Terrapin Crossroads Closure Appears Imminent

Phil Lesh’s San Rafael, California music venue and restaurant Terrapin Crossroads appears to be closing soon. The Marin County space that also features an outdoor concert area currently has no events scheduled on its calendar.

Terrapin Crossroads moved to only hosting outdoor shows and stopped its restaurant service in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last concert was a Stu Allen & Mars Hotel performance on Sunday, October 31 on the venue’s outdoor Backyard Stage.

Lesh, the 81-year-old co-founding Grateful Dead bassist, opened Terrapin Crossroads in 2012. Concerts were regularly held in the 300-capacity Grate Room. The restaurant’s bar area also had a stage for live performances.

According to the Marin Independent Journal, Lesh and his wife Jill Lesh, have not secured an extension on their lease of the building that houses Terrapin Crossroads. The lease is set to expire at the end of November. The report stated that a Jeep dealership could be taking over the space.

Terrapin Crossroads also leases Beach Park, where outdoor concerts are held, from the city of San Rafael. According to the same Marin Independent Journal report, Terrapin Crossroads had shown interest in extending the lease on the park that the venue already invested $200,000 in improvements.

“What they have shared with us is that they would love to continue in partnership with the city on Beach Park, and we’d love for Terrapin to renew their contract with us,” San Rafael director of library & recreation Susan Andrade-Wax told the Journal. “It’s been a win-win in our opinion. We’ve been crossing our fingers for months now, hoping something happens on their end with the restaurant. But it hasn’t appeared that way so far. All we can do at this point is hope for a miracle.”

Terrapin Crossroads’ imminent closure was mentioned on social media by Stu All & Mars Hotel/ALO drummer Ezra Lipp.

“It was a great (and emotional) honor to play what seemingly was the last show at Terrapin Crossroads Sunday with Stu Allen and Mars Hotel,” Lipp wrote on Instagram. “That place and the community that surrounded it has held more significance and meaning and brought more gifts to me and others than I can do justice trying to encapsulate in a single social media post. What a long strange trip it’s certainly been. I’m just grateful to have been on the journey and to have one last blow out with so many good friends. Nothing left to do but smile. Can’t wait to see what amazing things we all await to get into next!”

ALO guitarist and Terrapin Crossroads regular Lebo (Dan Lebowitz) also posted comments regarding TXR’s demise.

“So much love for this place and the community that it has not only nurtured, but CREATED!,” Lebo captioned an I Love TXR photo on Instagram. “I really can’t overstate the importance that this place has played in my and so many other musicians’ lives. Hard to comprehend the quantity of epic moments that I’ve had on these three stages (Grate Room, Bar, and Beachpark) over the past decade. Moments of camaraderie, moments of fire, moments of beauty, moments of discovery, and so many moments of inspiration moving me brightly.”

In addition to Phil Lesh’s many concerts and surprise appearances throughout the years, Terrapin Crossroads was also home to a group of regular musicians who built a strong community around the venue. Allen, Lebo and Lipp were among those regulars, along with Ross James, Jackie Greene, Scott Guberman, Elliott Peck, Scott Law, Eric DiBerardino, Craig MacArthur, Brian Rashap, Alex Koford, and others including Lesh’s son Grahame Lesh.

TXR featured several memorable unannounced performances such as Lesh’s Grateful Dead bandmate Bob Weir, Phish’s Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon and Dead & Company’s John Mayer. The venue also hosted shows by Chris Robinson Brotherhood, moe., Umphrey’s McGee, Yonder Mountain String Band, Dawes, Twiddle, Spafford, Circles Around The Sun, Midnight North, Tea Leaf Green, David Nelson Band, Melvin Seals & JGB, and many more.