Sparks, NV (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - The sun will be setting for Trader Dick's inside John Ascuaga's Nugget on February 8th as renovations begin inside the casino on February 10th.
Since 1958, Trader Dick's has been serving up rum-rich drinks and Polynesian platters. It started as a nod to memories of the pacific theater as World War II soldiers were returning home.
For long time patrons, like Claudio Glasbarri, Trader Dick's holds years of fond memories, like his son's 10th birthday party.
"He loved it. His favorite part was the Big Alaska dessert,” he recalls.
Alas, the tropical restaurant and popular aquarium bar will close as new management begins renovations on the casino. Even President Carlton Geer will miss Trader Dicks.
"[That’s] the lounge where I used to bring dates in 1981, before I was married,” he says. “It's bittersweet."
Geer says it is time for something new, and that something will be the western-themed Gilley's, the iconic dance hall and saloon featured in the country classic: Urban Cowboy.
"Gilley's will redefine us,” says Geer. “It is the cornerstone of our future renovations here."
The Nugget is investing millions into the more than 10,000 square feet space for Gilley's saloon and barbeque restaurant with live entertainment, and of course, a mechanical bull with adjustable speeds.
"It is so different than anyone's offering in Northern Nevada,” explains Geer. “It is a huge, huge, huge, opportunity for us."
Nugget management estimates the western concept will appeal to more than 300,000 costumers- and believe it fits Northern Nevada's tradition for ranching and rodeo.
Many customers are sad to see Trader Dick's go, but say they're loyal to the Nugget.
"Gilleys should be interesting,” says Glasberri. “But it’s sad to also see the Polynesian food and Trader Dicks is going away. "
Gilley’s is expected to open in late spring this year.
In its final week, Traders Dick's is also offering 25% off your entire bill, and memorabilia Tiki glasses as supplies last.