Café at Adele’s closes the book on 40 years of meals and stories.
WRITTEN BY ANNIE FLANZRAICH
PHOTO BY KIPPY SPILKER
Karen and Charlie Abowd of Café at Adele’s
For 40 years, Charlie Abowd has cooked internationally influenced, gourmet dishes using locally sourced ingredients at Café at Adele’s in Carson City. From his kitchen came Dungeness crab-infused tater tots, escargots en casserole, stuffed filet étouffée featuring local Bently Ranch beef, and Lebanese lamb chops made with local Borda ranch lamb.
With his wife, Karen Abowd, the two have created an intoxicatingly inviting dining experience, drawing couples on their first dates, high school seniors attending prom, and, of course, regulars looking for the latest creation or tried-and-true favorite.
But the Abowds have put the Victorian-style building on North Carson Street, which is home to the café, up for sale, and when someone buys it, the Abowds will say goodbye to the restaurant that housed so many stories and recipes, and they’ll say hello to a new lease on life.
Appetite for change
So what’s next for the two? Some epic road trips and time with family and grandchildren, Karen says. And maybe a hot dog cart across from the Nevada Legislature Building for Charlie.
“One of the things Charlie is saving from the restaurant is a mobile kitchen,” Karen says. “He’s jokingly talked about a hot dog stand out in front of the legislature. It would so suit him!”
The Abowds announced the sale of the 150-plus-year-old building in February 2018. With it comes the property and the fixtures — but not the name.
Abowd’s parents, Paul and Adele Abowd, established Adele’s Restaurant and Lounge 40 years ago after moving to Carson City from the Bay Area. Charlie and Karen later purchased the restaurant from the older Abowds. (It became Café at Adele’s a few years ago.)
“At this point in our career, there are no heirs to Adele’s, so it just didn’t feel right to sell the name,” Charlie says.
As of publication time, no buyer was confirmed for the property at 1112 N. Carson St., which is listed for $1.2 million through NAI Alliance Carson City.
“All I can say is that we have bona fide interest, but no one signed on the dotted line yet,” Karen says.
That uncertainty makes it difficult to pin down exact dates for some of the restaurant’s 40th-anniversary celebrations, including a recreation of a decadent, multi-course meal Charlie prepared at the James Beard House in 2005. (It’s tentatively planned for this autumn).
In the meantime, the Abowds encourage diners to keep an eye out on the Café at Adele’s Facebook page and to continue making reservations.
“With selling the restaurant, we are so busy, it’s nuts,” Karen says.
Annie Flanzraich is a Reno-based writer and editor with her own stories of memorable meals at Café at Adele’s.
For updates about the sale, visit Facebook.com/adelesrestaurantandlounge.