Santa Fe Hotel renovated, re-opening in July

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RENO, NV (KOLO) A staple in downtown Reno for nearly seventy years, the Santa Fe Hotel will soon be back in business. Closed since 2017, the restaurant is due to re-open July 9 under a new owner.

"We've got a lot of people asking when, when, when. And we finally now can commit to that date," said owner Dennis Banks.

Banks acquired the building and business nearly two years ago, with plans to restore it rather than replace it with something else.

"We're going to keep it as close to the same as we possibly can," added Banks.

He's upgraded the kitchen and added new bathrooms, but tried to keep it as similar to the popular restaurant of the past.

"Deciding just how far to go with a remodel and what to do, you just stressed over a lot of things that weren't necessary, probably because we want to keep it the same."

He has made a few changes, such as adding private dinner tables to go along with the communal ones, perfect for a date night or a more intimate setting. He also wants more options for the customary drink: Picon Punch.

"Like when you go get a margarita there's varieties," explained Banks. "So we're searching out some other types of Picon syrup, you might call it. So we're going to try to have maybe three choices of Picon rather than just one."

It's a bit of a new challenge for Banks, who also owns two Napa Sonoma Grocery Companies in Reno, plus the Hard Water House. This is his first Basque restaurant, which will serve the traditional meal of salad, beans, french fries and choice of meat. Not to mention the free bottle of chilled red wine. And you typically share a table with total strangers.

"It's just fun meeting people. And the food's always good because you can make it consistent, with it being the same thing every night," added Banks. "You have some red wine, and it just doesn't get any better than that."

The Santa Fe Hotel will be open Tuesday through Sunday, from 4 p.m. to close. They will open at 11 a.m. Fridays. It's on 235 North Lake Street on the east side of Harrah's Reno.

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