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Harrah’s to upgrade resteraunts

Harrah’s Lake Tahoe will bring in the new year by tearing down the walls.

Construction on Harrah’s two most popular restaurants – Friday’s Station Steak & Seafood Grill and the Forest Buffet – begins today.

Plans for the two restaurants that teeter on the top of Harrah’s 17-story hotel tower include a complete overhaul in interior design to an alpine motif to match Tahoe’s mountainous landscape.



Harrah’s Lake Tahoe general manager Pat Dennehy said it’s Tahoe’s ambience that draws the customers.

“I don’t know if you could call this the anti-Vegas experience but it could be,” he said. “It’s a different experience than Vegas and it’s something (Harrah’s guests) look forward to, especially with the outdoor activities we have here.”




The most dramatic change to the top floor will be enlarging the entrance of the Friday’s Station restaurant to allow for a full view of the lake and the western ridgeline that bounds the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The Forest Buffet will expand and add more food stations. The kitchens of the two restaurants will be consolidated to add more room.

In addition to redesigning the restaurants, the suites on the 16th floor will also be upgraded.

The remodel marks the culmination of a $26 million project that began four years ago with the renovation of Harrah’s standard hotel rooms. Dennehy said he expects the project to be completed in June.

“We plan to introduce it with some parties and local events so that the community can enjoy it first,” Dennehy said. “This is going to be a must-see.”

John Packer, Harrah’s communication manager, said the construction won’t affect the regular business of the casino.

He said the casino will open the Friday’s Grill, a substitute for the restaurant, on the ground level where Cafe Andreotti was. On weekends, the World Market Buffet, will be open in the Special Events Center.

In the fall, Harrah’s plans to remodel the interior decorating in The Summit restaurant, located on the 16th and 17th floors.

Packer said a remodel of this size hasn’t occurred at Harrah’s since 1997 when the casino floor went under construction for a design remodel.

“I like to use the Golden Gate Bridge analogy, we’re always doing some kind of renovation here, it’s on-going,” he said. “But it’s the first major renovation project that we’ve done in a while.”


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