Tres Hombres had its humble beginning on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe in Kings Beach, CA in the summer of 1974 as the Cantina Los Tres Hombres, when three friends from LA decided they wanted to live the mountain life. Skiing in the winter and beach volleyball in the summer, ah those were the days. Alas, all good things sometimes must come to an end. In 1984 the partnership split up and the Cantina was sold.
A few years later, in the summer of 1986, one of the original Hombres, Johnny Scurto, was on a road trip and found himself in Chico looking through the big windows of an empty brick building on the corner of 1st and Broadway. He thought to himself “this is a very cool building and could be a very cool Tres Hombres”. He called his former GM, Michael Thomas and the two of them spent the next several months drawing plans and asking friends and family for money. In Oct 1986 the construction and remodel began, turning a once clothing store into a restaurant. The big day finally happened on Jan 7, 1987 when Tres Hombres Long Bar & Grill opened for business, not because they were ready but because they ran out of money and needed to open.
Business ran smoothly, growing as the then small town of Chico grew. Tres celebrating its 10th anniversary and its 20th anniversary. Then in the early morning hours of Dec 1, 2009 tragedy struck. A kitchen fire destroyed the back half of the restaurant. The heroic efforts of the CFD saved the more historic front half dining room and bar areas. A long ten month rebuild ensued and with the help of the City of Chico, Tres was able to reopen in Sept 2010 with a brand new kitchen and a front patio dining area, the first in downtown Chico.
Johnny & Michael are still partners and work hard to make sure Tres customers enjoy themselves in a cool environment with a “Best of Chico” margarita served up by a friendly bartender. Please come in and say Hi, meet up with an old friend or make a new one.
More About Tres Hombres
The building that now is home to Tres Hombres is the oldest existing structure in what is now downtown Chico, completed in 1861 by John Bidwell, the founder of the town. When first opened, the two story structure was the home of the first post office in what would become downtown Chico and was also John Bidwell’s office as well as the Bidwell General Store. In approximately 1915, the building was sold by Annie Bidwell to the Kilpatric family who opened Kilpatric and Sons Grocerteria, the first of its kind in this area, a “modern” grocery store. In the late 1930’s, the second story was removed due to fear of collapse from an earthquake. The building is still owned by the descendants of the Kilpatric family.
This building has housed numerous retail and professional businesses through the years including clothing stores and even a waterbed store in the 1970’s complete with a candle making section.
Tres Hombres Long Bar & Grill opened its doors on Jan 7, 1987. The “Long Bar” came from the Red Garter Saloon in Virginia City, NV. When the bar was purchased at auction, the top was inlaid with silver dollars. Our hope was the inverted silver dollars were from the Carson City mint. They were not, but the value of the silver dollars helped pay to transport the bar from Reno, NV to its new home in Chico. Please visit the F. Meriam Library CSUC for more history and historical photographs of downtown Chico.