At 7:30 a.m. today, Gov. Brian Sandoval was eating pancakes.
A gaggle of media surrounded him while he ate, with Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell next to him. Its newsworthiness was simple: He was among the first to eat the namesake food of the IHOP in Carson City in almost three months.
The restaurant, at 3883 S. Carson St., closed Sept. 6 when a gunman, Eduardo Sencion, killed four people with an automatic assault rifle and injured seven others before shooting himself to death. Among the dead were three uniformed National Guard soldiers.
The restaurant reopened today without the fanfare of most store openings - no balloons or banners or full-page ads to herald its return.
For the Engel family, of Carson City, the return of the IHOP was a pleasant one. They would typically eat there about every two weeks before the shooting. They were among the first ones seated Thursday as a way to "support the community," Curt Engel said. Engel and his wife said they were glad it reopened. It showed the resilience of the community, a word Sandoval used himself before sitting down for breakfast.
"I know there were a lot of different considerations (before deciding to reopen), but I'm appreciative of IHOP for continuing its investment in this community," Sandoval said.
By the time Sandoval was finished with his pancakes, the restaurant's booths were almost half full. One of the workers said the turnout was pretty good, all things considered. Sandoval said he wasn't surprised.
"This is a strong community," he said.