New brew pub moving into the Lucky Spur |

New brew pub moving into the Lucky Spur

Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Alan Aguilar, right, and his son Cameron, with American General Development, make renovations in mid-August to the building that formerly housed Stew's Sportatorium. The new Doppelgangers brew pub and restaurant is expected to open Sept. 14.

Managers of a new downtown restaurant and brew pub at the historic Lucky Spur say their business will help bring nightlife back downtown.

“All in all, I think it’s something that Carson doesn’t have,” said Tara Alto, event coordinator at Doppelgangers Bar and Grill, which is opening Sept. 14 at the northwest corner of Carson and Proctor streets.

“I know I haven’t been going out for a long time because there’s just no place to go anymore in town.”

She said Doppelgangers is something people in Carson City deserve, “a place to go where they can actually have a good time.”

Food Management Services Inc., the company that owns Doppelgangers, officially bought the Lucky Spur from the owners of the previous restaurant on Wednesday.

The Stewart family, who ran Stew’s Sportatorium there, put the building up for sale for $3.3 million in April. Alan Adams, president of Food Management Services and owner of the Carson Nugget, declined to say how much the company was paying for the building.

In spite of reported problems at Stew’s, Doppelgangers General Manager Noel Wygant said people enjoyed the business and will like coming to a new brew pub at the same location. Wygant stressed, however, that Doppelgangers is not affiliated with Stew’s, though it will have the same brew master, Joe Renden.

After it opened in 2005, Stew’s was in business less than two years when it was fined by the state for not paying unemployment insurance premiums, accused by former employees of not paying back wages and, recently, sued by a food supplier for unpaid food and service bills.

But Wygant, former bar manager at the Carson Nugget, said customers will be excited about a business able to offer a pub atmosphere during lunch hours and, at night, a club atmosphere with video poker machines, billiard tables, outdoor patio dining and an all-ages pizzeria.

The city, Adams said, is “just kind of casinos downtown, good restaurants and casinos, but now you got a brew pub with entertainment and all that. It will be nice.”

Joe McCarthy, city economic development manager, said he’s glad to see a new business in a building that had been empty for more than 25 years before the city gave $100,000 to help with the remodel by the Stewart family.

He said the reason the city gives money to businesses such as Stew’s is to rehabilitate downtown buildings.

Another historic downtown building the city helped remodel, the St. Charles Hotel, will open an English-style pub this fall called The Firkin and Fox. Owners of the Carson Street hotel said they have signed deals to open three retail stores downtown.

Since the mid-1980s, the city has been pushing to revitalize downtown and currently is working on plans to narrow Carson Street from four to two lanes through downtown.

Morey Trensit, co-owner of the downtown bar and grill Mo & Sluggo’s, said Doppelgangers will add to the number of “fun and lively” businesses in the area.

“It’s absolutely great,” he said. “I think the more folks we can get moving downtown and enjoying themselves at another good eatery and place to have cocktails … is great.”

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.

Lucky Spur timeline:

• The building is believed to have been constructed in the 1880s, housing various businesses, such as a nightclub, cobbler and the Silver Spur Casino.

• About 1975 it opened as the Lucky Spur Casino.

• In 1978 or 1979, the Lucky Spur closed.

• In late 2004, the Nevada Gaming Commission granted the property a nonrestricted gaming license.

• Stew’s LLC entered into a contract to purchase the former Lucky Spur, 302 and 306 N. Carson St., for $1 million from George Halyak.

• Michael Stewart, Robert Stewart, James Stewart and Scott Johnson spent $1.7 million renovating the building.

• In June 2005, Stew’s Sportatorium at the Lucky Spur opened with a brewery, sports bar, 25 slot machines, a restaurant, game room and outdoor patio.

• In August 2005, Stew’s LLC purchased the building.

• In June 2006, Stew’s was fined by the state for failing to make unemployment insurance contributions for its employees. The judgment entered in Carson District Court ordered the owners to pay the state $17,919 in back employment security contributions.

• In 2007, the owners filed an embezzlement complaint against a former manager. The amount was called “major.” The owners put the property on the market for $3.3 million to focus on other businesses.

• On Wednesday, Food Management Services, operated by Carson Nugget owner Alan Adams, officially bought the Lucky Spur. It will open as Doppelgangers on Sept. 14.

– Source: Appeal records, state records, Doppelgangers

Rockin the Square

What: Live music, dancing and food and drinks

Where: Telegraph Square

When: 5-9 p.m. Sept. 15

Sponsors: Doppelgangers, Mo & Sluggo’s, The Carson Cigar Co. and B’Sghetti’s