Revive’s new Barrel Room adds a bit of history to South Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Revive Coffee and Wine Bar in South Lake Tahoe is expanding their hours and introducing a new, historic, bar to the basin called The Barrel Room.

The bar will feature up to six beers on tap, an extensive wine menu, and small appetizer plates. The room, which can hold a max of 16 people, will stay open until 9 p.m. and features a historic bar slab from a tree that may have hung mail during the Pony Express.

The Barrel Room will feature a historic wooden bar slab that was originally used to hang mail during the Pony Express.
Photo by Miranda Jacobson

Robin Bender has co-owned Revive for five years. Originally, her shop was only home to a paddle boarding rental and retail store. While in the process of purchasing a new building, a friend helped them find their current property.

“The problem was it was this huge piece of property and we were just a little retail shop,” Bender said. “So I just kind of jokingly one day said, ‘Maybe I should start a coffee and wine bar.’ And then it happened, and the rest is history.”

Their retail sales and rentals were going well, but over time Bender began to notice a difference in sales.

“As it took off within a couple of years, all the big box stores then had paddle boards,” she said. “We did a tremendous amount of retail sales, and it just sort of dropped off. So in 2019, at the end of that season, we talked about converting the room over because it was obvious.”

And so The Barrel Room was born. But shortly after, COVID brought the project to a halt. That left the room to serve as a storage unit over the last year. But eventually, Bender knew they had to get the project going again.

“I said, ‘You know what? I think we need to pick this up and do what we can do.’ So we started again.”

After facing a few obstacles, such as needing to put in a new hand sink and fix the tap water system, Bender said the room is going to be incredibly special.

“The slab in the bar that supposedly comes from the tree that hung the mail during the Pony Express,” she said. “So we went to the museum and ordered a bunch of old photos of old Lake Tahoe from way back in the day. All those photos are going to hang inside The Barrel Room as well.

“The cool thing about The Barrel Room is we got it permitted to be able to serve through the windows, to the Beer Garden,” she added. “We have some live music scheduled for the garden.”

Bender is excited to create a new space for patrons to relax and enjoy themselves, as well as be able to hold events again as COVID restrictions begin to lift.

“The main thing was to kind of preserve that history that belongs to this building and this property we’ve made known on the Revive side and we’ve carried it over to The Barrel Room,” Bender said. “You know, it’s small, it’s quaint with a lot of history, and has that real Tahoe feel and vibe to it.”

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Miranda Jacobson is a reporter with the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun

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