New Minden eatery brings heat
Cook’d is located at 1644 Highway 395 in Minden.
It’s open 11 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closing at 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursdays.
With six weeks under their belts, Cook’d owners Bryan Miller and Lavinia Gavris say things are starting to look up.
Located in Century Square across 10th Street from the Minden Post Office, the restaurant opened in April.
The building has been a lot of things in the 30 years since it was built, including the home of Century 21 Clark Properties and a home décor store.
In 2009, the owners of Tahoe Ridge Winery moved from Genoa to the building, converting it into a restaurant.
The winery closed in 2015, and the building sat empty for the past four years.
Miller grew up in Carson Valley and is a 2004 Douglas High School graduate.
He said his parents opened Devincenzi’s Italian Restaurant in Carson City in 2003, during his junior and senior years at Douglas, and he worked there for a time.
The restaurant was named after Miller’s great-grandfather and was operated by Rick and Lisa Miller in the St. Charles Hotel.
“I’ve been in the restaurant business pretty much my whole life,” Miller said. “My mom’s side of the family has been in the restaurant business in the Bay Area. I did everything for them.”
After graduating Miller, who is in the Douglas High School Baseball Hall of Fame, attended college and played baseball for Mesa College and Troy University.
In 2008, he was one of 17 players in the country to earn college All-American honors.
After graduating from college, he signed to play minor league baseball for the Washington Nationals.
He returned to the area when his parents opened another restaurant, Capisce?, a decade ago.
Miller said he and Gavris, who is his fiancée, were looking at a business opportunity at Lake Tahoe that fell through, but that he’d gravitated toward Carson Valley.
“I’ve been looking at this building for a while,” he said.
“I said ‘Let’s see what we can do with this building because I love it,’ the area is growing so much and there’s business year around for down here. I love the building, I love the area, let’s do our restaurant down here.”
The restaurant’s name, Cook’d, was inspired by the nickname Miller’s great-grandfather gave his grandmother.
“He would call her Cook or Cookie when she was growing up, so we did a play off that and ran with it,” he said.
One of the biggest early challenges was finding good staff to work the restaurant.
Gavris, who moved here around a year ago, handles the business side. A graduate of Simpson University in Redding she said she doesn’t have any restaurant experience.
“Business is business on the back end,” she said. It’s all pretty much the same as far as onboarding, payroll, compliance and workers comp.”
Miller credits her with the interior design of the restaurant and for helping recruit staff.
“It was difficult at first to please everybody,” he said. “But it’s getting better. We’re starting to get the staffing under control, which was very difficult for us at first.”
He said turnover was causing them some trouble, but that it’s settled down now.
“It’s getting better,” he said. “We’re finding a lot of good people, who are working out for us. It’s been really nice.”
Miller said the vibe is a little different from when he was in high school, but that people have been supportive.
“People are great,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of old faces I haven’t seen here in a long time.”