San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
The Martinez Chamber of Commerce presents Martinis on the Plaza - celebrating the official birthplace of the martini and the rich history of bayside Martinez!
For the fourth year in a row, this regional signature event will be held at the beautiful Plaza Ygnacio Fountain located at the steps of City Hall. Themed after the martini lounges of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s and elegantly tented, the vintage ambiance of the evening is reminiscent of the original Rat Pack era. The Plaza’s stunning fountain will serve as a focal point and lights will twinkle throughout the venue to create a magical experience.
Featuring jumpin’ and jivin’ live music, small plates of gourmet delicacies from a variety of regional restaurants, specialty libations, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages will be served. This stunning and exclusive event has become the jewel of East Bay social events and is complimented by period/cocktail attire, silent auction items, vintage automobiles, and horse drawn carriage rides.
The elegant affair will introduce guests to bartender Julio Richelieu who served the first Martini in Martinez in 1864 when a miner returning from the gold fields tossed a gold nugget on the bar and requested a new drink when he had became disenchanted with the whisky Richelieu served him.
Local Mixologists representing their establishments will compete for the designation “Best Martini in the Martinez Area” as well as a “People’s Choice” award.
At our 2012 event, Barrel Aged Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge took home awards for Best Martini and People’s Choice. Back Forty Texas BBQ and Mr. Lucky’s of Pleasant Hill came in second and third respectively.
Questions may be directed to the Martinez Chamber of Commerce at 925.228.2345
When & Where
Martinez Chamber of Commerce
During the days of the "Gold Rush", in 1849, a miner struck it rich and was returning to San Francisco. The miner, arriving in Martinez, the first large town he hit, wanted to celebrate. He walked into our leading bar and asked for Champagne, a beverage which was not available. However, the bartender told him (the miner) that he had something much better than Champagne and served a drink which the bartender said was a "Martinez Special". The miner liked the drink and ordered for the house. After he woke up, some time later, he proceeded on to San Francisco where he immediately went to a prominent bar and ordered a "Martinez Special". The bartender of course had never heard of the drink and asked the miner how it was made and where he had heard of the drink. The miner said that the drink was made with one part of very dry Sauterne wine and three parts of Gin, stir with ice and finish with an olive and was made in Martinez. The bartender tried the drink himself and liked it and of course had his friends drink it. Over a period of years the name Martinez (try to say it repeatedly) became Martini.
This world famous concoction, the Martini, has prolonged more luncheons, launched more jokes and ruined more dinners than anything since the days of Cleopatra, but the community of Martinez is very proud to be the birthplace and home of the world renowned "Martini."