Tide flowing into Spanish Springs

The Flowing Tide in May announced that it had purchased the Lake Bar & Grill and Buckhorns in Spanish Springs.

The Flowing Tide in May announced that it had purchased the Lake Bar & Grill and Buckhorns in Spanish Springs. Rob Sabo/NNBW

After years of work to find the right location, the owners of the Flowing Tide Pub are finally bringing their tavern concept to the burgeoning and underserved Spanish Springs market.

The Flowing Tide in May announced that it had purchased the Lake Bar & Grill and Buckhorns in Spanish Springs from longtime owner Roger White. Jimmy Wadhams, Flowing Tide Pub owner/operator, told NNBW in an interview last week that the Tide will take possession of the building in July and begin a full rebrand of the Lake space into a Flowing Tide Pub.

The 4,500-square-foot restaurant will have 15 slot machines, but it will be family-focused and include kid-friendly dining areas, Wadhams said.

“There will be no smoking, so bring your kids, friends and family – everybody is welcome,” he said.

Buckhorns, meanwhile, will be rebranded as the Flowing Tide Lounge. The 2,250-square-foot space will be a 21-and-over smoking establishment featuring 15 slots. The kitchen will serve both concepts. Remodeling plans won’t be as extensive at Buckhorns, Wadhams said, but the Lake side of the building will be completely gutted.

“We are very excited about the opportunity we are going to present,” Wadhams said. “It allows us to combine both concepts in two different bars, but they are connected.

“I have been out there to meet customers, and Spanish Springs is a great market that we are so excited to get into,” he added. “It’s a loyal market, and we have to do our best to capture those customers who have been regulars (at the Lake and Buckhorns) for years. We are really focusing on putting the best possible team together and the best possible remodel for that location.”

The Flowing Tide ownership group is still waiting on obtaining additional regulatory approvals for construction, as well as approval of gaming licenses, a process that began many months ago, Wadhams said.

“Each location is licensed individually. Even though we have existing licenses, this project had to go through a brand-new licensing process…that’s why this deal has been almost two years in the works,” he said.

Jimmy Wadhams and his brother, Danny, joined original Flowing Tide Pub owners, Jason Tolotti and Justin Moscove, a few years ago and have been instrumental in expanding the brand, Tolotti told NNBW. Flowing Tide entered the highly competitive Southern Nevada tavern market in 2018, and the brand is expanding from three to five locations in the Las Vegas area. The Tide will have eight locations in Northern Nevada once the pub and lounge in Spanish Springs open this fall.

“Danny and Jimmy have been an incredibly welcome addition to our team,” Tolotti said. “They are really driving the expansion at this point. Las Vegas and Reno are still boomtowns and are expanding with significant population growth, and we are just capitalizing on the new opportunities that are out there.”

Tolotti said that there’s usually some significant renovation work involved when gutting a 25-year old space, but nothing should come up that hasn’t surfaced in the past, he added.

“We definitely are taking measures to improve dated plumbing and electrical with repairs and upgrading as needed to ensure that it’s good for another 25 to 50 years,” Tolotti said. “We definitely will run into minor issues along the way, but it’s not like it’s a 100-year old building like some of our locations.”

The ownership group had been seeking a location in the underserved Spanish Springs market for some time, Wadhams said.

“In Northern Nevada, the Flowing Tide brand is positioned very well,” he said. “However, Spanish Springs is a spot with the potential for (an additional) Flowing Tide. We struggled to find the right location. We looked at some development deals and some new builds, but nothing really felt right.”

Wadhams said he had a longstanding relationship with the former Lake and Buckhorn owner from his days working at slot route operator Golden Entertainment. White was ready to retire and free himself from the duties of running a small business, Wadhams said.

“We had a conversation, and our philosophies really clicked,” Wadhams told NNBW. “He really liked our vision of it as a Flowing Tide and how we could continue what he’s worked on for the last 25 years. The conversation really made a lot of sense.

“This is a unique situation for the Flowing Tide,” he added. “We are taking over a successful operation. Usually these situations are different. We know there will be change for the regulars – we are going to rebrand, and it will look and feel different. It’s important for us to make sure we are talking to those regulars, get them back in, and treat them with the same great customer service to make sure they become Flowing Tide regulars.”

One of the main interior design challenges, Wadhams noted, was maximizing the Flowing Tide Pub space between gaming, the bar business and dining.

“We believe it will be a busy bar, and we want it to be comfortable and inviting,” Wadhams said. “We are going to try and do some magic to make the space perfect.

“(Roger) had many options when he was doing his bidding process, and we were very fortunate to have gotten this project,” Wadhams added. “We are looking forward to putting a great brand out there and earning the respect of the community. We want to do our best to invite the community to become regular guests of the Flowing Tide.”


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