The third-generation family-owned business will be run in this incarnation by siblings John Thomas, Steve Thomas and Stephanie Thomas and their cousins, Michael Frangomichalos and Alexandra Frangomichalos. They’re taking over from John’s father, Greg, and his aunt and uncle, Stacey and Pantelis Frangomichalos.
“They’re all getting older and we don’t want them to work as much, so we are going to try and open it,” John Thomas said. “Technically, the ownership will stay the same, but our goal and our hope is to put forth some new twists, structure and system to the business and prepare it for potential growth.”
Thomas said his family felt, in a way, lost without the restaurant.
“We recently lost my grandmother and my family isn’t to the point where they’re ready to retire yet,” he said. “We’d like them to take ownership from a more passive standpoint, so what we’ve done is just try to work together with them and use their knowledge and our youth and try to open up and make less of the physical labor on them and more of the physical labor on the younger crew.”
The family knew it needed to reopen the Golden Nugget, but the $1.4 million the restaurant received from the Small Business Administration’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund “definitely made it an easier decision” and made it “unthinkable to not do it,” Thomas said.
“The Golden Nugget, among other businesses, has suffered so many great losses financially and otherwise that it’s basically to try and get them back to even,” he said. “You went from operating a successful business to closing your doors and not really having the opportunity to open back up for so long that without it, I don’t know that it would be possible to reopen and my family would be in dire straits.”
The Golden Nugget plans to hire between 50 and 60 full- and part-time employees before it reopens, Thomas said. Those wishing to apply before the planned summer re-launch may do to via websites for Thomas Restaurant Group eateries Doubleday’s Grill & Tavern and The Famous Restaurant.
Thomas said he feels “emotional” about restarting the restaurant that his grandparents launched 60 years ago.
“It’s a big honor to continue my family’s legacy,” he said. “It’s the most important baton I’ve ever been handed.”