The Local Lens – What’s Happening at the Raley’s Incline Center?
March 23, 2022 | Linda Offerdahl
It’s either Raley’s or the post office…. the center of my social life, that is. COVID masks made it a little more challenging, but my red hair is unmistakable and always makes it easy to connect with people I’ve known for any length of time. OK, I make NEW friends in Raley’s, too. Sometimes it takes me 20 minutes just to get past the produce aisle! For someone who has always had “high social needs”, going to the market can be a necessity several times a week. I can count on catching up with friends and neighbors, commiserating if we make the mistake of going to Raley’s on a Friday afternoon in the summer. If your corporate office with its social life around the water cooler has been replaced by your kitchen, maybe you can relate. Try Raley’s!
Raley’s Incline Center is more than its supermarket. It houses anchor businesses that truly make it the center of town: Incline’s major retailers Village Ace Hardware, Potlatch, and the suite of shops owned by John and Rebecca Roxburgh (Panache and Forever Rox). Raley’s Center is facing several changes in the next couple of months.
Village Ace Hardware, to become Mountain Hardware & Sports on April 1 (the very same employee-owned franchise with two locations in Truckee!) is expanding into the Pet Station space, allowing it to sell lumber products. According to General Manager Bill, the entire team is staying and will become franchise owners. The Falke family has owned and managed Village Ace Hardware, which opened in 1974 since the original owner Kirk Moon sold it to them. Thank yous are to be shared; with the entire Village Ace Hardware family for your dedication and service to Incline Village, and from the Falke family who has asked us to thank Incline for all these years of support! Kathy tells us the decision to sell to a well-established employee-owned brand in the area was easy. As a side note, Pet Station is moving to 800 Tahoe Blvd, the intersection with Northwood that is also home to the Village Ski Loft.
Raley’s is home to popular family-owned restaurants. Changes are coming here as well. Rookies, with its deck facing Tahoe Boulevard, has been a popular locals spot for years, providing family dinners, a neighborhood bar, and even a coffee spot for my husband Richard and “The Philosopher’s Club” of retired men. Rookies is looking for a new owner with fresh ideas in keeping with a local vibe.
Restaurateurs Rick Boyd and Tatiana Martz are looking to sell Bertie’s Chicken. The kitchen is modernized and can be used for any restaurant concept. They, as well as Rookies, have been SO supportive of our community through COVID and the fires last summer, providing meals for those in crisis. We are grateful that Azzara’s, started by Sam and Denise Azzara and still run by daughter Andrea and son-in-law Cord, is still a popular fixture in Raley’s Center.
Gus’ BBQ has a new owner, Nellie and Jonah Saia of Tahoe Fresh Co./Tahoe BBQ, owners of the very successful restaurants in the Country Club Center: Austin’s, Fumo, and Cool Mess. I can’t wait to see what they do with Gus’ BBQ!
Oh, in case you are wondering about the old Bank Of America building on Village that backs up to the Raley’s Incline Center parking lot, watch for its reopening in April under Merrill Lynch Wealth Management as a financial services business.
Between the market, its retailers, and restaurants, Raley’s Incline Center is a major employer for our community. Please support them and all local businesses with your patronage. Our community is a great place to live because of its services and businesses, not just Lake Tahoe and the beautiful ambiance.
I hope you joined other locals for March’s “doubleheader” weekend. The Boosters had a very successful Crab Feed, raising more than $300,000 for Incline High School. The Downhill Dummy at Diamond Peak proved that creativity and craziness are alive and well in our community!
About the Author Linda Offerdahl
Linda Offerdahl, IVCBA’s Executive Director, is a 34-year resident of Incline Village. After careers in education and computer product management, she and her husband Richard moved to Incline Village to raise a family and support the community and its endless recreational and business assets.