Eateries bring new energy to Carson Mall |

Eateries bring new energy to Carson Mall

Kirk Caraway
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Looking at the new restaurants sprouting up on the east side of Carson Mall, it’s hard to believe it’s the same old shopping center.

Charley’s Grilled Subs celebrated its grand opening Tuesday, and L&L Hawaiian Barbeque next door is slated to open this weekend.

“We feel people need restaurants around there, and food draws people,” said Joanne Holmes, co-manager of the property owned by Carrington Co.

With about 1,500 state employees working in the buildings across the street, restaurants were the perfect choice of businesses for the newly refurbished section of the mall, according to Holmes.

Lori Bagwell, who with her husband, Jim, opened Charley’s Grilled Subs, was happy to be serving up their signature Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.

“It’s just really starting to take off as people learn we are open,” Bagwell said. “I think Metcalf Builders have done a wonderful job, and (mall owner Francis) Carrington is very interested in making it an exciting destination.”

Bagwell said she has lived in Carson since she was 4, and the changes in the mall are “revitalizing to the whole area.”

On Tuesday, Bagwell said, they timed how long it took to fill an order, and the average was 90 seconds.

“We are hoping to give the state people some good service so they can get in and out for their lunch hour,” Bagwell said.

Charley’s also has breakfast, opening at 6 a.m.

The Bagwells were new to the food business when they opened their first Charley’s franchise in the Sierra Summit mall in South Reno in March. But they have had such fun with the first restaurant, they decided in July to open one in Carson.

“We just really, really like the franchise,” Bagwell said. “Charley’s corporation has a wonderful corporate structure, and they really help their franchisees.”

The two new eateries will get company soon. Holmes said a new tropical- theme restaurant is slated to open in the spring. It will serve breakfast and lunch, possibly expanding to dinner. The locally owned establishment will be tied in with a retail store, selling clothing, bath products and decor.

And she’s looking for one more restaurant tenant.

“We would really love to have a bakery,” Holmes said. “A bakery would really round out everything. We want restaurants that complement each other so we don’t have four burger places.”

Other improvements are on the way, including the completion of the Carson Cove, an outside eating area adjacent to the new restaurants.

Bagwell said her son, Kurt Schlicker, graduates from University of Nevada, Reno in May 2010, and she’s looking forward to him joining the restaurant.

“We are starting a family business to pass on to him,” Bagwell said.

– Contact reporter Kirk Caraway at or (775) 881-1261.