The Kirkwood ski resort in the Hope Valley area of South Lake Tahoe is a little bit of a drive from the shores of the lake. But Kirkwood is its own little town in the middle of the woods, and the local bar 7800 Bar & Grill comes to life during the ski season with a cozy atmosphere, a comfort food menu, loads of drinks and tons of events and free music on the weekends.
The 7800's decor is warm and rustic — Photo courtesy of 7800 Bar & Grill
7800 is named after the elevation it sits at on the Kirkwood ski slopes. At this family-owned restaurant and bar, they make sure that both skiers and non-skiers are filled up after coming back from the slopes or hiking trails.
The menu features appetizers like their homemade tortillas and salsa for only $4, the Signature 7800 Clam Chowder for $6 and the decadent Tempura Beer Battered Bacon, served with honey maple sauce and a touch of wasabi for $9.
If you're not already full of bacon, main meals consist of a creamy, four-cheese mac 'n' cheese with cavatappi pasta and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano for $13; the 7800 Tower Burger on a brioche bun for $13; seared salmon with tarragon glaze for $24; or the Cacao and Espresso Rubbed Filet Mignon with cranberry sauce and wilted greens for $28.
That's just for dinner. For their popular slope-side lunches, they have items like Grandma's Chicken Pot Pie for $13 and grilled mahi-mahi fish tacos with citrus cilantro slaw for $14.
7800 has regular wine dinners — Photo courtesy of 7800 Bar & Grill
The bar has a large selection of both local and regional drinks on tap, as well as wine and a multitude of cocktails. The Kirkwood Mile 'n' a Half Happy Hour is Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., featuring $4 drink specials, gourmet street tacos for $2.50, a $5 taco and beer special and three tacos for $6.
The energy in this place (especially after dark) is palpable, and it really heats up on the weekends when there's a local band playing (like Drinking with Clowns and Deep Fryed Mojo) or when a special event is on the calendar. 7800 will have events like karaoke night, wine pairing dinners, Pray for Snow bonfires, holiday parties and special beer and wine sponsored events.
The bar and grill is open most nights until around midnight or 2 a.m., making it one of the only bars in this more remote area to stay open late. Way into the night, the vibe stays relaxed and warm, even if you're not sitting right by the roaring fire.
7800 fills up quickly for winter dinners — Photo courtesy of 7800 Bar & Grill