Tahoe’s Rude Brothers Bagels & Coffee closing this month
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — For two decades, Rude Brothers Bagels & Coffee has been in the building on 3117 Harrison Ave., off of Highway 50, near the beach at Lakeview Commons. For 16 of those years, Jim and Lisa Gosh have been the ones behind the scenes baking bagels and serving up coffee, after taking over from shop founder Steve Rude.
But now the longtime local favorite faces an uncertain future. The shop will close its doors at the end of March and will likely have to relocate due to the building’s new owners’ plans for renovation.
“It’s been disappointing and sad,” Lisa said of the likely move. But she also acknowledged the building’s current condition.
“It definitely needs it,” she said of the proposed renovation.
As to why they can’t stay in the location, building co-owner and former city councilman John Cefalu said, “The work can’t be done with a business operating in the space. We had to have the property vacated.”
He described a need for extensive renovation that could take up to six months. Cefalu and building co-owner Mike McKeen hope to have the work finished by August.
While there had been speculation that a brewery may move into the renovated space, Cefalu said they had not made a decision as to whom they would select.
He mentioned that strength of company would be a factor in their decision along with selecting an appropriate fit for the location.
“It’s too preliminary to make a decision,” he said. “We’ve had several inquiries. We’ll entertain any proposal that comes to us.”
He added that they would consider Rude Brothers staying in the location.
“We don’t know that they’d want to,” Cefalu said, suggesting that the time needed for renovation may be prohibitive. “We’ll certainly talk to them.”
But Lisa and her daughter Liz, who has worked at the shop since her parents took over, both said they don’t believe they’ll be contenders for the site.
“We’d be open to waiting it out for six months,” Lisa said. “I feel there’s other plans going on. I don’t think we have a chance.”
Jim and Lisa Gosh had a lease for the space with original building owner Bob Koser. But when Koser passed away in 2014 and their lease ran out, Lisa said their agreement for the space became month-to-month. Koser left the building with a religious organization based out of Illinois, Small Victories Ministries. The group sold the building to Cefalu and McKeen earlier this year.
As part of the renovation, South Tahoe Standup Paddle will also lose their storefront and have to relocate to the back of the building.
Lisa said that she and her husband have yet to find an alternative location, but have received a number of suggestions.
The biggest challenge in relocating will be to find a location with a kitchen large enough to accommodate their commercial sized ovens.
“It’s hard because they need a place with a kitchen,” Liz Gosh said. “There’s not that many places with a kitchen built.”
Both Lisa and Liz said adding a kitchen to a location without one would likely be too cost prohibitive for them.
“It’s discouraging for small business owners,” Liz said of her family’s circumstances. “There’s not a lot of mom-and-pop businesses any more and this one was really popular.”
Despite the challenges, Lisa said they remain optimistic but regret having to layoff their 10 employees.
“We’ve had so many of them for so long,” Lisa said. “It’s just sad. We’re like a family.”