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Restaurant to open next spring at casino


The Colville Tribes’ expanded Coulee Dam Casino will open in late February or March, Chief Operating Officer of Colville Gaming John MacClain said last week.

The $3.2 million project was started about a year ago, and will include full dining service for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The new casino restaurant will also offer ”good weather” seating on a balcony that extends on two sides of the building. The balcony, according to the plans, will be 20 feet wide and allow summer diners a good view of Grand Coulee Dam.

The operation will be 24/7, with some limited menu after hours, MacClain said.

Mel Tonasket, vice chair of the Colville Business Council, said for him it will be “like coming home. That’s my own country,” he stated.

Tonasket attended the third grade in Coulee Dam schools and is a Grand Coulee “Tiger” alum.

“We think it is important to help the community,” Tonasket added.

Local casino manager Tony Posey explained that handicapped-accessible parking is planned in the space between the casino building and Harvest Foods, with easy entry to the casino afforded there.

Posey and MacClain have spent a lot of time developing ideas for the restaurant, including trips as far away as Chicago. The kitchen alone will cost nearly a quarter of a million dollars, the two explained. The food fare will range from steaks to burgers.

Small concerts are being considered for the balcony area with seating behind the building. “That’s just one of the things we are considering,” MacClain said.

The new configuration will have 50 gaming machines on the ground floor and 137 above. “We plan the newest type of gaming machines,” MacClain stated.

The casino will employ a chef from Las Vegas, and the design of the new second-floor restaurant is being managed by the same person who designed the Colville Tribes’ showcase resort casino in Omak.

“We have plans to re-do the bottom floor sometime next year to make it conform to the design upstairs,” MacClain stated.

Womer & Associates has been involved, and Adam Kennedy is the program director, MacClain added.

“The design of the balcony is new metal technology, and will allow major outside-dining space and space for small concerts,” MacClain said.

Casino Air, a ventilation company, will help the enterprise provide good air flow throughout the upstairs space, MacClain explained. “We are considering a small no-smoking area,” he added.

The facility is currently staffed with 48 employees, and the casino plans to add 15-20 more when the upstairs is finished.

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