Colleen Moore
Special to the Sun

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November 5, 2012
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Meet Your Merchant: North Tahoe's newest bar has 40+ reasons to be mellow

BROCKWAY, Calif. - Looking for a new place to hang out at night? Tired of the same beers at other bars? Be sure to check out the newly opened Mellow Fellow bar in North Tahoe, right at the state line, which boasts an impressive 40 beers on tap.

A trio of Dallas transplants - founder and owners Ryan and Casey Eller, along with general manager Kristi Thompson - run the day-to-day operations at the bar. Mr. Eller explained he has been visiting Lake Tahoe for the past 15 years, often spending time in Incline Village.

"Every time we came out, we wondered where you can come out and get a good beer besides a sports bar," Eller said.

The group strives to provide unique beers on tap, often searching for rare beers to keep customers intrigued. Eller explained that out of the 40 beers Mellow Fellow currently has on tap, eight of them are IPAs, one of the most popular being Dogfish 90 Minutes IPA. Also, the bar has a nitrogen pour, for rich, creamy, stouts.

"It's none of the traditional stuff you'll see in other restaurants around town," Eller explained.

While the group has spent time in Tahoe before, they just relocated to North Lake in February. Two months later, they found their current location, at the North Tahoe state line, in April. After building and constructing the bar, two and a half months later, Mellow Fellow opened in late June.

"(We've) always wanted to move out here, then a couple things fell into place, allowing me to leave Dallas and my wife to come with me. The more we talked about it and got Kristi on board, we decided to go for it," Eller said. "It was a risk, as it always is moving across the country, but everything has come up roses."

When the Ellers and Thompson were developing the bar - which sits right on the state line, on the California side - they strived to make it a comfortable hang-out for locals and visitors alike.The name, Mellow Fellow, is a testament to the bar's laid back atmosphere.

"We didn't want to be a tourist destination - we wanted to be a local hang-out," Eller said. "We want to set up an ambiance that allows people to come hang out and feel welcome. That there's no rush to leave, and to treat our place like your backyard."

With giant Jenga, corn hole and darts, the bar really does feel like a backyard hang-out, complete with a large outside patio and picnic tables.

"We've had a really good response so far, especially from the locals," Eller said.

While the bar is quickly becoming known for its impressive beer selection, it also offers plenty of food options, including a variety of sandwiches and sausages, all using locally made and fresh ingredients.

Some of the sandwich options are a pesto cheese sandwich, turkey cranberry and roast beef. The menu also offers fresh soft pretzels from Truckee Sourdough Company. Eller explained that the bar's biggest seller of food is its sausages, made in Incline Village.

"Every night from 6 to 9 we grill sausages as well as bratwurst," Eller said.

The bar also has specials virtually every night, starting with a happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 -6 p.m., when beers are $1 off. On Monday nights, there's trivia at 7 p.m.; Wednesdays are Bike Night (customers are invited to show up on bikes of any kind to receive $1 off beers all night); and Thursdays are Pint Nights, where patrons can keep their glasses if they buy the featured beer. Lastly, on Sunday mornings, the bar opens early, at noon, and has $2.50 bloody beers, along with a $4 egg scramble.

Eller added that if people stop by the bar often, they will notice new beers on tap frequently. The bar is currently working with several distributors and breweries to gain exclusive access to certain beers, Eller said.

"We've had a really good response so far, especially from the locals," Eller added. "We love it, we absolutely love it."

So stop by Mellow Fellow, especially often, as its ever-changing beer selection will surely have something new, and delicious, to enjoy.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Nov 5, 2012 11:05AM Published Nov 5, 2012 11:03AM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.