Our Team

Deborah Lynn Edwards
Deborah Lynn Edwards
General Manager

Debbie was born in Monterey, was raised in Carmel Valley and graduated from Carmel High School. Debbie attended Monterey Peninsula College, moved to Long Beach in Southern California for a time before returning to the Peninsula.

Her first restaurant job was as bus girl at the Buckeye Restaurant in Carmel Valley when she was 16 and later at Bob’s Big Boy while going to College. When Debbie moved home to Monterey, she did so to work in the family insurance business but soon realized she liked restaurants best.

Debbie worked at John Gardner Tennis Club in Carmel Valley where she waited on celebrities like Lucille Ball, Carey Grant, Clint Eastwood and Merv Griffin. The work was seasonal so she moved on to Highlands Inn and later bartended at Fanny’s Bar and Grill on Tyler Street in Monterey for 8 years. Her final pre-Tarpy’s stint was at the Whaler for a couple of years.

Debbie came to Tarpys in April of 1993 starting as a server and moving through bartending, banquet serving and server training before becoming a manager and finally General Manager in 2000.

Debbie has been married for 27 years, her first son is in College at San Francisco State and her youngest son is at MPC.
debbie@tarpys.com

Alethea Cusimano
Alethea Cusimano
Banquet and Catering Manager

Alethea Cusimano is a native of Monterey and began working at Tarpy’s Roadhouse in 2004 as a hostess. She was going to school to become a paralegal at the time, but quickly fell in love with the restaurant business. Eager to advance she quickly became a server and shortly thereafter began serving banquet parties. She was approached by the Banquet Manager in 2005 and accepted the position of an Event Coordinator. She has enjoyed assisting clients in planning everything from birthday parties to weddings to corporate dinners. She now serves as Banquet and Catering Manager for Tarpy's.
alethea@tarpys.com

 

 

 

Tony Tollner
Tony Tollner
Managing Partner

Tony was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1953. In 1964, Tony and his family moved to Greensboro, North Carolina where his mom lives today. In Greensboro, Tony embarked on his career in the restaurant industry taking a position at Yogi Bear Honey-Fried Chicken, at age 15.

Following a career in the Navy and time to "explore his options", Tony moved to Mountain View, California and attended Foothill College. During that time, he supported himself waiting tables at MacArthur Park in Palo Alto. It was there that the idea of restaurant management first surfaced. On a trip to the Monterey Peninsula he went to what was then Billy Quon’s where their ex-boss was working. Following a job offer, Tony moved to Carmel Valley in 1983.

In November of 1983, Tony helped to open Rio Grill and in 1985 he became a partner in Real Restaurants, which was then comprised of Rio Grill, Mustard’s Grill in Napa and Fog City Diner in San Francisco. In 1989, Real Restaurants reorganized and Rio Grill became a free-standing entity.

Tony managed Rio Grill from 1984 until 1991 when he and his partner, Bill Cox found the building that now houses Tarpy’s Roadhouse. In 1994, a chef/friend approached Tony and asked if he would consider another venture. From that conversation, sprung the award winning Montrio Bistro. Montrio Bistro, along with Tarpy's Roadhouse and Rio Grill comprise the Downtown Dining group of restaurants.

With outstanding cuisine, exemplary service and an attention to detail, The Downtown Dining restaurants continue to bring a unique and flavorful dining experience to locals and visitors alike.

Rory
Rory Filbin
Wine Manager
California born, Rory spent the majority of his youth on his family’s Nevada ranch. Graduating from high school in 1997, he relocated with his family back to California in Pacific Grove. The ensuing years kept him busy with a variety of ventures from vehicle sales to freight logistics, music retail to the fire academy. After finding a second family at Carmel's Rio Grill, ten years of growth and memories flew by. In the spring of 2013, Rory moved to Tarpy's Roadhouse to oversee it's wine program. With a commitment to excellent service, fine wines and quality dining, Rory strives to showcase the best that Tarpy's has to offer.
Colleen
Colleen Balzano
Bar and Spirits Manager
Colleen started working in the restaurant industry at 17 as a server at a local Italian pizzeria. From there, she went on to bartend in a fine dining establishment, where she developed her passion for the bar side of the business. Not long after, Colleen went to work at the Vintage Restaurant in Pennsylvania. She started as a banquet server, worked her way into the restaurant & began bartending. Colleen began experimenting and helped with the creation of specialty cocktails for the drink list. Wanting more responsibility, Colleen was offered the bar/liquor managing position where she also helped manage the restaurant and large events. After 5 years at Vintage, and 10 years in the industry, Colleen moved to Las Vegas and left the restaurant business to manage a European Wax Center. She realized that she missed the restaurant industry and wanting to be closer to family, Colleen moved to Monterey. As luck would have it, Tarpy’s was hiring and now, Colleen is Tarpy’s Bar and Spirits Manager.

