KOLO ATE: J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room

Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 8:43 AM PDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2022 at 9:06 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room is a long-time, local favorite in Gardnerville.

‘It’s historic, it’s cultural,” said co-owner Marie-Louise Lekumberry. “It’s a slice of old-west Nevada.”

J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room
J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room(kolo)

It’s located in a Victorian-era building originally built in Virginia City, then moved to its current spot in 1896.

“You walk through the front doors and you get that old-time saloon vibe,” added Lekumberry.

And in the back you’ll find the kitchen, serving up food first made popular in sheephearder boarding houses back in the early 1900′s. Including seven-course, family style dinners.

“It comes with a bottle of wine, bread and butter, soup of the day. Fresh green salad with vinegar and oil on it. A stew or side-dish, beans, french fries. And a very wide variety of entree choices, " explained co-owner J.B. Lekumberry.

J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room
J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room(kolo)

There are separate dining tables, along with community tables made famous at Basque restaurants. Where often times people arrive as strangers and leave as friends.

‘Cross-table talk happens pretty easy here,” added J.B.

The restaurant also has lunch specials using locally-sourced beef, including some raised on the family ranch. And it’s also sold to private customers.

“We sell halves, wholes and 40-pound boxes under the label Ranch One” explained J.B.

The two siblings have taken over the J.T., first bought by their father and uncle more than 60 years ago.

“It’s generational, and it’s tradition,” said Marie-Louise.

J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room
J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room(kolo)

And some traditions continue to this day. There are hats all over the bar, left by customers and nailed to the wall. And anyone can try to pin a dollar bill up on the ceiling, using a silver dollar and a tack. Just another way to show how many people have visited over the last six decades.

“We feel like we’re just stewards of this place, it’s bigger than us,” stated J.B. “I mean we have seen multi-generational families come.”

“We see people today who were little kids back here when we were little kids, working in the place or just running around in the place, and they bring their kids now,” continued Marie-Louise. “So it’s something that keeps going on and on for all of us.”

J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room
J.T. Basque Bar & Dining Room(kolo)

You can get more info on the J.T. and check out the menu by going to www.jtbasquenv.com. You can also order their beef by emailing jblekumberry@gmail.com.