THE FENIX, RISING OUT of empty storefronts in downtown San Rafael earlier this
year, will impress even the most discerning audio buffs. The audiophile-friendly
sound system, which includes a top-of-the-line Midas Digital console and integrated EAW speaker system, is the work of acoustician John Storyk, who designed
the system for Lincoln Center. The venue is also a full multitrack production studio.
Merl Saunders Jr. manages the music program. “We’re set up to make magic every
night,” the son of the famous keyboardist says. In homage to the Grateful Dead tradition, Saunders books some jam bands, but the focus is eclectic: “We are looking
to attract some new and interesting music to Marin.” Though the posh supper-club
ambience attracts people from the county and beyond, all shows are also streamed
live on the website for listeners at home.