History

Tarpy's Roadhouse has a long and storied history dating back to the early 1850's. To learn more about this piece of Monterey County history and its namesake, Matt Tarpy, follow the timeline below.

1851 - Irish immigrant Matt Tarpy and his family arrive in southern Santa Cruz county and settle in present-day Watsonville. Politically active, he helps to form the Pajaro Property Protective Society which is tasked to combat the lawlessness of the area. The group, which numbered close to 100, "helped" the local sheriff to protect the settlers from thieves and rustlers.

1868 - After obtaining a certain amount of celebrity, wealth and holdings in the area, Tarpy sells a portion of his land to Sarah and Murdock Nicholson. As there were no clearly marked boundaries, a dispute soon ensued over an area along the San Juan Road.

1872 - As the dispute continued and escalated, Tarpy built a cabin on the property which Mrs. Nicholson soon occupied. Things came to a head when, while in a heated argument between Tarpy, Mrs. Nicholson and two other men, Mrs. Nicholson was mortally wounded.

1873 - Following the death of Mrs. Nicholson, Matt Tarpy turned himself into the Sheriff and was placed in the county jail in Monterey. Upon learning of her death and Tarpy's surrender, Nicholson supporters and enemies of Tarpy marched to Monterey where they quickly overpowered the jail guards and removed Tarpy.

March 17, 1873 - Matt Tarpy was taken by wagon from the county jail in Monterey and hanged. The area where the hanging occurred became known as Tarpey Flats.

Late 1800's – A small area near Tarpey Flats became a pear orchard and was named Rancho Saucito.

Early 1900's - Mr. & Mrs. Charles A. Ryan purchased Rancho Saucito and in 1917 moved to the area and begin to build the family's dream home by hand and using all local materials.

1943 - The Ryan's sold Rancho Saucito to members of the Cademartori family who moved their restaurant from Casa Serrano in Old Monterey to the Ryan's former homestead.

Early 1960's - The Cademartori family sold their restaurant to Sal Cerrito who opened Villa Caruso and then Chateau in succession.

1970's - 1980's - Several enterprises opened and closed at the old Ryan Ranch Homestead including DeLuccaa's Old Stonehouse, Gregory's Stonehouse, Monterey Peninsula Winery and finally Secrets.

Summer of 1991 – Bill Cox and Tony Tollner begin construction on what is now Tarpy's Roadhouse.

May 25, 1992 – Tarpy's Roadhouse officially opens.

Executive Chef

chef-todd

Stand side-by-side with Chef Todd Fisher and you will see a creative giant in red clogs who takes a practical approach to cooking magnificent food. Bold American cuisine, anchored in a casual style with sophisticated techniques, defines Chef Todd’s distinctive dining experiences. With more than 20 years as a food lover, chef & dynamic host, Chef Todd’s exuberance and passion for all things delicious has always made him a fan favorite at local events, festivals and culinary gatherings around the country.

A San Francisco native, Fisher has always called California home and after moving to the Monterey peninsula in 1992, Fisher decided to put down roots and build his career here. Over the last two decades Chef Todd has held several prestigious kitchen posts around the Monterey peninsula, orchestrated lively culinary collaborations, pioneered farm to table dining and traveled the country as the Celebrated Host of “The United States of Bacon” on Discovery Networks. Always looking for ways to immerse himself in the local culinary culture, Chef Todd has taken to the airwaves as the host of the “All American Carnivore” on KRML radio.

In April of 2014, Chef Todd assumed the reins of the Historic Monterey Landmark Tarpy’s Roadhouse, where his youthful energy and reengineered classics has proven to be a perfect marriage of exceptional service, sensational food and a stunning setting.

Considering all of his professional accomplishments, Fisher’s most prestigious titles are Husband and Father as he shares his life here on Monterey peninsula with his wife Ada and 5 amazing children. In the words of Chef Todd, “Live life like you mean it, every day!”