Located in Sparks, Nevada, Trader Dick's opened in 1958 by Dick Graves, owner of the Sparks Nugget casino. It has been said that Graves spared no expense. Rumored to have spent $100,000 to create a South Seas ambience, he hired Eli Hedley to create the authentic atmosphere. Tikis, tools, Abaca cloth, stone carvings, paintings depicting life on the Pacific islands, wood carvings, and mosaics by Hedley's daughter adorned the restaurant. The restaurant featured three dining areas, two cocktail areas and a gaming area. Diners could choose Cantonese and America cooking.
In a letter to his guests, Graves said...."I've connived, schemed, borrowed, and begged for all the ideas and recipes we have here...I've swiped menus, bribed and talked to bartenders and cooks and copied everything good I could find. So that's how Trader Dick's came to be - no sense in foolin' you - might as well tell the truth." Interesting comment considering Vic Bergeron of Trader Vic's sued for trademark infringement, but lost.
Trader Dick's closed in 2014.
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