Old brings out the new in restaurant

If it's old, discolored, knotted, or just plain different, chances are it could get used in one of Carson's new restaurant projects.

The as-of-yet-named restaurant on Tenth and Carson streets should be open sometime this spring. If restaurant designers have their way, patrons will walk into the restaurant feeling as if its always been a part of Carson City.

"That's where the old logs and local pieces come into play," Designer Kurt Cameron said.

The restaurant is one of a national chain similar to Fanny Ann's Saloon in Old Town Sacramento or Madison Bear Gardens in Chico.

To help give the barbecue restaurant a local feel, the building's owners and designers have used mostly recycled materials in the building's construction, including many pieces from Carson City. The building is a "green building," incorporating as many recycled items as possible.

"We've done it everywhere we build," restaurateur Jack Sterling said. "It brings into our building the history and feel of the community. It helps to kind of build the community's ownership for the building. People can look and say, 'I know where that came from.'"

Take the windows, for example. They're not historic, but they were extra pieces from the city's public safety facility and were to be thrown away. By using them, Cameron said, the project got a higher quality of glass that will keep the building extra warm.

The inside windows are framed by wood salvaged from buildings around the Adam's House on Minnesota Street. A hospital parking lot sits where an old garage and chicken coop once sat, but the wood has been reused in the restaurant.

The trim along the outside of the 7,000-square-foot building is oil-stained facia boards, wood salvaged from the floor of the Carson Valley Oil Co., which was built in 1928 and was razed about a year ago for use in the project.

Tin in various stages of rust from the Oil Co. adorns the building's roof like a patchwork quilt of discolored cloth.

Local river rock from Gardnerville surrounds the fireplace, who's smoke stack is a an old steel flume from the dismantled Virginia and Truckee Railroad engine shop. It's on loan to the restaurant from the Nevada State Railroad Museum, hopefully forever, Sterling said.

Old pine logs from Colorado are an architectural feature of the building, one having a wayward branch winding towards the building's ceiling. Even the logs are a recycled item. They are structurally sound, but were beetle killed, causing the wood to turn a bluish color and making them useless to most people. Except for the restaurant, where odd woods, interesting antiques and distinct architecture will hopefully create a Carson institution.

"When the project is done, it will be a feast for the eyes," Cameron said.


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