Evan and Vicki Lathouris, owners of Evan’s Old Town Grille will be retiring at the end of February after 23 years of running this much-adored establishment in Boulder City. Grant Turner, along with partner Bret Runion have acquired the restaurant with plans to remodel and lease it to a new semi-fine dining operator.
A Healthy Farewell
Evan emphasizes that this ‘exit event’, as we call it in the business world, is driven solely by his desire to retire and enjoy life, and that he and his family are all healthy and well.
Known for its consistently great food and excellent service, Evan’s has been a staple of downtown since he took it over on New Year’s Day in 1997. At that time, he acquired the business from Neil Shannon, (Shannon’s Pasta Pub), which Evan tells us, they sat down the night before on New Year’s Eve, and came to a verbal arrangement. Then on a handshake, he took it over, and it’s been what we’ve all known and loved ever since.
Evan says that he’d always planned that his grown children might want to run the business, but both have their own interests and their own careers, so selling it had obviously become the best option. But he wasn’t going to settle for just any arrangement.
He says that he had to have the right situation where he felt confident that whoever took it over would be successful, be able to provide a nice restaurant for the city, and provide the option for his employees to continue working for whoever took over the business.
When we asked him what he is looking forward to the most in retirement, he laughed and said, “a good night’s sleep!” Evan says, “We couldn’t ask for a better city, that welcomed us like family. I feel so thankful to the community, our employees and customers who kept inspiring me and always looking forward to each day. But now it’s time to turn the page.”
“Big Shoes To Fill”
That’s what Grant Turner said when we first asked him what he thought about all of this. Grant says he was initially reluctant when he and Evan first spoke about him taking over the location. He and Evan have been friends, poker buddies, for years – long before Grant became the owner, proprietor of The Dillinger and The Tap restaurants.
Along with partner Bret Runion, they plan to do a very quick remodel, assisted by the RDA fund, which will make needed code updates to the building. But Grant emphasizes that the place will keep the feel of what a nice dining experience should be. The layout will not change much, and many of the bar fixtures will be included. But, it will get a facelift utilizing lots of organic and reclaimed wood and brick, and keep with the Evan’s tradition.
Currently, Grant and Bret are talking to several restaurant operators, and as soon as they have a deal inked, we’ll let you know who and what will come in, as well as the new establishment’s name!
Grant says, “We’re very mindful of the past, we love this place and want to simply build on what Evan has already accomplished here. We’re grateful for the opportunity, and are looking to maintain the Evan’s tradition and build on that.”
“It hasn’t hit me yet,” Evan says. But we have no doubt there will be many laughs, cheers and more than a few tears shed over the coming month. Better get your reservations made folks! And aren’t we lucky that it’s a leap year? That gets us one additional night up through February 29th to enjoy Evans Old Town Grille, and after, look forward to what’s next.
You’ve done well Evan and family. We wish you well – Cheers!
For my mother-in-love’s 70th birthday, my husband talked to Evan and made a special order so that on that Saturday night, we could have steak and lobster. But far beyond that, he brought us endless dishes that were so tasty and special and came out to the table many times to personally check on us. It was an unforgettable night and a wonderful memory our family will always cherish.
Do you have an Evan’s story to share? Let’s create the ultimate farewell, and share your story on our Contact Form HERE. Then we’ll assemble them all, and do a final article after he closes with all of our memories included!