Ready, set: Hut 1. Hut 2. Hut 3.
After nearly 50 years of frying eggs and flipping pancakes, a South Shore staple opened its third location, on Ski Run Boulevard, Tuesday.
Randy Gore showed up for the Red Hut Cafe opening, and he’s been frequenting the business since 1972. He said he used to be roommates with Don, who had Don’s Special named after him.
“This place is great, and I’m going to give Don a call,” Gore said.
Owner Nancy Gardner said opening the new cafe is exciting, and the response from the community is overwhelming.
The new Red Hut received more than 1,000 job applications, and Gardner’s daughter-in-law, Kelly Gardner, said they narrowed it down to about 80 interviews.
“We could have hired any of those 80 people; they were the cream of the crop,” Kelly said.
With its 16 new employees, and some familiar faces, the Hut has same great service and food, said Susie Colleton, manager of the new location.
Colleton has worked for the California Red Hut location for almost 30 years. The other Hut is on Kingsbury Grade.
“It’s a great location, and there’s enough local following to go around to all three locations,” Colleton said.
Another recognizable face at the cafe is Dawn McDermott, who worked for 10 years at the Kingsbury location. The Gardners pulled McDermott out of retirement to run the kitchen.
“It’s my calling to be a cook,” McDermott said.
The restaurant is filled with 1950s touches. Dick Gardner, Nancy’s husband, even tracked down ski lifts from 1955 from Diamond Peak and Alpine Meadows to hang from the ceiling.
“I want people to walk in and say ‘this is fun, life’s good,'” Nancy said.
Antique signs and old photographs cover the walls, taking customers back to Tahoe in the 1950s. A picture of the old 1954 Ski Run Lodge greets customers walking through the door.
A picture of Nancy and Dick and their 1954 Chevy also hangs by the front. The picture was taken a week after they were married, Nancy said.
“I want to make it as much like it was when I was a kid,” Nancy said.
A grand opening for the cafe will be April 1, and the business’ 50th anniversary celebration will start in May.
The new Hut is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. all week, and it’s at 3660 Ski Run Blvd. in the Ski Run Shopping Center. For more information, call (530) 544-1595.
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