Push through the swinging doors at the Historic Palace Restaurant and Saloon, and you may feel like you’ve wandered back in time a couple of centuries. The huge bar to your left is complemented by the museum-like quality of the displays and memorabilia throughout the entire restaurant. You can almost imagine sitting down to a friendly game of poker at the wooden tables and chairs.
Dave Michelson and his partners wanted to retain the western ambiance of the famous restaurant, but they knew some repairs had to be made. So, in the mid '90s, they added a kitchen, bringing food to the saloon and they tackled some necessary repairs to the structure. All the while, Michelson kept his eye out for historic artifacts that focused on the community as it used to be in days gone by.
But now, Michelson says it’s time to hang up his spurs. And he thinks the Palace will be in good hands with the new owners, Derry and Dennis McCormick. The McCormicks appreciate the history of the Palace, and want to continue the tradition that is the foundation of the Palace Restaurant.
As Derry explained, "It’s a privilege to be custodians of this, and we want to do it proud."
The McCormicks are partnered with Scott Stanford, the current manager of the Palace, and Martha Mekeel, who is also employed by the Palace. They know the restaurant inside and out, and they think that maintaining a consistency is key. There may be some subtle changes: Derry thinks the restrooms could use some updating, and Dennis is kind of itching to modernize the bookkeeping. Scott and Martha agree that some menu additions might be in order, Derry is thinking lower calorie options, and Dennis wants comfort food. But everyone knows that the kitchen plays into this - can’t add anything that will overwhelm a smallish kitchen.
All in all, it looks like the things you love will still be there. As for the tweaks you wish had happened - well, they just might. All the new owners want to do is to make the Palace even better.