Bay seniors may question the city of Martinez’ claim to be the birthplace of the martini. But Martinez is sticking by its story that a 49er celebrating a gold strike strode into a saloon here and called for champagne. When none was available the bartender offered him a gin and vermouth special. And changed the course of history. This Saturday September 28th the historic town celebrates the occasion with a Martini Gala on the Plaza – drinks, food, swing dancing. $100 per couple.