Divided Sky celebrates 20 years
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — After 20 years of operation, little has changed at Divided Sky, which is what makes the bar great.
In 2002, Divided Sky owner and founder Brian Levy had just returned from a backpacking trip in Europe. He was juggling several jobs and fondly remembering the late night cafes of Europe.
He had been living in Meyers since 1996 and said there just wasn’t much in terms of a night scene there.
So, on Valentine’s Day 2002 Divided Sky was born. Levy had intended it to be a late night cafe but it soon became a bar.
“It just morphed into more of a bar. For better or for worse, alcohol is where people like to congregate,” Levy said.
While Levy was in Europe, dreaming up a business idea, Jedrek Speer was subletting Levy’s room in Meyers. Speer was an artist, in need of a job and when Levy returned, the two became friends.
“I didn’t have the vision Brian had,” Speer said. “We all thought opening a bar in Meyers was stupid.”
Levy asked Speer to paint a mural in the bar and in return, Speer asked for a job. Levy said, “no,” but Speer said, “I weaseled my way in.”
For several years after that, Speer was there nearly everyday.
“Instant community happened there,” Speer said.
It’s the importance of that community that Levy kept coming back to. Divided Sky is truly a community bar.
“Over the years, Meyers has developed its own personality,” Levy said.
Little has changed in Divided Sky since it opened.
“The space is the space, it’s cozy, has a small kitchen and no storage but it gives it personality,” Levy said. “I think that is maybe what people appreciate.”
In 2015, Levy extended the deck but other than that, no major changes have been made.
“It’s outstanding,” Speer said about the lack of change. “It’s hard to have a successful business and not try to get bigger and want more. It’s pretty neat that he’s been able to stay the same.”
Divided Sky has developed a reputation for live, local music. Levy loves having local musicians perform there and both him and Speer fondly remember times where the bar was packed too tight with people there to enjoy the music.
And while Divided Sky has experienced hardship, such as the Angora and Caldor Fires and COVID-19, Levy said he thinks these experiences have only made the sense of community even stronger.
Speer said he’s proud of what Levy has built and even though he doesn’t live in Tahoe anymore, he makes a point to come up and visit the bar and his friends there.
After 20 years, Levy is proud to say that they are now legitimately a local business.
“The place is just a space, it’s the people that come in there that creates its personality,” Levy said.
Divided Sky is located at 3200 US Highway 50 in Meyers.
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