Fire it up
Famous chef Gordon Ramsey is set to open his Hell’s Kitchen restaurant in what was formerly the Sage Room at Harveys in South Lake Tahoe. While there is no exact debut date, the restaurant is expected to open in late December.
The television-inspired restaurant will be the third Hell's Kitchen in the world. The other two are located in Dubai and Las Vegas. Hell's Kitchen is currently accepting reservations which start in January 2020.
The Sage Room will move above to the 19 Kitchen and Bar area at Harveys. The Sage Room is a steak house that first opened in 1947 and was started by Harvey Gross and his wife, who also created the casino.
While some locals are excited to have Hell's Kitchen's high caliber food and dining experience come to Lake Tahoe, others see more negatives than positives.
Incline Village resident Chris Walters fell in love with cooking in 2012. “Gordon Ramsay has been my favorite chef since I started to cook, so any chance to eat at one of his restaurants would be an incredible experience,” Walters said. “I also think that while Tahoe has some good eateries, a restaurant like this, with a chef of his caliber and reputation, forces the region to elevate what they're doing as well.”
Walters has not yet made a reservation but plans to soon.
Kashmir Martin is also glad Hell's Kitchen is coming to Tahoe. She has a reservation lined up for January.
“I feel like it is way overdue for the Northern Nevada Caesar's properties get some of the big names that Vegas has had forever,” Martin said. She's also glad that while the Sage Room is moving, it is not completely going away.
“It shows management respects the history as well as the guests' desire to have both old and new when visiting Harveys Lake Tahoe,” Martin, who's a former Caesar's employee, said.
However, South Lake Tahoe resident Maddi Schultz who lives at the “Y,” which is four miles from Stateline where Harveys and the new Hell's Kitchen are located, isn't pleased. Schultz has to commute almost every day from South Shore to Incline Village for school.
“Traffic is already horrible as it is,” Schultz said. “With the expansion of Harveys and the other things the city is talking about expanding in Stateline, and now Hell's Kitchen, it's just going to bring so much more traffic.”
While Schultz acknowledges the area's economy is driven by tourism, she is worried that the traffic will be unbearable, especially since the restaurant will be opening in the winter, when the area is already packed with ski vacationers.
“That city is just not built to hold as many people as it does with what's there already,” Schultz said.
Bruce Gorton, who has lived in Tahoe for 15 years and has run Zephyr Cove Resort, Lucky Beaver Bar and Burger and has worked with Heavenly, has mixed feelings. He thinks the restaurant is a good thing but also notes that casinos in the area already have high end steak houses.
“What town needs is something a little more relaxed and fun with great food,” Gorton said. “In addition, the work-force is already maxed, I am not sure they will be able to find the right skill set [for Hell's Kitchen].”