St. Charles Hotel bringing a slice of England to Carson City
June 22, 2007
The owners of the St. Charles Hotel said they will help revitalize part of downtown by opening a English-style pub in the first floor of the hotel and bringing in three retail stores to nearby vacant buildings.
The pub, called The Firkin and Fox, will open this fall at the hotel on the corner of Third and South Carson streets. The top two floors of the building will stay as hotel rooms for now, said Jenny Lopiccolo who co-owns the hotel and properties with her husband Mark.
“Third Street, you won’t even recognize it in a year,” she said
Since buying the property three years ago, the hotel hasn’t been openly advertised, because the building needed a restaurant that was a “perfect fit,” she said.
Jim Phalan, whose High Sierra Food & Beverage Inc. will run the franchise pub, said the hotel is a good location because it’s right across from the Legislative Building and the Capitol.
Plus, he said, “The town needs something like this very badly.”
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Although the pub is part of a chain, Phalan said it will have a local feel that both politicians and families will find comfortable.
“It’s not an Adele’s, it’s not an Applebee’s. It’s somewhere in between.”
Jenny Lopiccolo said she’s signed deals with the three retail stores coming in, but she wouldn’t give their names. One of the stores will be at 206 S. Carson St. and the other two will be in separate suites at 224 S. Carson St.
Lopiccolo added that she wants to work with the city to improve the downtown, so the couple might ask for help with renovations.
They will put about $1 million of work into the hotel to get it ready for the pub, she said.
According to a 2003 Nevada Appeal article, former hotel owner Bob McFadden got more than $30,000 from the city to restore the property. He owned the hotel from 1993 to 2004 and spent about $450,000 of his own money to improve the building, the article said.
The St. Charles Hotel, 310 S. Carson St., was built in 1862 and is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
After Phalan opens the pub at St. Charles, he plans to open a pub in downtown Reno, called The Firkin and Wolf, as well at least one more in the Lake Tahoe area. Phalan owns the rights from the Firkin Group of Pubs to operate a franchise in Northern Nevada.
• Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.
St. Charles fast facts
• The St. Charles has always operated as a hotel or lodging house since its construction. It the longest continuously-operating business of its kind in Nevada.
• The Lopiccolos are the hotel’s 16th owners in 145 years.
• Recent first-floor tenants have included a Chinese eatery, Joe Garlic’s, Cafe Del Rio and Devincenzi’s, an Italian restaurant, which opened there in summer 2003.
• The St. Charles, has been known by several names:
1862 – St. Charles built
1890 – Briggs Hotel
1894 – Muller Hotel combines with St. Charles to become the Briggs House
1910 – Golden West Hotel
1924 – Hotel disappears from advertising after death of proprietor John Anderson
1928 – Travelers Hotel
1946 – Hotel Page
1953 – Pony Express Hotel
1980s – St. Charles name brought back by owner Bob McFadden
– Source: Guy Rocha, state archivist