Bridgetender Tavern and Grill

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Bridgetender Tavern and Grill is a Lake Tahoe restaurant, along the Truckee River in Tahoe City, CA, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with indoor and outdoor patio dining. 15 beers on draught and the best burgers and bloody marys in Lake Tahoe.

Bridgetender Tavern and Grill, also known as The BT, opened its doors on May 1, 1977. It was located next to the Tahoe City Dam, on the Truckee River, which is the only outlet from Lake Tahoe. Indoor and outdoor dining is still available as it was in 1977, with lunch and dinner served 7 days a week. In 2013, breakfast was added Friday to Sunday. After 25 years of successful operation and the conclusion of a 25 year lease, the old Bridgetender building was demolished and the new Bridgetender was constructed just 200 yards away along the Truckee River, where it is located now.

Situated right at the mouth of the Truckee River at Fanny Bridge, our riverfront patio is what comes to mind when local Tahoe City residents think of afternoon cocktails in the sun. Locals love this spot for its river views, numerous tables, an outdoor bar and summer ambiance. This is also a great place to catch live music on Tuesdays!

Just a short distance from its source, beautiful Lake Tahoe, this famous bridge is affectionately known as "Rump Row". Thousands of sightseers daily stop to peer over at the schools of large rainbow trout which abound here, feeding on the choice morsels dropped by the "Smiling Faces" above. Later, a local newspaper columnist renamed it "Fanny Bridge" as it is known today. He claimed to be able to estimate the number of tourists in the area by the number of backsides he counted.

The first outlet works were constructed in 1870 by Col. A.W. VonSchmidt. The stone and timber crib structure regulated the water flow for flotation of logs and later, power generation. The timber and power helped to shore up the wealth of the Comstock Lode.

By 1913, the U.S. Reclamation Service completed the present structure to serve the Newlands Irrigation Project. Contractual flow regulations demanded tending of the gates for which a cabin was built in 1910 to house the gate keeper. The cabin served until 1968 but was destroyed by a fire in 1978.

The present concrete dam at this site has 17 gates used to raise or lower the level of the lake.