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Name:Trader Dick's
Type:restaurant
Street:1100 Nugget Ave.
City:Sparks
State:NV
Zip:89431
country:USA
Phone:
Status:operational

Description:
See Jab's post

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=3100&forum=1&hilite=trader%20dick

[ Edited by: pappythesailor 2007-08-02 18:42 ]

(Pappy's note: From the Reno Evening Gazette 17 October 1958)

South Seas Restaurant Nearly Ready

Work is nearing completion in Sparks on a brand new South Seas type restaurant named Trader Dick's at the
site of the old Sparks Nugget. Dick Graves, owner of the unique establishment, is also owner-operator of
the new Nugget directly across the street. An estimated $100,000 is being spent to transform the building
into a South Seas restaurant with authentic artifacts from the South Pacific as decorations. The new
restaurant will feature three dining areas, one of them an oriental buffet; two cocktail areas and a gaming
area. Reno Architect Frank Green planned the remodeling while Decorator Eli Hedley is supervising the
decoration. Hedley is a former beachcomber who is well known nationally for his work in the decoration
field.
Tools, cloth, stone carvings and many paintings depicting life on the Pacific islands have gone into the
interior decoration of Trader Dick's. Particularly striking is a wood carving by Frank Polk, local artist,
and mosaics by Hedley's daughter. An authentic Chinese cook oven is also a unique item that has been
installed.
Scenes include a Hawaiian fishing party in which all hands take part. This may be found in the Hookeylan or
Fishing room of Trader Dick's; one of many unusual settings.
The opening of Trader Dick's will bring to five the number of separate restaurants operated by Mr. Graves
in his two rail city locations. Four (steak house, chicken house, prime rib house and coffee shop) are now
in operation at the new Nugget across B St.
Varied scenes from the new restaurant, which will rank in appearance with the finest in the nation, and
will have unexcelled cuisine, are shown on this page.
Top left is the symbol of the new South Seas restaurant, a Tiki, or Easter Island god carved from feather
stone. At lower left is another of the many Tikis in the restaurant. This one will decorate the east wall
of the Golden Dragon room at Trader Dick's. The carving is 10 feet high. The wall coverings are Fijian Tapa
and Abaca cloth. Flanking the Tiki are other Easter Island carvings. The top right picture shows Frank
Polk, well-known local wood artist, and his large mural carving for the Bar of the Golden Dragon. Gold leaf
will be applied when the carving is finished. Seven weeks of work have gone into this bit of art. Center
right photo is a panel from the Hut room, one of three dining rooms at Trader Dick's, featuring a sailing
ship and more Tapa cloth for wall coverings. The bottom photo is the architects rendering of the front of
the new restaurant.

Will have to go there one of these days.

Check out this cool oversized postcard I just got from the Nugget Casino and Trader Dick's restaurant in Sparks, Nevada. Judging by the look of the cars, this is an early card that was produced shortly after the facilities first opened in the late 1950s.

This postcard includes a view of a Tiki sign on the outside of Trader Dick's that does not show up on the two other picture postcards that are available from Trader Dick's.

T

I just got this TD Mug off of eBay...

GOTTA CHECK THIS PLACE OUT TOO.


Do you have your TIKIYAKI ORCHESTRA CD YET ?
http://www.tikiyakiorchestra.com

[ Edited by: tikiyaki 2008-05-05 19:51 ]

I was just at Trader Dick's last November and a word of advice for those thinking about making a trip: Avoid the late-night weekends, especially Saturday, if you are going to sit at the bar. Awful DJ playing awful music. Crowded dance floor (not that it matters). For dinner you should be fine but bar seating is best during the week. I went during the week and once during the weekend and was able to enjoy it much more during the week. That being said, I still had a fine time during the weekend as it was my first time there so my excitement carried me through the rough patches. Definitely worth a visit.

D.C., That is the original Trader Dick's, which was closed and moved across the street into the casino, in the 70s or 80s. That sign in the architectural rendering might have never been built.

Bigbro,

I thought that Trader Dick's stayed across the street from the Nugget casino for some time and that was the site of the two postcards below.

The postcards don't show the sign from the rendering, so maybe your right and it never got built.

