Like most buildings in Sausalito, this place has a history. Originally the ferry building where cars and people would disembark after a journey over from San Francisco, the building has been converted multiple times.
Stories drift through conversations with the locals about the rock-and-roll stars that once lounged there when it was Houlihan’s during a time in history when Sausalito was flooded with musicians, artists and yogis from around the world. The structure’s time as the Water Street Grille is mostly forgotten. The space was re-imagined, and in 2013 Barrel House opened by Chris Henry, local native.
If you have read any of my restaurant descriptions, you know that I like to save some surprises and not tell the whole story. I want you to go there yourself and still have something to discover. But hands down, the Barrel House patio arguably has my favorite views of any restaurant north of the Golden Gate Bridge, and perhaps even in the entire Bay Area. You will have to go there to see why.
The bar is packed during weekend happy hour. The energy of this place is just that…”happy”. It’s a combination of the architecture of the building, and most of all, the staff. I am always in awe of a team that manages to take care of hundreds of people in one evening and can still make you feel valued and that you matter. The bartenders are very creative, and in keeping with a seasonal ingredients theme, special cocktails emerge as herbs, fruits and berries ripen over time. Barrel House is one of those places that attracts people from all over the world, and as I have said before, you just never know who you will meet.