The Sound of Summer

Marin music fans have cause for celebration as not one but two new music venues open their doors this summer. In San Rafael, George’s is scheduled to debut in July at the old New George’s location on Fourth Street, and shows began at In The Woods Productions at the Masonic Hall in downtown Mill Valley last month. 

George’s owner Todd Ghanizadeh (pictured above) sees his new venture as part of the rebirth of the central Marin arts scene. “This legendary spot has been empty for over five years,” Ghanizadeh says about the rehabbed location that now features a 1940s retro decor. “I want to make George’s better than it was before. I envision it as not just a nightclub but a community resource that will be transformative for the downtown area.” Once open, the club will be powered by a state-of-the-art Meyer Sound system, offer cuisine by former Panama Hotel chef Damian Salza and feature a mix of jazz, blues and rock.

Ged Robertson, owner of Small Shed Flatbreads, is cooking up some change as well, as the man behind the opening of the new Mill Valley music space The Woods. “There has been a whole cultural interruption in southern Marin without live music,” he says. “But the music community, retailers, fans and the Masonic Lodge members, who realized they had an underutilized space, have all come together to make this happen.” The venue features a new stage and lighting as well as sound designed by Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir and the schedule of bands is already filling up. “The townspeople danced on this old-growth bird’s-eye maple dance floor over 100 years ago,” Robertson adds. “I think that’s a tradition worth continuing.”