Sign of Tahoe’s past: Renovation project reveals what was painted underneath |

Sign of Tahoe’s past: Renovation project reveals what was painted underneath

Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / A renovation project at Tep's Villa Roma reveals a sign from Tahoe's past. Tahoe Supply Co. was the early name of Nel's Tahoe Hardware.

A sign from Tahoe’s past was recently uncovered during a renovation project in the 3400 block of Lake Tahoe Boulevard.

Upon removing the roof over the walkway at the building where Tep’s Villa Roma and Lake Tahoe Coin Jewelry and Loan are located, construction workers discovered a sign for Tahoe Supply Co.

The building, which was constructed in the late 1950s or early 1960s, was co-owned by Linne “Nels” Nelson and Cecil Caple. The east end of the building housed Nel’s Variety, while Tahoe Supply Co. was on the opposite end. The building was one of several locations where Nelson’s hardware store had been through the years before settling at its present site on Fremont Avenue as Nel’s Tahoe Hardware.

Shelden and Joyce Tepper have owned the building since 1987, where their Italian-style restaurant, Tep’s Villa Roma, is managed by their son, Dan Tepper. They opened the first Tep’s Villa Roma in 1975, several blocks west of the present location. The restaurant offers Italian fare and seafood as well as a bar and lounge and is open from 5 to 10 p.m. seven days a week, except on Thanksgiving. The establishment, as well as Lake Tahoe Coin Jewelry and Loan, will remain open during the renovation, which should be completed in three to four weeks.

Tepper said he decided to renovate the building because, “The town is trying to make things look nice and we want to be a part of it.

“The building will have a Lake Tahoe motif with big logs in front,” he said.

The new front will include a roof over the walk way but the board walk will be replaced with pavers. The contractor for the project is Tom Rusinko Construction.

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