I am not really sure WHEN it was moved, have to dig up that info and I don't have my stuff with me. I just wanted to point out that the place the above members visited is not the same than in your postcard(s) and in the article pappy posted. The newer version in the casino is still cool, though.

T

Anybody got pictures of the newer location on the outside? Maybe something after it moved as opposed to today? Either I guess would be cool to see though.
Just curious about this now.
Thanks, TabooDan

Taboo Dan,

Check out this post for info and a few pictures from the new Trader Dick's. There are some interior shots but nothing from the exterior.

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=20519&forum=2&hilite=trader%20dick

T

There are two Locating posts for Trader Dick's, and both list the same address. I know the restaurant bounced around a few times, but does anyone know what the previous address was?

New matchbook shows 1100 Nugget Avenue at the Nugget. Old matchbook shows no address but is across from the Nugget.

And here's an appetizer and cocktail menu. No address anywhere.

Another menu and matchbook from the Trader Dicks in Sparks.

Not sure of the location changes, will check my postcards to see.

DC

That must be the original menu cover. Does it have Dick Graves' "proud plagiarism" proclamation that I quote in the BOT, page 153, in it?:
"....I've swiped menus, bribed bartenders and copied every good thing I could find..."

As he did with the menu art :) :

The iconic cover, that gave countless Aku Aku Tiki temples its name, rendered by talented modernist Charley Harper:

http://www.CharleyHarperArtStudio.com/

[ Edited by: bigbrotiki 2009-06-09 16:30 ]

T

I picked up this cool little Ashtray a little while ago:

It is round, clear glass and says "Trader Dick's Chinese Restaurant" on one side, "Nugget Casino-Motor Lodge, Sparks, Nevada" on the other and also "6 Award Winning Restaurants" all in red.

I am not sure of the age but looks quite old like maybe 60's or early 70's. I thought it may be older than that as it does say Chinese Restaurant on it but I am not sure. None of the matchbooks say this specifically on it.

This Ashtray mentions "6 Restaurants". The early matchbook I have mentions that the Nugget has "4 other fine restaurants" but across the street from Trader Dicks. Later books I have mention "8 Restaurants". I thought this may be a way of trying to date the matchbooks and other items from here.

Clearly there just weren't enough places to eat there!!;)

TabooDan

Picked up this great oversize postcard today. A classic artist rendering including Trader Dicks.This may have to go in the "I wish they built it that way" category as I don't think this sign was ever built. Four large gas torches, looks like shields lining the front facade and that fantastic shield shaped sign and a giant Tiki. Not sure of the date but it took a five cent stamp to mail it.

Close up.

Nice card Trav,

Yours is the most ambitious of the renderings:

Make it look like this! Torches, sheilds, a giant Tiki!

Then a second version on a slightly lower budget:

Costs went up, so this is what we got.

DC

On 2009-06-09 16:26, bigbrotiki wrote:
That must be the original menu cover. Does it have Dick Graves' "proud plagiarism" proclamation that I quote in the BOT, page 153, in it?:
"....I've swiped menus, bribed bartenders and copied every good thing I could find..."

Bigbro,

Here is the inside cover from the menu with Dick Graves rather satirical confession.

DC

...ts just so cool :D
A tradition really has become a tradition when it is being satirized.

One of the all time great Tiki ashtrays from Trader Dicks
(seen on ebay)

DC

On 2009-11-25 20:01, Dustycajun wrote:
One of the all time great Tiki ashtrays from Trader Dicks
(seen on ebay)

DC

was this an actual product or a one-off where someone glued the trader dicks salt shaker on a souvenir ashtray they bought?? i guess if there are no holes in the head it's legit.....anyone else have one of these??

It's real. I have seen these from time to time over the years. I wish I had one.

1

Here's mine ... minty dead stock never used w/ OMC sticker on bottom .

Here's a snapshot I found a while back...

I stayed at John Ascuaga's Nugget a couple of weeks ago and shot these pictures of Trader Dick's...

The freeway goes right over the casino. Three of the freeway support columns are covered in coral inside the giant aquarium...

Here are a couple of the drink signs...

John Ascuaga bought the Nugget in 1968, so anything with his name on it would be from that time or later.

