Gaming parlor reopening
Just call her Mrs. Vegas.
As a 10-year-old girl, Sue Barrows said she and her family played penny poker games.
She met her husband at a Flamingo Hilton gaming table in Las Vegas.
Now, she is reopening a gaming parlor in Grass Valley.
The former Gold Rush Casino, 106 E. Main St., will reopen Saturday as the Gold Rush Gaming Parlor with new tables, new games and a new look.
Barrows, 52, of Round Valley, will take over the business from 7-year-owner Larry Hatler when the transaction closes escrow in the next few weeks.
Barrows was first alerted to the on-the-market business by her late mother, Jeanne Croci, who spotted a for-sale ad in a local shopper publication.
Barrows, a former public television producer, didn’t take note of that right away, but saw the ad again and became more curious, stopping in the gaming parlor three times before approaching Hatler late last year about a purchase.
She said she didn’t go in before because it looked foreboding, but found Hatler to be nice.
Since then, she has gone through the application for a gaming license, and rounded up all the city’s gaming table permits. Barrows said she has received a temporary gaming license from the state Department of Justice.
Barrows said she expects to receive a license from the state’s Gambling Control Commission at an upcoming meeting.
The establishment was granted permission in July from Grass Valley City Council to increase the number of card tables from three to five.
Barrows said the two table permits she acquired used to belong to Doc’s Duck Inn but weren’t renewed, so she applied for them through the city.
Barrows said the parlor has a Class I license that allows card games like poker and blackjack, which is new at the parlor.
The gaming parlor in the back will have legal card games that include No Bust Black Jack High and low limit Hold ‘Em, Omaha, Stud and Low Ball.
In the front of the 1,700 square foot, 21-and-over establishment will be a bar.
More than $60,000 has been spent renovating the business, said Barrows’ husband, Douglas Moore.
The establishment has been closed since Friday and renovated with new carpeting, victorian chairs, a chandelier and other interior work. The exterior of the building is also being renovated to give it a more friendly look.
“The building in front looked like you should be afraid to go in there,” said Moore.
The business will employ 12 people, some of whom were brought in from Las Vegas. The employees will be paid minimum wage, plus tips and medical benefits, said Barrows.
Moore said one prospective card dealer didn’t make the cut because he was too “Las Vegas,” which didn’t meet with the parlors’ laid-back style.
Barrows said she was trying to set up something like a “social club.”
“I wanted a place where a man and a woman could have a good time,” said Barrows. “I didn’t want a hard-core gambling club. I wanted something that fits in Grass Valley, a social club.”
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