Ridiculously good food
Local sustainable ingredients
Marlena and Luke opened Old Town Tap in historic downtown Truckee, CA, in May 2016 to bring something inspired to the community – Gastro Italian cuisine created with local ingredients and crafted through old school preservation methods, with impeccable service.
Owners Marlena and Luke always wanted to open a restaurant and bar, even before they met. After managing restaurants and bartending in the Bay Area for several years, they quit their jobs in May 2015, got married at Donner Lake, and landed in Truckee after a whirlwind six-month honeymoon. They realized their life-long dream of opening their own restaurant when, a few weeks later, they heard a restaurant was for sale, and Old Town Tap was born.
Characterized as a contemporary pizzeria, offering both classic and modern cuisine, Old Town Tap’s menu is inspired by local ingredients and crafted through old school preservation methods.
Current favorites include Beef Tartare and Charcuterie Boards of assorted house-made and curated meats, cured Chef Crudo plates, and the Chicken Fried Cheese Curds with cayenne honey and buttermilk aioli.
Old Town Tap features simple and thoughtful cooking, concentrating on the integrity of each ingredient. Marlena, Luke and Chef Chris work closely with farmers and ranchers in the region to source the freshest local, seasonable and sustainable ingredients. Current purveyors include Tahoe Food Hub, Foothill Roots Farm, Long Dream Eggs, Jollity Farm, Towani Organic Farm and many more.
Luke and Ian spend their nights perfecting insane craft cocktails. Sip on the Yes Whey made with gin, house made whey, lemon, egg whites, prosecco and rose bitters or try the signature Bloody Mary to see for yourself. The 16 beer taps and 12 wine taps pour some of the best craft beers and free flow wines in the county.
We set out to bring something different and amazing to the Truckee community. Our passion is creating delicious food, an amazing bar program and top notch service that’s local, seasonal and sustainable. Come in and meet us!
What year did Marlena and Luke first meet at Picco in the Bay Area?
Luke and Marlena met in 2010. Malrena was running the pizzeria and Luke was the Lead Bartender. She would sit at the bar on my break while he was setting up, and eat her pizza (an entire pizza), read her book and not talk to him at all (they secretly had crushes on each other, but neither would admit it). But, eventually they started to chat… and the rest is history.
What has been your favorite part about opening Old Town Tap so far?
Getting to know the community more. We’ve been getting so much great feedback from so many locals, which just warms our hearts. From the get go, we really set out to to bring something different and amazing to the community, and it feels so good to hear that the locals are on board and have our backs. Everyone we meet, we love!
What is Old Town Tap’s mission in one sentence?
We wanna be a rad place for the Town of Truckee.
How do you describe Old Town Tap’s cuisine?
Mar says: Gastro Italian? Contemporary Pizzeria? F**king amazing?
Adam says: Inspired by local ingredient and crafted through old school preservation methods.
Why did you open Old Town Tap?
Both Luke and I have always wanted to open a restaurant and/or bar of our own, even before we met. In particular, Luke always wanted his own bar and I always wanted a pizzeria (pizza is Mar’s favorite food, for sure). When we started dating and talking about the future, that was always part of the conversation. We’ve both been in the industry for a long time (Luke for 20 years – that’s all he’s ever done – and Mar’s been in and out of it for 13 years), and love it. We started looking for places in Truckee and in Marin and Sonoma a few years ago. We even peered into the windows of this very space, before it was Pizza Bar, and inquired about it, but it just gotten snatched up. We almost pulled the trigger on a restaurant in Petaluma, but we decided that we really just wanted to be in Truckee. After quitting our jobs in May 2015, getting married on Donner Lake, moving our stuff to storage in Truckee, traveling for 6 months (2 months in SE Asia, rode our bikes from Canada to LA, and 2 months/10k miles in the van with our dog, Shorty Pants touring the country) we officially landed in Truckee on Dec. 1. We found out Pizza Bar was for sale December 27, and it really felt like it was meant to be. We scheduled a showing on Dec 28, and the rest is history.
Also, we really wanted to bring something amazing to the community of Truckee. We just love the town, the environment and the community here – we truly feel like we’re at home in Truckee. So, we wanted to share our dream with this town – delicious food, an amazing bar program with top notch service, that local, seasonal and sustainable. We wanted to bring a piece of the Bay Area to Truckee, while keeping the casual mountain town atmosphere.
Are there any specific farms, ranchers or purveyors you’re sourcing ingredients from that you’d like to reference?
Tahoe Food Hub, Foothill Roots Farm, Greg’s Organics, Long Dream Farm, Jollity Farm, Towani Organic Farm, and many many more!