Mayor Geno Martini, Sparks’s city council members Charlene Bybee and Julia Ratti, City Manager Steve Discoll, and chamber members gathered at the grand reopening of the Iron Skillet full service restaurant at Petro Sparks on Sept. 20 for a ribbon-cutting and VIP buffet.
Celebrating the $2.5 million renovation and remodel of the restaurant, the fresh Iron Skillet (as part of the TravelCenters of America Restaurant Group) features an all-you-can-eat salad bar and buffet along with a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Iron Skillet Full Service Field Manager Fred Davis says, “We took [Iron Skillet] a step up and we’re proud of what we do. We owe it to the drivers to be innovative and deliver a great meal for our guests.” Davis oversees several full service restaurants in the Restaurant Group, which owns Country Pride and has franchise agreements in place with Fuddruckers and Black Bear Diner.
The new Iron Skillet delivers all hand-cut USDA Choice steaks, specialty buffets, and at least 50 locally-sourced produce items at the salad bar. “We make everything from scratch,” adds Davis.
Iron Skillet completely redecorated the front of the house, portraying a western-themed casual dining experience. Davis says that what he likes most about the new Iron Skillet is “…bringing our customer experience to a new level. When you see people come in and say ‘wow’; you wouldn’t know that this is in a truck stop.”
Guests raved about the lightly bread-battered fish, fresh ingredients in the salad bar, and hand-carved prime rib. “It’s like eating candy,” one trucker says about the steak.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the facility. The food, the staff was so friendly and helpful. It was a great atmosphere,” said Administrative and Business Development Assistant of The Chamber Caprina Johnson.
“The whole event went really smoothly and that everyone who RSVP’d showed up,” says Iron Skillet Neighborhood Ambassador Britt Lanzillotta. Fairly new to her position at the Sparks Iron Skillet, she was able to see the whole transformation.
“They made everything cohesive,” Lanzillotta says of the new space.
During the ribbon cutting, the Iron Skillet was bestowed with certificates including a congressional recognition from the US House of Representatives signed by Congressman Mark Amodei, a certificate from the City of Reno welcoming the renovated Iron Skillet to the community signed by Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve, a Senatorial Recognition from Dean Heller, and a Welcome Certificate from the City of Sparks personally presented by Mayor Geno Martini.
“We are excited and eager to showcase our new Iron Skillet concept to the public and offer our guests more quality, more choices, great customer service, and fresh, home-cooked meals,” stated Senior Vice President of TA John Ponczoch in an official press release.
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the newly remodeled Iron Skillet is located at 1950 E. Greg Street as part of the Petro gas station and Alamo Casino.