Doppelgangers Brew Pub and Grill off Airport Road in Minden closed its doors over the weekend. Owners cited the location and challenges with Douglas County's sign laws as contributing factors.
"In that location, we couldn't put up signage, and we had a difficult time attracting customers," said Brad Adams, who owned and operated the restaurant with father Alan Adams and Bill Nelson. "We were going to put up a nice sign (18 feet tall) at the corner of the industrial park, but they wouldn't let us put up a reader-board."
Adams said he had similar problems with a fold-out sign in front of the Meridian Boulevard business, as well as signage on private ranch land in the vicinity.
"The day we were allowed to put up a sign on private property, we had 10-15 customers come in who didn't know we were there," Adams said. "They (the county) need to modify the sign ordinance. If they could work on that, it might help a few other businesses in that area and others in Douglas County."
But Adams said the decision to close was based on more than challenges with signage.
"It's a tough location," he said. "We did the best we could, but it just didn't work. Certainly the signs were an issue, but only one of many things. I chose the location before I knew about the sign ordinance."
The Minden Doppelgangers opened in 2009, complementing Doppelgangers Brewery in downtown Carson City, which opened in 2007. The latter became High Sierra Company in 2010.
Now, the 17 people employed at the Minden location are looking for work, Adams said.
"We found work for some of them," he said. "There are people who bought gift certificates who can call and have their money reimbursed."
That number is 782-6633, Adams said.
While he praised general manager Larry Lawrence, Adams said the restaurant could have done a better job maintaining the consistency of food and service.
"I'm not blaming anyone but myself," he said. "The buck stops at my desk. You only get one shot at it."
Doppelgangers isn't the first eatery to give up on the location. Backroads Bar and Grill, which preceded Doppelgangers, also closed its doors.
Adams, a Washoe County resident, said he hasn't given up on Douglas County.
"I love the area. We'll see," he said. "It's a great group of people."