Bar of America celebrates 30 years in Truckee
When Bar of America owners Ed Coleman and Robyn Sills realized that the bar was turning 30 years old this year they wanted to mark the anniversary with a party.But not just any party would do for the establishment that thousands of locals and visitors alike have made world famous.So with the permission of the Town of Truckee and the enthusiasm of its patrons, the bar on Sunday, Sept. 19 will close off the one block of Bridge Street between the bar and the Truckee Hotel to host an all-day block party featuring bands, food, music and activities for the whole family.The inspiration for the block party, said Coleman, was that the bar has been “going along and all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Wow, this bar is 30-years-old.’ So that definitely seemed like a milestone.
“We want to make it a town celebration, so we wanted it to be a block party,” Coleman added. “And fortunately we went to the Town of Truckee and everybody we talked to was totally behind the idea.”Thirty years is a long time for any business in town, and the Bar of America has seen quite a few changes over the years.According to bartender Brian Dinneen, who has been a familiar face behind the bar since 1977, the Bar of America has had many different faces.When Dinneen first went to work there, the space that Pacific Crest restaurant now inhabits was a bar named Tony’s, and over the years Jack Leonasio, the bar’s previous owner, and various partners ran five or six different restaurant/bar operations out of the space.But regardless of the theme, the bar has always adapted to what the local patronage wanted in a downtown bar/restaurant, said Dinneen. It’s a trend that continues to this day.
“Over the years it’s changed clientele a little bit. It still has a good local clientele, a lot of the people sitting here now [lunchtime on a Tuesday], I know pretty much all of them,” Dinneen said. “Truckee’s always been a tourist town, so it’s also had a good clientele in respect to tourists too. Ski season in particular.”So while owners Coleman and Sills have quietly upgraded the furnishings and food offered in the Bar of America/Pacific Crest combination, Coleman said that they’ve tried their best to maintain the qualities that have made the bar a favorite of locals for the last 30 years.”The Bar of America has always been part of the fabric of downtown Truckee, and as Truckee has gone through its changes, the Bar of America has changed with it a little bit,” said Coleman. “It was definitely known in the older days as a much rougher style of place. But we’ve broadened our customer range quite a bit.”According to Dinneen, the bar still gets its fair share of all types of folks, from movie stars to sports figures to bikers on their way to Reno. And of course, always its fair share of locals.”The times have changed and the people have changed somewhat, but this place still has maintained,” he said.
What else would you expect from a bar with a slogan like, “Where drinking is a tradition”?The Bar of America’s 30th anniversary block party will take place on Sunday, Sept. 19 from noon until 10 p.m. The first five hours will include family friendly events such as street painting competitions, face painting, a dunk tank with local celebrities (including Sierra Sun Editor Jamie Bate), bobbing for apples, a mobile rock-climbing wall, music by local bands and much more. Food from Pacific Crest, Pianeta, Moody’s and Earthly Delights will complement the wine and micro-brews that will be offered all day long. Then as the evening progresses the party will only get better as headliners Mumbo Gumbo take the stage.Tickets for the Bar of America’s 30th anniversary block party are $20 for adults and $10 for kids 17 and under. For that price you will receive 10 tickets redeemable for food, beverages and all the activities. Funds raised at the block party will go to the Workforce Housing Association of Truckee Tahoe, the Truckee Trails Foundation and the Truckee Donner Land Trust. For more information please call (530) 587-2626.