Carson Valley Inn to move Fiona’s |

Carson Valley Inn to move Fiona’s

by Kurt Hildebrand

The Carson Valley Inn will close Michael’s at the Inn on Jan. 2 in preparation for moving Fiona’s inside the casino.

Inn Marketing Director Bill Henderson said the move will improve efficiencies for the casino, which is not anticipating any layoffs. The casino announced the change to staff members on Thursday.

“A contributing factor was keeping three restaurants staffed,” Henderson said. “It was a real challenge to find people. We figured out that we’re using 15 shifts now and we’ll need 14 shifts to operate the new Fiona’s. We will need just as many people.”

The logistics of operating the restaurant, which is a short distance away from the casino, also played into the decision.

The $800,000 to $1 million renovation within the casino will remove the booths inside Michael’s which limited its seating.

“We only have a few booths where you could seat a party of six,” Henderson said of Michael’s. “When we are done, this will be a fun place to gather and-or eat. People voted that they like Fiona’s menu, so we’re keeping 90 percent of it.”

Work on the restaurant will take two to three months and when it is complete, the building which now houses Fiona’s will be sold or converted to some other use.

The koi that have been part of Fiona’s atmosphere will either remain with the building or be adopted out, Henderson said.

“We have a very responsible person who is interested in taking them,” he said.

The new Fiona’s will be open for lunch six days a week with brunch on Sundays and dinner every night. The restaurant will expand from Michael’s into the Library to include an upper level and into P.J.’s Pub. It will feature a 24-foot salad and buffet bar and an appetizer kitchen where people can watch their food being made.

The dinner menu will continue with Fiona’s steak house approach and will include many of the favorites at Michael’s.

Patrons will be greeted by a lounge and stone-top bar with 18 bar seats and two 52-inch plasma televisions. Full menu service will be available anywhere in the bar.

A self-service lunch buffet will include the salad bar, pizza and pasta of the day, Panini sandwich and carved dip sandwich of the day among other things.

Fiona’s opened in February 1988 after the Carson Valley Inn acquired the old Atrium. Michael’s opened in June 1993 as the Inn’s third restaurant.