March Mt. News
By Kathryn Reed
Grand Slam breakfasts won’t be here for the opening of baseball season, but they will return this spring.
So says Paul Schmidt, who owns the South Lake Tahoe Denny’s.
Schmidt bought the franchise Dec. 20 and two weeks later a natural gas explosion shuttered the restaurant. A couple people sustained minor injuries.
“As we speak, I am paying (the employees) even though we are closed. I hope to get reopened while I still can pay them,” Schmidt said. “It’s one of those things that’s the right thing to do.”
About 40 people worked at the eatery – some full time, some part time.
The insurance company is still working out the cost to repair the diner. Schmidt wouldn’t put a dollar figure on what it is costing him to be closed during the winter season – a time when so often on busy weekends a line would be out the door waiting to be seated.
“The restaurant was remodeled less than two years ago so our intent is to put it back into that condition,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt also owns the Carson City Denny’s. About 75 percent of Denny’s are franchises, while the South Carolina-based company owns the others.