OB’s 30th Anniversary party benefits former employee
Some people will argue that Robbie McBeath served the best pint in Truckee during his nine-year stint as a bartender, waiter, and occasional manager at OB’s.Sidling up to the bar in front of Robbie meant that you were going to be entertained in one way or another.”He’s a very gregarious person,” said former OB’s partner Mike Linnett. “He always had a great sense of humor and he always had something to say to just about anyone. He made friends with everybody.”OB’s Pub & Restaurant is celebrating its 30th anniversary on Friday, Oct. 20 in conjunction with a fund-raiser for Robbie, whom friends and supporters say was an integral part of OB’s character for many years. Robbie, a long-time Truckee resident and local musician, suffered a debilitating stroke in February, so friends organized the 30th anniversary party in conjunction with a fund-raiser for the Robbie McBeath Stroke Rehabilitation Fund.”He was kind of a fixture here in Truckee,” said Robert French, a close friend and former bandmate. “We felt a sense of commitment. We wanted to help Robbie out.”Robbie was known in many circles for his various talents. He played with the Truckee Alliance of the Musical Arts (TAMA) for years as well as with local bands The Bystanders, 1888 and Sam Re and Richard Blair, who will all be playing during the anniversary celebration.”I first met Robbie playing music,” French said. “I remember the first TAMA show, ‘A Night at the Fillmore.’ He wore this big black wig and really looked like a hippie, which was different for him. He is so clean-cut.””Robbie loved music, he was a real important part of TAMA,” French said. “Over the years we became pals. Robbie’s the kind of friend everybody should have.”Robbie had moved to Colfax to work for Southern Wine and Spirits, but still made frequent trips to Truckee to visit his friends and play music.He met his wife, Diane, while working part-time at OB’s. She was out from her home state, New Hampshire, helping her sister when they met in 1995.”I met him and there was never any question about going back,” said Diane McBeath. The couple now lives in Mesa, Ariz., and are looking forward to OB’s celebration. Robbie has been in rehabilitation since the stroke, but is in need of more. He’s made progress, but still has a long way to go, Diane said.”He’s doing OK. He’s come a long long way,” she said. “He can’t wait to see everybody. He is so excited, that’s all he talks about … Robbie is honored by the fact that they would associate a benefit for him with OB’s 30th anniversary.”OB’s has had a solid “local’s favorite” reputation for its 30 years of existence – it hasn’t even changed names. The Irish tavern-style pub was opened in 1970 by Al O’Brien (hence the name ‘OB’s’) and his wife Zena, who ran the restaurant for 10 years. Dick Howell and Mike Linnett had owned and operated OB’s together since then, until recently when Howell became the sole owner.Linnett said when OB’s first opened it was just a bar before expanding to two other rooms and adding on the kitchen and the upstairs room.”Without a doubt, it’s a popular locals spot,” said Linnett, who added OB’s has probably been one of the longest running dinner restaurants in the entire Truckee-Tahoe area. The anniversary celebration is a way to say thanks to OB’s loyal following for the past 30 years.Current owner Dick Howell first started working at OB’s as a waiter in 1972, when all of the menus were on wooden planks.”Everyone had long hair in those days,” Howell said. “It was a different time.”Linnett, Howell and French began talking about what they could do to help support their friend Robbie, and decided it would be a natural fit to combine the 30th anniversary party with a benefit for Robbie’s stroke rehabilitation fund.”We’ve been wanting to do something for awhile,” Linnett said.Organizers are expecting a huge turnout.”It’s gathering momentum by the day,” Linnett said.”It’s gonna be crazy,” Howell said. “It’s going to start off big and build to a crazy place late night … Some people will put on their old dancing shoes.”The party begins at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 and OB’s and Sam Re and Richard Blair Folk Duo will kick off the evening. At 6 p.m. 1888 will pick up the tempo, followed by The Bystanders at 9 p.m.Raffle tickets to benefit the stroke fund include the following prizes: a three-night trip to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, including air and lodging; two nights lodging at Sea Ranch; a trip aboard the Tahoe Gal to Emerald Bay with 25 friends and lunch; a night at Sterling Vineyard in Napa; golf and ski passes; 49er and Kings tickets and more. Raffle tickets are available from Robbie’s friends and at OB’s. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. Participants need not be present to win.All bar proceeds will benefit The Robbie McBeath Stroke Rehabilitation Fund. Southern Wine and Spirits has generously donated all of the beer, wine and liquor for the event as well as some raffle prizes. TIP donated all tickets.For details on the OB’s party, call 587-4164.
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