This summer, Casino Fandango will open an Italian restaurant to meet the requests of pasta-loving patrons.
Court Cardinal, general manager of the South Carson City casino, said Friday that the restaurant will feature classic pasta, veal dishes and pizza at an affordable price, ranging from $8 to $25.
Casino executives had considered filling the 6,000-square-foot space with an Outback Steakhouse, a popular national chain, which would have competed with the casino's existing steakhouse.
"The vast majority of our customers said they would prefer to have an Italian restaurant rather than Outback," Cardinal said. "Plus, we already have a great steakhouse. It was a business decision."
The Italian restaurant will fill in the northeast corner of the casino, joining Duke's Steakhouse, the Rum Jungle buffet and the Palm Court Grill.
"There's not enough choices for people to go out and find Italian," Cardinal said. "We listened to our guests and that's what they told us they wanted."
The restaurant is not yet named. It will not be a chain, but will be operated by Carson Gaming, which owns the casino. To accommodate the new restaurant, the casino will add 40 employees. Hiring will begin in mid-June for a midsummer opening, Cardinal said. Fandango will host a job fair.
Olympia Gaming, of Las Vegas, owns Carson Gaming, which opened the 35,000-square-foot Casino Fandango at 3800 S. Carson St. in summer 2003. The popular gaming property has had a number of business successes since, including a 13,000-square-foot expansion, the opening of a $4 million parking garage in 2005 and the announcement early last year of a massive $40 million expansion project that includes a movie theater, Marriott hotel and second casino expansion.
Scott Doerr, owner of B'Sghetti's Italian restaurant in downtown Carson City, said over the years he has heard rumors that different chain Italian restaurants were coming to town. So far he hasn't had to worry about that type of competition. He welcomes the competition from Fandango.
"We have to keep doing what we're doing and not worry about that," Doerr said. "If we're doing our job, it's not going to affect us so much."
B'Sghetti's celebrated its 10th anniversary on April 2. The restaurant remodel will be completed next week.
Fandango Executive Chef Axel Oehler, who has experience with Italian food, will oversee the new restaurant. Conceptual drawings are still in the works.
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