri January 05, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Best wishes to Phil and Jill! Perfect location! Wonderful venue for a GRATE art experience in all forms.
Jeff Wagner January 05, 2012 at 04:44 AM
Phil and Jill went to the Canal, to make music by the water The wine did flow, the music did blow And they laughed happily ever after!
Mark Burnham January 05, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Central location drawing from Novato and Southern Marin, large venue, big bar, patio on the canal.. So much going for this venue, concept, and well known ownership. This is almost a "can't lose"..if they do it right. Good chance they will. It might not be great for George's on 4th (if it was closer in proximity it would) but "survival of the fittest" is the phrase of the decade.
Sierra Salin January 05, 2012 at 04:53 AM
Hey Bubbley, what gives you the high holy know it all certainty? You are just as full of B.S. as anyone else, so knock it off with the put downs. You speak wit such authority and air. Cool it. Move forward and build community. Quit creating separations and divisions where there need not be any.
Mari January 05, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Phil and Jill will do it right - this is a much better location for a project like this! I don't think it will hurt George's at all - the more music venues, the more jobs created, which is better for the entire community. (That said, still hoping for a more permanent space for the MurF4thers...)
Kathleen Russell January 05, 2012 at 04:13 PM
The Palm Ballroom has been my and many of my friends' favorite music venue in Marin for the past few years, so this is a perfect evolution for that great space!! And it's central enough to bike to!! I love the speedy timeline for this project as well- build your following right away and they will happily wait for the remodel to be completed next Spring. Synchronicity is an important force in these sorts of projects- so good for the Leshes for paying attention- can we assume it was a steal your face logo that caught their eye? Yay for my city of San Rafael- now THIS is the sort of tax revenue that makes sense for our city. Now as far as George's on 4th goes, that place needs a complete makeover- the 80's vibe and terrible lighting make it unbearable to be in. With the new Sweetwater in MillValley and Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, Marin will once again be rocking in 2012- very, very exciting!!!
Dave Steacy January 05, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Kudos to San Rafael. 1st a baseball team and now a great venue for music. I'm sure that Phil will make it the best of the best!
Maryellen O'Connell January 05, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I like anyplace where drinkers can bike instead of drive. Very European! great to be a music hub again.
sailbystars January 05, 2012 at 06:05 PM
With Merl Saunders Jr. opening up Fenix music/restaurant in downtown San Rafael, and New Georges, and now Terrapin, San Rafael is really looking like the music town it should be!! Hopefully this doesn't take the wind out of the sails of the Fenix project...
Rico January 05, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Al Silvestri, the owner of the Seafood Peddler for the last 15 years said that he will re open the Seafood Peddler restaurant in another location "in a few months". Al is looking at properties in San Rafael, Mill Valley and Sausalito. I hope he chooses Mill Valley, Sausalito already has several fine seafood restaurants like Scoma's and the Seven Seas.
David Edmondson January 05, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Just make sure you don't drink and bike - almost as unsafe and just as illegal. I believe it can be just as bad for your license as a DUI!
Sierra Salin January 05, 2012 at 07:48 PM
They should look into the old Good Earth, or the gas station property next door, and move to Fairfax!
Scott Connor January 06, 2012 at 07:45 AM
Maybe it's the first step in turning the arm pit of Marin into to the jewel of Nile that it once was, the San Rafael waterway is a undeveloped mess. Don't jinx this project yet, changing use permit are never a slam dunk especially in Ssn Rafael. It's a wonderful start though and would be nice to see Lucas and Ghilito rise to the occasion and see the potential along the waterway...
Melissa Vincent January 07, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I am so excited to see this is coming to San Rafael My office is around the corner, you will have my support! Melissa Vincent
Kevin Moore January 07, 2012 at 08:54 PM
You can get a DUI on a bicycle or horse. Any time you are on a public road and legally drunk, you're fair game for the CHP and the police.
Kevin Moore January 07, 2012 at 08:56 PM
The Dead become the (Canal) Beach Boys? <g> Too bad the Seafood Peddler is going away. I hope it reopens in a viable location.
Kevin Moore January 07, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Now the new mayor needs to connect the dots with viable attractions. Terrapin to Albert Park to 4th street to the Yard Birds building.
Kevin Moore January 07, 2012 at 09:01 PM
I wonder if they will have a parking problem. What is the capacity? Have a concert by the Dead members, Santana, or other local superstars; that place will be packed. Remember Uncle Charlies?
David Edmondson January 08, 2012 at 07:00 AM
@Kevin That area is awash with parking already. I should HOPE the city won't require more parking, especially given the relatively small changes made to use. It's extremely transit-accessible, even if San Rafael has made a conscious effort to marginalize pedestrians around the Transit Center (how counterproductive can you get?). A better move would be for Terrapin to contract with neighboring businesses to use their existing parking lots. The garage beneath 700 Irwin would be perfect - an easy walk from Terrapin, far less than parking at one side of Northgate and walking to the food court.
Paul Russo March 26, 2012 at 01:33 AM
This is a great Idea and location & Phil & Jill are such beautiful souls and very giving of their wealth. Was there last night with Daughter, Son & Son-in-law and we all had an AWESOME time and the snacks were d-lish....All the best luck Phil & your beautiful wife Jill. XOXO
Rico March 27, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Murphy Productions used to do shows at the Palms, but now they are doing shows at 142 Throckmorton Theater (the Throck). I saw a show put on by Murphy Productions at the Throck a few weeks ago that featured the David Nelson Band. The show was fantastic.With Pete Sears and the former keyboard player from the Grateful Dead, the David Nelson is hot ! So, Phil might have bumped Murphy out of the canal, but it is really a blessing and a gain for music lovers in Mill Valley, and everywhere else too. There are no losses, only gains from this deal. Rock on Mill Valley !

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