Pictured: Whiskey Creek owner Greg Alexander (right) and former Sheet Man of the Year and local icon, DJ Rodney O./
The challengers come. The challengers go. Dublin’s/Fever, Auld Dubliner, Hennessey’s, Hyde Lounge. Each new challenger over the past decade was supposed to knock Whiskey Creek out of business.
And Whiskey Creek still stands.
The venerable restaurant/nightclub which stands at the corner of Main and Minaret celebrated its 40th anniversary last December, and owner Greg Alexander said he recently signed a five-year lease with property owner iStar Financial to remain right where he is.
Whiskey is the only remaining leaseholder on the “Mammoth Crossing” site.
“You know, I’ve had four different landlords since I bought Whiskey Creek in 1998; Sam Walker, Ward Jones, Doug Regulous and Michael Dortsch [iStar]. You couldn’t line up four more difficult people to deal with,” Alexander says with a laugh. “Talk about restaurant management graduate school. Stanford should award me an honorary MBA.”
With Hyde Lounge out of the picture, does Alexander plan any drastic changes in the near term?
No. Which is probably one of the key secrets to Whiskey’s lasting success. Alexander doesn’t chase passing fancies.
“There’s not a huge club crowd in the summers,” he explains. “But depending upon what Hyde ultimately does, we will consider opening the club up on Saturday nights.”
What will continue are Wild Wednesdays with Rodney O. And the Saddle Tramps will again come down to play on Bluesapalooza weekend.
With 12 HD televisions, Alexander expects to highlight the Olympics upstairs during August. The restaurant’s full menu is available on both levels.
In Mammoth, Martin Garcia runs the kitchen. He’s been with the company more than twenty years. And as Alexander says, 15-20 menu items are changed out each year to keep things fresh.
One concession Alexander did make during the difficult 2011-2012 ski season was to reinstall himself as the G.M. and Nightclub Manager in Mammoth. “Hey, you do what you have to do,” he says with a shrug.
But what has really reinvigorated him of late is the remodel of Whiskey Creek Bishop.
“The last remodel [of Bishop] was in 1991,” he said. “The goal was that we wanted to remain the nicest restaurant in Bishop and I’d never gotten the chance to remodel it myself in the way I wanted.”
Alexander said he worked with Robin Stater on a “contemporary western design” and revamped the restaurant, bar and banquet room.
“There used to be just five booths. Now 75% of the dining room is booths.”
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