About Us

The Freshies Deck
The Freshies Deck Overlooking Lake Tahoe Is Open Memorial Day To Labor Day.

Come and experience the friends, fun and fabulous food that makes Freshies a local’s favorite and a visitor’s gem to find! Our cozy, intimate Tiki Room vibe is filled with the Aloha Spirit and so inviting to come into, especially from a snowy Tahoe storm.

Please allow us to make your experience a memorable one!

Our comfy dining room seats 33 and our comfortable bar area seats about 16. We are blessed with a lake-view deck, open Memorial Day to Labor Day. Sorry, only service dogs allowed.

It is the goal of Freshies Restaurant to provide the people of the Lake Tahoe Basin and visitors with an overall dining experience that will far exceed their expectations. The restaurant offers innovative, delicious, wholesome and organic cuisine, outstanding craft beers, and carefully selected fine wines in a warm, fun, relaxed atmosphere with excellent service combining elements of fine dining with family style comfort at a value price.

Erik and Melodie’s first priority as owners of Freshies is to care for their crew, their restaurant family, then for their neighbors, the Lake Tahoe Locals and finally for the international community. Freshies cares for Mother Earth. All of the products we use are always FRESH, often organic and as close to nature (unrefined) as possible. We are committed to contributing to the integrity of the Earth and our community.

The Freshies Family

Erik & Melodie Ulman

Erik and Melodie in Maui
Erik and Melodie, long time Tahoe locals and owners of Freshies

The Ulmans met in the restaurant business in 1987 and have dreamed of having their own place since then.

Established in 2000, Freshies is the culmination of this dream and much hard work and planning.  Melodie and Erik have both been in the restaurant business since 1979 with Erik in the kitchen and Melodie in the front of the house. They both have a real affinity for the fast paced service industry and all that is involved, especially the people. They have both worked in every position in every type of restaurant imaginable.

Melodie’s background is in psychology, preschool and elementary teaching and fitness. She is a teacher in every sense of the word, organized, particular and open hearted. Erik is an artist in the kitchen, but without the temperament of a typical chef. Erik grew up surfing and skateboarding in San Luis Obispo. One of his main early restaurant positions was at a port side place that had its own fishing fleet. This experience, coupled with his shredding style influenced him to create his blend of California cuisine and Pacific Rim style flavors.

Mama Christina

Mama Christina
Mama Christina

One of the world’s best Moms, Mama Christina always encouraged Erik in all his early endeavors, especially cooking. Over the years, her belief and support in Erik and Melodie’s dream of owning their own restaurant was key in their enthusiasm and follow-through. When the loan application/approval process became overwhelming and discouraging, she increased her supportive measures and helped them continue their pursuit of the loan.  Chris is a master quilter and makes the beautiful place mats, tablecloths and curtains for Freshies. Her cheesecake recipe is the one Erik uses for his delectable Key Lime Cheesecake. Her love and caring touch is woven into the fabric of all that is Freshies.

Freshies Fun Facts

Giving Back

Live Violence Free Center Benefit
Each April, Servers and Cooks switch jobs for a lunch service! 100% of proceeds are donated to the South Lake Tahoe Live Violence Free Center.

Therapy Dogs
Melodie and Erik’s dogs, Maka & Jaya, are Delta-certified therapy dogs bringing love to Lake Tahoe and Maui.

Bread and Broth
Freshies makes soup donations to the needy once a month.

Locals’ Events

Fourth of July
A  local’s only event for the fireworks. Folks are chosen in a drawing of used local discount cards OR we donate tables to some charity events during the year and they auction them to benefit the charity.  A five course meal with beer and wine is included FREE.

Caring For The Earth

100% of recyclable materials are recycled – glass, plastic, tin, aluminum, and cooking oil.

We utilize Earth-friendly/recycled products whenever possible.

We serve local, natural, biodynamic and organic food as much as possible.