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NV50 mixes drinks and fine food



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BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Dancers groove to the WILD 102.9 radio DJs at Dennis Hof's new restaurant and nightclub, NV50, on Saturday night.


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Becky Bosshart, bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com
January 21, 2005

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NV50, a new restaurant/lounge east of Carson City in Mound House, is a $2 million endeavor to establish a late-night hotspot and a family restaurant in one package.

Owner Dennis Hof, most well known for his Moonlite BunnyRanch brothel, said his plan to open an upscale restaurant in the Carson City area began about three years ago. It opened Dec. 28.

But getting away from his reputation as a world-famous brothel owner may take a little longer - his BunnyRanch is less than a mile away.

NV50, at 10051 Highway 50 E., is the operational name for the Moonlite Bar and Grille and its Ultra Lounge. The lounge is a crushed-red velvet-upholstered social setting complete with flat-screen TVs, a fireplace, an Internet station and a pool table.

"People will find with my place that the food quantities are huge and the price is right," Hof said. "When people ask me to describe NV50, I say it's like a Cheesecake Factory meets California Pizza Kitchen."

And it's not a strip club. Hof said people walk in daily looking for adult entertainment; instead, they find a family restaurant with hardwood floors, Michael Goddard artwork on the walls and the gilded mirrors.

"Someone spread a rumor that it's a strip club, and it went around like wildfire," Hof said. "We have a sign that says 'live entertainment,' and a lot of people just assumed 'live entertainment' meant strippers. But it's not that way. We have the best DJs and Rockin' Robin."


Rockin' Robin is NV50's featured entertainer, whom Hof recruited from Carnival Cruise Lines. During his performance, the singer walks through the restaurant with his guitar around his shoulders, greeting patrons with a wireless microphone.

Since Hof is so well known for his brothel business, he said diners often request to take a photo with him and some may ask if the two enterprises will mingle. But Hof said Lyon County didn't address this possibility.

"They never talked to us about it because they know that's not what it is," he said. "And there's no need for that. Everybody in America knows where the BunnyRanch is. We're world famous."

Despite Hof's assertion that NV50 is a family restaurant and a party place for all ages, the Adult Industry News Web site suggests a little more.

In an article on its Web site, it says, "NV50 will be a great place for outdates. The BunnyRanch customers will be treated as VIP at NV50 and the Moonlite Grille." The source it credits is a Moonlite BunnyRanch company press release. That quote is also on the BunnyRanch's Web site.

Hof selected all of NV50's management, including Gordon Flett, who is the director of operations. Flett was previously the general manager of Le Petit Pier in South Lake Tahoe.

"Our goal is to offer high-quality service and products at a very reasonable price in an upscale facility," Flett said.

NV50 is about 6,000 square feet and has about 40 employees. Flett said the menu contains 50 items, including Angus-certified beef hamburgers, steak, seafood and pizza. The wine list includes 60 wines and champagnes.


Rockin' Robin performs Tuesday to Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. DJs spin music on Wednesday, the over-18 dance night, Friday and Saturday from 9:30 p.m. until 3 a.m.

Chef Larry Lawrence, who owned Inn Cognito in Genoa, said he likes home- style food with a flair.

"We tried to fashion our menu so that everybody can come in and enjoy it, from the Rockin' Robin crowd to the hip-hop crowd at night," he said.



Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.



NV50 Moonlite Grille and Ultra Lounge


10051 Highway 50 E.

Mound House

246-4477

http://www.nv50.com/



The restaurant is open daily at 4 p.m.

Full menu offered until 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Ultra Lounge open until midnight during the week and until 3 a.m. on weekends



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