About Fire Sign Cafe

The Beginning 

Fire Sign Cafe was established in 1978 by Brian and Lynne Barton. It was originally located in the boat house mall, across from Christy Hill.  Two years after opening Fire Sign, the Bartons asked their friends, Bob and Christi Young, to become their business partners. The Young's had recently sold Pot Belly Stove Works, located just above Fire Sign Cafe (where Dave's Ski Shop is now located). Having loved Fire Sign from the start, Bob and Christi dove in--with a passion that helped to make up for their almost total lack of restaurant experience. Under the guidance of their partners, for the next two years, Bob and Christi began to learn the ins and outs of the restaurant industry. They helped fund moving the restaurant to its current location with the money they earned from selling the stove shop. In 1982, Brian and Lynne decided to move back to the East Coast, selling their half of the business to the Youngs. 

Bob and Christi at a Fire Sign Holiday Party in the Front Room of the Restaurant. 1990

Bob and Christi in Front of Their Pot Belly Stove Shop.  1976

Bob and Christi Checking in on Fire Sign. 2016

The Hard Work

Bob and Christi came to the cafe with more than just a passion to do things right; they came with a great instinct for business, having owned three successful enterprises prior to buying into Fire Sign. When they arrived in 1980, the menu was almost completely vegetarian, but with full ownership, they began to work with the menu, crafting it to the taste of their Tahoe clientel . . . turning it into what it is today.

In 1996, the Youngs moved to Montana, retaining full ownership of the restaurant, and leaving behind a great crew to help run it. Bob and Christi still travel back and forth on a regular basis, to ensure that their beloved Fire Sign remains just as good, if not better than when they were running it themselves.

Flathead Living Magazine, featuring Echo Lake Cafe. Bob and Christi on top.

The Result

After over 40 years of operation, Fire Sign became a family affair. . . having been entrusted into the hands of the Young's daughter, Amy, and her husband Mark in 2013. Both have been in the service industry for over 10 years, working throughout high school and college. Under her parent’s guidance, Amy learned the business from the bottom up, working at the legendary Echo Lake Cafe, Bob and Christi's second restaurant, located in Bigfork, Montana. With the same passion as her parents, Amy and Mark spent 5 years making changes and improvements to ensure that Fire Sign Cafe continues to be one of the best Tahoe dining experiences around. Having won "Best Breakfast" year after in the Truckee-Tahoe Best of Competition, being published in several high profile magazines, and being featured on Rachel Ray's Tasty Travels, it's safe to say that Fire Sign has created quiet the reputation. 

Edible Reno Tahoe Magazine, featuring Fire Sign Cafe. Amy and Mark on the right.