Owners of a fish and chip restaurant in Washington are bringing the tastes of the Northwest’s waterfront to Pahrump, along with a collection of actor John Wayne memorabilia.
Guy Vallee, Pahrump resident for about the last year with his wife, Marla, are working to open the Seattle Fish and Chips restaurant on the north side of town this fall.
“It’s going to have that old school, downtown Seattle fish, 1908, feel to it,” Guy Vallee explained inside the future home of the fish and chips restaurant at 2050 N. Highway 160, Suites 400-500, at Mesquite Avenue.
The new restaurant will feature a range of tastes, including salads, fish and chips and hamburgers, along with props used in movies and other memorabilia featuring John Wayne, also known as “the Duke.”
Guy Vallee was the former owner of the “Norwester,” a 76-foot yacht once owned by John Wayne.
At one time, Guy owned and operated The Norwester Museum Tour, where people could board the yacht and see John Wayne memorabilia. The boat was docked near the couple’s La Conner Waterfront Cafe in Washington.
Guy no longer owns the boat but still has a collection for fans of “the Duke.”
In Pahrump, memorabilia that was on the yacht will sit in the back of the 50-seat Seattle Fish and Chips restaurant, where a large mural featuring John Wayne and his Norwester will sit on the wall.
The mural was painted by artist Jerry Ragg of San Diego in October.
Ragg’s murals can be seen in many U.S. cities, including Las Vegas—many stretching across places such as private residences, office buildings, casinos and other locations.
Ragg, owner of Mural Decor, also worked on four other murals for the restaurant, all based on the fishing port in Seattle in the 1900s.
The Vallee’s still own their roughly 144-seat Waterfront Cafe in La Conner, which is about 90 minutes north of Seattle. The couple has owned that restaurant for about 11 years.
Guy said he spent much of his youth working in restaurants, later going to college and seminary school.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve worked in a restaurant, just because it was an easy job to get,” Guy said. “But I worked my way through college, seminary, I spent 25 years as a minister. I always thought thank goodness I never have to cook again.”
Now, he’s back in the business and expanding his name to Pahrump.
Guy came to Pahrump about a year ago, where he has family. His brother, Pete Vallee, who stars as “Big Elvis” in the impersonator show at Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, was already living in town.
Guy said his brother had been looking for him to retire in the area.
With the Pahrump venture, Guy wasn’t looking to open a big operation.
“I don’t want to struggle,” Guy said. “I’d rather have a small place that treats everybody well and does a good product than try to open a big place, shove your butt in and out. This place is going to be relax, take it easy, stay as long as you like.”
Guy said they will have hamburgers, large salads, sauteed seafood, and of course, Alaska cod fish and chips.
Also, some of the same items the couple carries in their Washington restaurant will be brought to Pahrump.
“What we would do is take some of the stuff that we cut out and feature it here every week,” Guy said. “So every week, we’re going to have, like we do a triple-decker BLT, it’s out of this world. But we’re not going to offer it on the menu, we’re going to keep that as a feature.”
Guy said there are other items that will be featured going forward.
The Pahrump restaurant will have about six to seven employees, both part- and full-time, according to Guy.
“I hope we just fill up the seats with happy customers, and we have good policies like every customer needs to be greeted within 15 seconds,” Guy said.
Guy also treats his employees well, he said.
“We pay top dollar,” he said.
One of his cooks from his restaurant in Washington is heading down to work in Pahrump.
Guy said his treatment of employees is why he’s kept much of his same staff for the last 11 years. His restaurant has offered top dollar, vacation pay, a gift on an employee’s birthday, bonuses and other offerings, according to Guy.
Additionally, Guy has given back to the community at his Washington restaurant, something similar he plans to do here. His restaurant offers free Thanksgiving day meal, where they feed more than 100 people.
Guy said he was hoping to offer that here in Pahrump this year, but he’s not sure if they can this year. He’s still working to get things opened in Nye County.
“We’re trying to get over all the humps and the permit process,” he said.
For more information, call 775-727-3936.
Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at firstname.lastname@example.org on Twitter @MeehanLv