T

Hey Roadsidepictures, thanks for the cool old snap shot and the new ones. I would love to see some old pictures of the interior just to see the difference.
Mahalo, TabooDan

A salt and pepper shaker pair from Trader Dicks that I have not seen before from ebay.

This is the other set from Trader Dicks that I have seen and are like the ashtray posted previously (from Humuhumu's collection on Ooga Mooga).

DC

J

I was lucky enough to visit Trader Dick's in December of 2008 while on tour with the Insect Surfers and managed to have a fairly thorough look around. Happily, there was still an overwhelming sense of Eli all over the place!
I know many will recognize several of these Tiki designs from other threads.

Here are some highlights (my apologies for the quality--I only had a point and shoot with me on that trip)....

An overview of the main bar area just to the right of the restaurant's main entrance and hostess stand

Just to the left, Tikis lining the main entrance, between the small stage area and the hostess stand

Closer shots of two of the entrance Tikis

Within the restaurant itself, several Tikis are nestled within tropical foliage

The deeper the exploration, the greater the finds. In this case, a stylized New Caledonian doorboard...

...and a mask that looks an awful lot like the one pictured on that often-referenced Portland Trader Vic's interior postcard.
I think it looks like an interpretation of a New Ireland Malanggan mask

To the right of the restaurant and bar is an Asian-style noodle counter that is adorned with several painted carvings...

...and strangely incorporates several large, older Tikis right into the counter itself

And, of course, mention must be made of the ubiquitous Trader Dick's Orchids R-3 knock-off, which can still be yours to take home filled with your favorite tropical drink for a whopping $9!!!

John Paul,

Great photos, as always. At $9 that has to be the cheapest drink with a mug deal out there.

Saw this lamp on ebay just in time for Christmas - a Christmas gift from Trader Dick himself.

DC

H

Images from a post in Collecting Tiki:

On 2012-07-28 22:03, bazthespazz wrote:
...


Finally made it to Trader Dicks for the first time earlier this year. Wonderfully dark tropical atmosphere to eat and drink in. That aquarium is indeed awesome when you think about the highway pillars inside of it. I would have never known while I was sitting there looking at it, but ran into Martin Cate who shared that bit of trivia with me...certainly makes the tank that much more mesmerizing.

Food was great. I had a few drinks including the Back Scratcher which was good. Had to order the flaming Volcano...looked cool, but much too sweet for me so i couldn't finish it. I did buy the bowl and a couple of other mugs, the girl did a nice job of wrapping them up for me...the service there was very good.

Definitely ready to stay at The Nugget again, just so I can spend the night at Trader Dicks.

Just got back from Reno. Good news is that Trader Dick's is still open. What a great spot to get out of the Reno heat. Happy hour from 4 - 6 with half off drinks and pupus. Mugs are $4.

They are only selling two mugs and no bowls.

Bad News. I talked to the manager who has been there since the bar was built. He said that the management is phasing out the mugs and bowls and that there is pressure to turn the bar/restaurant into something else -like a Mexican joint!

He advised that we should all send a message to the Casino to save Trader Dick's.

When I was talking to him, he mentioned that some guy had approached him years ago asking questions for a Tiki book he was writing. Sven?

If you have not been, get there soon before its gone.

DC

I was there last...must have been more than 20 years ago, don't think the guy was talking about me. Back then I was in search of "authentic" vintage Tiki Bars, and though I liked the big Guanko Tikis they still had, I didn't like the 70s/80s Vegas update parts with all the mirrors and brass and fake stained glass. But now.... SAVE TRADER DICK'S !!!

Back then I really loved Fresno for its old Vegas style signage, everything was on a smaller scale, but it was still THERE ! I was on a shoot and my grips and I liberated a Tiki from behind a closed-down Chinese restaurant - it is still on my porch today. I was not as zealous a researcher then so I have no idea what the name of that place was once.

BB

They have a Facebook page with only 16 likes at the moment -

http://www.facebook.com/TraderDicks?fref=ts

Maybe we can get that number up?

Way up!

Thanks Boris! I hit the like and sent a message. This is what the manager asked me to do.

Funny thing, as I was sitting at the bar, a family came up and talked about the Tiki mugs they had got 15 years before. They noticed the current selection was different than before, and they ordered two drinks to bring the mugs home.

