Party of None

It’s hard enough to run a restaurant. It’s even harder to make it work in a mountain vacation town, where employee turnover and changing travel plans can cook your books. But these days, vacation town restaurants have another challenge. Between the misty mountain hop to becoming AirBNB towns and the mass pandemic influx of wealthier home buyers for whom there ain’t no mountain high enough, the soaring cost of living leaves potential employees with no choice to but to go jump in the lake. Here’s a story from my neck of the woods that’s representative of a much broader trend. It’s also a good article about what role a local fixture can play in the life of a community. Andrew Pridgen: After 90 years, one of Lake Tahoe’s oldest restaurants closes without fanfare.
“‘We’re done,’ William ‘Pops’ Hunter, the maternal grandson of founders George and Josephine Bacchi, who opened the restaurant in 1932, told SFGATE. ‘Basically, I’m the chef, and I’m 78 years old. I’ve been doing it for 65 years. It was just time.’ Prior to closing, Hunter’s son, Everett, the fourth-generation co-owner, was splitting time between waiting tables, running the front door, working the cash register and bar and another full-time job while his dad ran the kitchen. ‘It was too hard on all of us,’ Hunter said. ‘Nobody up here you can hire to work. We were turning away 50, 60 people a night. We couldn’t seat them.'”

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