Carson City’s Cafe at Adele’s will not reopen after March fire
Special to the NNBV
CARSON CITY, Nev. — With the closing of Cafe at Adele’s, Carson City and its community will witness the end of an era.
The decision made recently by owners Chef Charlie and Karen Abowd comes 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.
“Over many months we were hopeful we would reach a viable conclusion that would allow us to re-open this restaurant, which has been such a center of so many people’s lives and their important moments as well as in Nevada politics,” Karen said. “Charlie and I are not confident in the options offered to us by our insurance carrier, which put us very far apart monetarily in what we know is needed to restore the building, and we must mitigate our loss.”
The couple, who in 1995 took over the restaurant (an 1864 Comstock Mansart Victorian, named for French architect Francois Mansart’s design style) from Charlie’s parents Chef Paul and Adele Abowd, hasn’t made any further decisions regarding the property.
They had hoped to transfer title in a way that would continue the restaurant under new ownership, the point of having formally put the property on the market in Spring 2018. Of course, the fire made that impossible.
“We were planning to retire, not for a fire, and things don’t pencil,” Karen said. “We have made this decision with heavy hearts, knowing what Adele’s has meant to the community and to our family, but at 68 years old, we cannot and will not go into debt to re-open.”
It was determined the fire began in the restaurant’s laundry area, smoldering hours before igniting. While actual fire damage was fairly limited, smoke damage was so extensive that near complete reconstruction would be required in order to make the building viable.
During its more than 42-year history, Cafe at Adele’s served as the gathering place for Nevada politicians of all stripes. It was there myriad families celebrated important milestones, across generations. It was there the community turned out to support fundraising events for area nonprofits including the SPCA, Friends in Service Helping (FISH), Ron Wood Resource Center/Toys for Tots toy collection via Cookies with Santa, Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada, The Greenhouse Project and many more.
“All of these causes are near and dear to our hearts,” Karen said, adding they are also proud of spearheading the local food movement working with local ranchers and farmers, including 4-H and FFA students, in raising awareness of the importance of the farm to table movement and of supporting local growers. “You know, Charlie has long said he looked forward to a time when he would cook for those who needed him to, rather than for those who wanted him to, and I suppose we’re now there. We are firm in our commitment to community and aren’t going anywhere.
“It is time, however, for us to look at life differently.”
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