SAVE TRADER DICKS

DC

Wow, what a vote of support - THREE more likes! TC must be dead...c'mon people, you can do better!

Sven,

You said it best, a few years ago.
Facebook, and social networking sites,
Will be the death of Tiki Central, and other online discussion forums.

Jeff btd

I would vote but I don't use Facebook! Long live Tiki Central!

T

On 2013-07-04 13:27, Bora Boris wrote:
They have a Facebook page with only 16 likes at the moment -

http://www.facebook.com/TraderDicks?fref=ts

Maybe we can get that number up?

Way up!

it only took two days to get up to 129 "likes". Now they just need to put up a little more content on the Facebook page. Maybe a bit of history and old photos, or maybe new drinks. C'mon Trader Dick, step it up!

MUCH better, everybody! I don't know if this was achieved in a straight manner, but who cares, it's for Tiki survival.

T

On 2013-07-06 14:57, bigbrotiki wrote:
MUCH better, everybody! I don't know if this was achieved in a straight manner, but who cares, it's for Tiki survival.

Well, a popular Facebook page is great, but I think the only way for it to survive is with patronage. Maybe they can work out a cross promotional deal with someone like the Reno Aces to promote to a larger audience.

On 2013-07-04 13:14, bigbrotiki wrote:
Back then I really loved Fresno for its old Vegas style signage, everything was on a smaller scale, but it was still THERE !

THIS is what I am talking about:
http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=45661&forum=6&start=last&7

T

On 2013-07-04 13:27, Bora Boris wrote:
They have a Facebook page with only 16 likes at the moment -

http://www.facebook.com/TraderDicks?fref=ts

Maybe we can get that number up?

Way up!

it only took two days to get up to 129 "likes". Now they just need to put up a little more content on the Facebook page. Maybe a bit of history and old photos, or maybe new drinks. C'mon Trader Dick, step it up!

C

Here's a coconut mug I found today.

Two weeks ago I received a letter from the Ascuagafamily regarding the sales of the Nugget. Here's a readers digest version of that letter. I sent them a response asking about the future of Trader Dick's. No response yet. Doesn't look good

Dear Friends of the Nugget,

We are pleased to announce that we have found an investor who shares our optimism about the future of Northern Nevada. Husky Finance and Global Gaming & Hospitality (GGH) have agreed to invest $50 million dollars in the Nugget in the next few years. Plans include renovating casino floor, hotel rooms, restaurants, convention space, exterior improvements and much more. All these changes are designed to make your experiences at the Nugget more enjoyable for years to come.

In order to secure the capital investment needed, we had to make the difficult and emotional decision to sell John Ascuaga’s Nugget to Husky Financial and GGH.

The sale requires regulatory approval and is expected to be complete by the New Year. The Ascuaga family will remain in a leadership role through the transition. Once the sale is complete, John Ascuaga will be chairman emeritus. Michonne and Stephen Ascuaga will assume advisory roles.

The name John Ascuaga's Nugget will remain in the near term, with a potential name change in the future.

Yours truly,

John, Michonne & Stephen Ascuaga

Here is your response, Tikivato.... Trader Dicks in John Ascuagas Nugget is going to be replaced by Gilleys mechanical bull! http://www.ktvn.com/story/24243456/sparks-nugget-to-add-gilleys-saloon-dance-hall-bbq crap!

Thanks for the update, I was afraid something like that was going to happen. I was up there a couple of weeks ago and some of the antique shops already had signs on their Trader Dick mugs claiming that they were closing the place down.

On 2008-05-05 19:49, tikiyaki wrote:
I just got this TD Mug off of eBay...

GOTTA CHECK THIS PLACE OUT TOO.

Do you have your TIKIYAKI ORCHESTRA CD YET ?
http://www.tikiyakiorchestra.com

[ Edited by: tikiyaki 2008-05-05 19:51 ]

Can some one tell me what is the original tiki type that this mug is trying to portray, it seems Aztec like from the sides. I just pick one up at the summer trade show in Honolulu this morning.

P.S. is there a better tread for this question?


[ Edited by: creativenative 2014-07-13 18:41 ]

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