CARSON CITY, Nev. — The familiar neon “BAR” sign that welcomed diners to Café at Adele's for decades has been removed, but it didn't stay dark long.
Its red neon glow now welcomes diners to Js' Old Town Bistro in Dayton. Café at Adele's chef/owner Charlie Abowd wanted to keep the sign in the family, and since he and Js' co-owner Jerry Massad are cousins, it seemed like the perfect location.
“It was really hard to see the sign go,” Abowd said. “But at least my wife, Karen, and I know it's staying in the family.”
“I'm honored to be the keeper of the well-known sign,” Massad added. “Ironically, my first job (in) Carson City was bartending at Adele's. I know many people were interested in the sign, but we'll give it a good home at Js'. Our customers are already commenting on it and love it.”
The neon sign was originally added to the now-shuttered Adele's building in Carson City in the 1960s by then-owner Bill Potter. It was known as the Music Box at the time and housed both a bar and antiques store.
Paul and Adele Abowd bought the building and opened Adele's in 1977. Their son, Charlie, and his wife, Karen, took over the restaurant in 1995; they renamed it “Café at Adele's” in 2015.
This fall, the Abowds made the decision to close the business for good in the wake of a March 28 fire and the subsequent inability to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company that would cover reconstruction costs.
“Taking the sign down is like finishing one of the last chapters of this book,” Charlie said. “Karen and I are focusing on and excited for the future and what comes next.”
“There's a lot of legacy behind that sign,” Massad said. “But we are excited to be part of what Paul and Adele started and Charlie and Karen continued and built upon, it's a wonderful family endorsement.”
At some point in the future, when Massad is no longer associated with Js', the sign will be donated to Nevada Neon Museum in Las Vegas.