Jim Phalan’s New Year’s resolution is to elevate customer experience at his downtown brewery and restaurant, The Fox.
He has made it a priority to listen to the reviews and suggestions of his patrons, saying, “After 15 years, it’s time to give The Fox some TLC.”
The pub will be closed Jan. 8-15 for work on the main dining and bar area.
The Fox is operating out of one of the most historic buildings in the city and after serving thousands of customers, Phalan wants to create a fresh new den for customers to enjoy an elevated food and drink experience that has had him rebranding as The Fox Brewery and Pub to better reflect the brewery part of his business.
On Jan. 7, 2008, the Fox was born in Carson City in the former St. Charles-Muller Hotel at 310 S. Carson St., as The Firkin’ and Fox. Prior to opening the decaying hotel built in 1862, the building had to undergo a complete renovation to bring it up to code.
Already some small cosmetic renovations, such as repainting, have been underway in the Mark Twain Room and the newly renamed Fox’s Den.
“I want the Fox to feel familiar and not lose the pub feel, but I also want to wow my loyal customers a bit this year,” Phalan said.
That “wow” factor will include a more open bar with a modern top, new televisions and sound system, new tables/booths and chairs and pendant lighting to brighten the room and give the area a more mid-century modern look.
The Mark Twain Room behind the main bar is good for small gatherings. Adding to the new ambience will be a bookcase to house Mark Twain memorabilia and all new tables and chairs.
Behind the Mark Twain Room is the Fox’s Den for those who want a smaller bar atmosphere – now minus the bar top slot machines – that, too, has received a new coat of paint and a new bar top, tables and chairs. By eliminating the slots, it is Phalan’s hope that more interesting conversations will be sparked, and friendships made.
Both bars will feature a new state-of-the-art beer tower to make it easier for the bartenders to pour in-house-brewed craft beer.
The only beer served will be the freshly brewed artisan beer crafted on premise by award-winning head brewer Tim Mason. The installation of two new tanks is part of the process.
“We installed the brew system in this building and started producing beer in January of 2017,” Phalan said. “We have a 7bbl brewery and have purchased two new tanks to expand production.”
Crafting beer is not new to Phalan and his team. He once owned the High Sierra Brewing Co., in Carson City and Sparks and today also operates the Bendita Carmelita Brewery in Ciudad Del Carmen, Mexico.
Also rebranded will be the mascot that first appeared in 2008. The fox is getting new garb and already his red neon head is featured as you venture into the pub. The new website is up and running featuring the new beers and menus and the beer cans feature the fox logo.
Phalan has fostered a relationship with one of Carson’s finest chefs who has been without a commercial kitchen of his own since March 2019.
Charlie Abowd will oversee the kitchen and servers to make certain the overall pub experience to which Phalan aspires will be kept.
The timing for the refresh is good. The 82nd Nevada Legislature will open Feb. 6. Expect to see a special brew in Mark Twain’s honor to be introduced in time for Mark Twain Days coming to the downtown the weekend of April 21.
The unveiling of the renovated Fox Brewery and Pub will be held after Jan. 15 to celebrate the 15th anniversary.
“Our pub is still family-owned, and we will keep that neighborhood bar feel,” Phalan said. “My family and I love Carson City and want to give the city the kind of pub experience found nowhere else.
“Short term thinking gets you nowhere, think long term and stay the course.”
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