Stew’s may have buyer; Nugget co-owner expresses interest |

Stew’s may have buyer; Nugget co-owner expresses interest

Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer

A downtown restaurant and brewery that has been fined by the state, put up for sale, and owes back taxes to the city may have a buyer.

According to the state gaming control board, Alan Adams, co-owner of the Carson Nugget casino, filed an “application for permission to participate in operations” with Stew’s Sportatorium in the historic Lucky Spur in June. The process stopped there because representatives for Stew’s and Adams asked for more time to finish a deal.

Nugget Executive Vice President Brian Smith said the casino is not involved with Stew’s but said he does not know if Adams or Brad Adams, the other Nugget co-owner, are involved.

Efforts to reach the Adamses and representatives of Stew’s were unsuccessful.

In April, Stew’s owners put the property on the market for $3.3 million. At the beginning of this month, the marquee said, “Stew’s under new ownership. Watch for a new opening date.”

A day before the message was put up, however, the business sent out a press release saying it was closing for renovations and would not change owners.

The Lucky Spur, at the corner of Carson and Proctor streets, had been empty for more than 25 years when it reopened in 2005. The city’s redevelopment authority gave the owners $100,000 to help renovate the building.

Soon after, the business got into financial trouble.

In June 2006, it was fined $17,919 by the state for not paying unemployment insurance premiums to its employees. It was also fined $3,594 in September of that year and $2,304 this June for the same reason.

This year, several former employees filed complaints against the business for back wages and police began investigating a former manager for embezzlement. The city reported the business owes $6,714 in property taxes.

According to Appeal records, the building was likely built in the 1880s, opened as the Lucky Spur Casino in 1975, and closed in 1978 or 1979.

The property was granted a nonrestricted gaming license in 2004, which generally means it can run more than 16 slot machines and or several different kinds of games. Stew’s LLC signed a contract to buy it from George Halyak for $1 million that year.

Reporter Geoff Dornan contributed to this story

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.