Margaret Moran

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December 12, 2013
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Spindleshanks building in Tahoe Vista to be demolished

TAHOE VISTA, Calif. — A longtime Tahoe Vista mainstay is expected to disappear from the community landscape.

The Spindleshanks building, which was built in 1927 as the Sandy Beach Resort, is scheduled to be torn down and replaced by 39 timeshare units.

“We wish to stay, but it’s not to be,” said Steve Marks, co-owner of Spindleshanks restaurant, located at 6873 North Lake Blvd. “We have to move on.”

Opening in March 2000, the American bistro and wine bar was originally scheduled to cease operation in the wood-shingled building by Oct. 19, but has since been granted two extensions by the developer.

The restaurant will remain open until Jan. 13, 2014, but Marks is hopeful for another extension so Spindleshanks can stay in business through the winter.

Still, he doesn’t anticipate the restaurant operating in the building beyond March 31.

“The developers have been very nice and agreeable,” Marks said. “… There’s no hard feelings.”

In August, Marks learned the timeshare project would move forward without the building. Originally, the building was going to be kept as part of the project, with a plan to remodel it with a new kitchen in the rear.

It’s unclear when the Spindleshanks building will be torn down or when timeshare unit construction will start. Developer Tim Wilkens, of Lake Tahoe Partners, LLC, could not be reached for comment.

Ellie Waller, of the Friends of Tahoe Vista, said she was surprised when she learned the building wouldn’t be kept.

In 2008, the Friends of Tahoe Vista and the League to Save Lake Tahoe sued Placer County and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency over project approval, stating the original proposal of 45 timeshare units was too much for the 6-acre parcel.

In 2010, a settlement was reached that reduced planned units to 39 and land coverage by 50,000 square feet.

During the settlement, Waller said it was believed the Spindleshanks building would be kept. Otherwise, that would have been put into the agreement.

“It’s just a sense of history being taken away,” she said. “When it’s gone, it’s gone.”

Over the building’s 86-year existence, it has housed the Tahoe Vista Post Office, Colonel Clair’s Restaurant, Sweetwater, Crawdaddy’s and, lastly, Spindleshanks.

Marks said the restaurant plans on relocating in the area, but where exactly hasn’t been determined.

“There’s no place like this, with the old Tahoe feel to it,” he said. “... You can duplicate the food, the wine, but the ambience and the feel is hard to take with you.”

Learn more about the restaurant and its history at

“There’s no place like this, with the old Tahoe feel to it.”
Steve Marks
co-owner, Spindleshanks restaurant

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Dec 18, 2013 08:59AM Published Dec 17, 2013 12:23PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.