Historic Cutthroat saloon, built in 1862, has new owners
MARKLEEVILLE, Calif. — A historic Markleeville saloon was restored to its former name after being bought by new owners, who take pride in the bar’s history.
The Cutthroat Saloon and Restaurant has undergone a few different owners in the past decades, and for a time was known as “Wolf Creek.” However, that didn’t stop locals and travelers alike from referring to it as the Cutthroat, and now it’s been officially changed back.
Originally built in 1862 as the Fiske House in Silver Mountain City, the building was dismantled and rebuilt in Markleeville as the Hot Springs Hotel in 1886. In 1900, it became the Alpine Hotel.
For nearly two decades, the Cutthroat was known as the Wolf Creek Bar & Restaurant after Minden investor and builder Tom Abdoo purchased it from owners Mario and Marilyn Generelli for about $340,000. He then undertook a restoration job of nearly $500,000 in which the building was gutted and rebuilt.
When the business went up for sale again this year, Fawna Demond knew she had to take her chance.
Demond moved to California from South Florida the day after she turned 18. She worked seasonally at Cutthroat — then known as Wolf Creek — for four years, and fell in love with Markleeville. She lived in South Lake Tahoe and owned Four Paws Pet Resort there for a time, but had always kept an eye on the Cutthroat.
It may be the first time she’s owned a bar, but she’s no stranger to how one is run, and she’s determined to keep the historic legacy of the Cutthroat alive for the town.
“I fell in love with the town of Markleeville,” said Demond, “and the locals. I wanted to be a part of this town, and the opportunity arose. The locals are super supportive, the anglers and the tourists are very supportive as well.”
She decided when she bought the bar to return it to Cutthroat for the nostalgia of it. “Everyone comes to Markleeville and they expect the Cutthroat. Even when it was Wolf Creek people still called it the Cutthroat. We want to keep everything in here the same as it was before; it’s almost like a museum in here.”
Though it might be lacking some of the more memorable décor, such as the numerous bras that once hung from the ceiling, the walls are lined with photos of Markleeville through the ages, including photographs of the Alpine Hotel in the early 1900s, and all manner of old west relics, from fishing tackle to woven baskets.
They’re also reverting to some of the old menus, and bringing back favorites such as taco Tuesday and prime rib Friday.
Soon they’ll also be featuring a separate breakfast, lunch and dinner menu with a variety of choices.
The Cutthroat Saloon and Restaurant is located at 4830 Hwy 89, Markleeville, Calif., and is open from noon-2 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Due to financial challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Discovery in 2020 experienced a revenue shortfall of $1.5 million in 2020. Thanks to the community’s generosity, more than $1.4 million has been raised for the nonprofit museum’s Resiliency Fund.