Restaurant becoming gathering spot in tiny Blue Diamond

After living in Blue Diamond for 11 years, Steve Enger and Jody Lyman are finally getting to know their neighbors. And they only had to open a restaurant to do it.

Their Cottonwood Station Eatery, which opened in mid-April, is not only a place to get a meal (with good coffee) in the little village of 290 residents, but also a gathering spot — something they felt was missing.

“Every small town has a social platform,” Enger said.

They started thinking about the project several years ago. As the avid mountain bikers and hikers traveled around the world, they took note of what made each community gathering spot special and borrowed a few ideas. Inspired by a place in Bend, Oregon, they installed a heated 40-foot concrete bench on the deck for chilly winter nights. Broad expanses of glass let in lots of natural light.

Enger said the idea for a restaurant had been discussed over a decade; a large part of the reason earlier dreams weren’t realized was neighborhood opposition. People move to Blue Diamond for the slower pace, the views of the desert and Red Rock National Conservation area. They like the fact that instead of traffic, they hear the melodies of the coyote and burro, and that they can see the stars at night. Enger and Lyman wanted to be sensitive to that.

“This is our home first,” Lyman said. “We wanted to work with the community to build something Blue Diamond would embrace.”

The site they chose among the village’s higher elevations — along the route of the Old Spanish Trail — had an old building with garages and a wood shop that dated to the ’30s. It contained some interesting artifacts, including a still, which they donated to Spring Mountain State Park.

The married couple have an abiding interest in history, and preservation was always foremost. Much of the wood from the old building has been used inside the restaurant and to form the bed of the vintage truck that anchors the property.

Lyman talked to retired miners while putting together the history display at one end, and more displays are planned.

“The history’s just being lost,” Enger said.

Asked about the name, he said, “We’re enamored with the 1800s. People would meet at the station.” “Cottonwood” comes from the village’s original name, Cottonwood Springs.

But they would have to gain the approval of the community and Clark County officials. The couple had first planned a two-story structure, with offices upstairs for their Rigging Technologies business, but they scaled it back after residents said it would block their views. Neighbors were concerned about noise and light pollution, so they eliminated windows on the side facing Cottonwood Drive and the homes on the other side.

They worked with county officials to get waivers of requirements for streetlights and sidewalks.

“We wanted to make something that fit Blue Diamond,” Enger said.

In the eight weeks they’ve been open, they said, the response has been solidly positive. They’ve met more of their neighbors — and some French climbers visiting Red Rock.

“Mother’s Day was out the door,” Lyman said.

“We found out everything we didn’t know we didn’t know,” Enger said.

The food, which he calls “simple, executed cleanly,” leans heavily to pizzas and paninis prepared in the open-kitchen pizza oven, as well as salads and specials.

Breakfast starts at 6, with neighbors coming in for coffee and pastries — no stale doughnuts here. Their pastry chef, Danielle Born, also works at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill in Downtown Summerlin, and all pastries are baked in-house. Their barista, Alex Sargent, also works at Desert Winds, the local roaster whose coffee they serve.

They have beer, wine and cider, and a dog-friendly patio only recently discovered by their own rat terrier, Nuggy.

“Evenings are very pleasant,” Lyman said, but she’s most pleased by the music of a refrain she hears more and more frequently:

“I’ve been waiting for this.”

A previous version of this story had incorrect information about live music at the restaurant.

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like