Fred and Blanche Mills Chadbourne came to Pine Knot on their honeymoon in the early 1900s. They decided to make it their home. They opened a café on Main Street next to Bartletts General Store. They purchased the building, changed the name to Chad’s Restaurant and opened May in 1915.
A new Chad’s Place location opened in 1922 on Village Drive. The Chadbournes built the two-story building and purchased property behind the restaurant where they added a camp of log cabins. Chad’s Camp access was by way of an alley on the east side of the restaurant. Some of those cabins are still standing today.
Nearly 100 years later on May 23, the Big Bear Valley Historical Society identified the former Chad’s Place building, now Whiskey Dave’s, as a Big Bear historic building.
Back in the early days of Chad’s, the restaurant advertised itself as a city café in the heart of the mountains. In 1950 it became known as the oldest and best café in Big Bear. It became a café and bar in 1925. Names the restaurant has gone by is Chad’s Café, Chad’s Restaurant, Chad’s Place and now, Whiskey Dave’s.
Fred passed away in July 1942 and his wife, Blanche, sold the business in 1944. Lauren Ianniciello has been the owner of the property since 1983.
The Big Bear Valley Historical Society plans to put up historical plaques throughout the Valley. The first plaque was placed in 2015 at Big Bear Mountain Brewery, which was once the Big Bear Masonic Lodge. That building was constructed in 1925.
Hunter Hall’s Haberdashery received a plaque in 2016 as the site of Pardee’s Drug Store, which was built in 1906. That building is now owned by the Ianniciellos as well. The building will soon reopen as The Nut House.
The plaques do not have any legal effect on the buildings where they are placed unlike historical landmark designations, which limit what property owners can do.
Whiskey Dave’s is at 40740 Village Drive, Big Bear Lake.