None of the jokes we could make (i.e. his three-hour tour turned to three years) can mask the sadness we're all likely to feel at the news that the great, great Martin Cate, one of the partners and certainly the soul and the genius behind Alameda's Forbidden Island, is leaving the tiki bar. If not a Tiki God (sorry), Cate is certainly considered one of the world's top authority's on this overlooked cocktail art form. While tropical and sometimes kitschy, Cate's drinks were always remarkably complex, balanced, and delcious. He told me that he and his partners in the bar, which opened in 2006, " just had different ideas about the the future of the business."
Perhaps saddest of all: I emailed Cate to ask when his last night would be so that I could come in and drown my sorrows in coconut milk and guava juice, but he said the date had already past. "My last day was last Sunday," he wrote, "I only announced after I left, because I couldn't emotionally deal with a farewell night." Hopefully, Cate will stick around and continue to ply his trade in the Bay Area. He's truly been a gem of the Bay Area bar scene and an inspiration to lots of his colleagues around the country. Martin, you will be missed.