The owner of a new bar in the Adaven Hotel is hoping to turn ugly into Gardnerville gold.
"I've always loved this building," said Gardnerville Ranchos resident Tom Hunter. "When John Fisher (ReMax Realty) bought it, I called him, and here we are."
Hunter, 45, is the proud owner of Nevada Ugly Hot Spot, a new hangout in the bottom level of the historic Adaven, just down the door from Buckaroos.
Last week, Hunter stood in front of the remodeled bar and pointed to the recently uncovered floor - the hotel's original hardwood floor dating back to 1895.
"It's ugly," he proclaimed.
He then explained how "Adaven" is "Nevada" spelled backwards.
"The hotel is so beautiful, I wanted to flip it and call it ugly," he said.
While the refurbished floor has its rustic charm, the rest of the 2,000-square-foot suite is gleaming with upgrades. There is the leathered granite bar counter, the Keurig coffee machine, the Internet jukebox, and three flat-screen TVs.
Hunter and manager Lenee LeValley are working on getting arcade games, a pool table and a dart board in the 800-square-foot room in the back, which they plan on renting out for parties.
"We love the cowboy bars in town, but we wanted to create something different," LeValley said.
Free wireless Internet, a stack of board games, and fresh-squeezed juice create a cafe-like atmosphere that works with, rather than against, the bar concept.
"It's amazing how many people sit here, husband and wife, playing Battleship over a cocktail," Hunter said.
To date, Nevada Ugly offers 149 beers, including several microbrews from around the region. Specialty cocktails include the jalapeno martini and cucumber fizz. For nondrinkers, or designated drivers, the bar offers a list of specialty nonalcoholic drinks.
To widen entertainment possibilities, Hunter obtained a discotheque license, which means he can host any number of members in a band as well as a variety of floor shows, from stand-up comedy routines to murder mystery theater. Open mic nights are also important to him.
"That's one of the reasons I wanted to open a bar," Hunter said, after mentioning his acoustic guitar.
But Hunter and LeValley are focusing on specific needs in the community, too. They're opening up their walls to local artists interested in selling work on consignment, and they're hosting fundraisers for both the men and women's 20-30 clubs, of which Hunter is a past member.
"I could have sat around and watched my retirement and house depreciate, but instead I'm doing this," said Hunter, who is a pharmacist at Carson Valley Medical Center by day.
When asked what motivated him to pursue Nevada Ugly, he referred to his active social life.
"Obviously this is the next logical step," he said. "I knew it was going to be work."
Located at 1433 Highway 395, Ste. A, Gardnerville, Nevada Ugly Hot Spot is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to closing.
For more information, call 782-5875.