Last call at the Alpine Bar
After playing the Alpine Bar at Northstar for so many years, Truckee band 1888 will have one last chance to bring down the house before construction crews do the same, literally.
To mark the beginning of the Northstar’s village redevelopment, developer East West Partners has scheduled deconstruction on the Clocktower Building – which houses the Alpine Bar, Cippolini’s Pizzeria and the Chaparral Banquet Room – for mid-April.
The restaurant and bar will have its last hurrah Sunday night; it will mark the end of an era for 1888.
“We probably played there more than any other band,” said 1888 guitarist and vocalist Richard Blair. “That room has a lot of memories for a lot of people who make our fan base.”
The band has played countless shows for various occasions at the Alpine Bar and on the lawn behind the bar during the summer. That was why Ted McDowell, food and beverage manager for the building, asked 1888 to play.
“They’re kind of the Northstar house band,” McDowell said. “It seemed appropriate.”
The invitation excited the members of 1888 – Blair (who also plays in No Bad Barley), Sam Re on mandolin, guitar and vocals, Ray Erst on drums, Craig Iverson on keyboard and Steve Kershisnik on bass guitar.
“We said, ‘Oh, you’re kidding.’ For us to be playing that gig – all of our faces lit up,” Blair said.
1888 plays acoustic rock, with bluegrass roots, that Blair says meshes well with Truckee locals and attributes to a strong following in the community.
Truckee-resident Andi Johnson has been a supporter of 1888 for years.
“The type of music they play is for the 40s crowd – and that’s where a lot of people in Truckee are right now,” said Johnson, who had 1888 play for her 40th birthday party.
The Clocktower Building opened in 1986. Back then, it housed a ski rental shop, in addition to the child care, Alpine Bar, restaurant and conference facilities in the building today.
Guest services replaced the rental shop in 2000.
The Alpine Bar will open its doors to the public for the last time on March 14, and employees will empty the Clocktower Building the next day. In mid-April crews will begin the weeks-long process of deconstructing the building. Most of the structure’s materials will be re-used in later projects.
“In its place will be a brand new lodge building with residences and commercial retail space down below,” said David Tirman, project director for the Village-at-Northstar.
The new village will have several new restaurants and watering holes, but there are no plans for another Alpine Bar. But, fans of the bar and 1888 will have one last chance to say “so long” on March 14.
“I expect a lot of energy,” Blair said of his hopes for the last gig at the Alpine Bar. “Relationships have come and gone while we’ve played there. It’ll be a pretty big mix of emotion.”
Check out the last performance at Northstar’s Alpine Bar on March 14 at 4 p.m. There will be $5 all-you-can-eat pizza and draft beer specials to clear out the kegs before the move.