Counting down the days to Fall, exclusive details on Food and Beverage at Eagle Mountain’s New Property

(Eagle Mountain Casino, Porterville, CA 93257) –  As the excitement builds for the doors to open at Eagle Mountain Casino’s relocation property, HBG Design’s Joe Baruffaldi, AIA, Principal and Rob Jurbergs, AIA, Principal, provided exclusive details and stories behind the new Food and Beverage properties to look forward to when Eagle Mountain Casino’s relocation property opens this Fall. 
The property’s centerpiece will be ‘The Center Bar,’ inspired by embers and the brightness and engaging aspect of a fire’s warmth. This will also be the first time Eagle Mountain Casino will provide a full bar on the property and transition to 21 and older entry. 
“Anytime you think of a fire and gathering at a campsite setting, it’s a very welcoming presence, it’s a place that you meet, it’s the sense of community, and really this is all interpretive of the trunk and reaching out portions of the canopy. And as you enter, it’s like a fire pit with lit elements that invite you in. Low walls will provide a sense of separation from the gaming floor, and you will see decorative railing pattern is actually part of the pine tree pattern, so there’s a lot of these little hidden Easter eggs,” said Jurbergs.
Jessica James, the new beverage manager, will supervise everything beverage-related, from the menu items to ensure all guests have the best experience possible. James is also a returning member of the Eagle Mountain casino family, having started when the Casino first opened its doors in 1996. 
Currently, James is working on crafting drink menus for the center bar, steak house, and tap house. While discussing the drink menu, James gave us an inside scoop on what inspires some of the new drink names. She explained that many locations within the reservation hold a lot of value to the community members. One name, in particular, is Club House, which will be a featured drink on the menu. But, of course, guests will have to visit the Casino to try it for themselves. 
James is also responsible for establishing procedures to ensure everything runs as efficiently as possible for the entire beverage department. Part of that process includes interviewing for available positions for the Casino relocation. Eagle Mountain Casino is currently hiring to gain new team members to open the new Casino. Jessica states, “We will be expecting a lot from our new team members, especially those working in the food and beverage department, as they will be the main point of contact for the guests.” She continues, “Think about it, when you come to the Casino, the most interaction you would have would be between the machine. Unless, of course, you decide to have a meal to get a drink. That’s where we come in.” Making sure that the guest’s needs are being met is James’s biggest priority. She anticipates a large volume of traffic coming through the casino doors as soon as it opens and knows it will take a great group of people to make it work. 
‘The Redwood Taphouse’ will have a lodge aesthetic featuring the use of wood and reclaimed redwood that ties to the sequoias and the Tribe’s homeland. Specific fabrics were incorporated that depict gopher snake patterns. A pattern called ‘The Flight of the Butterfly and Quail Tuft’ will be featured throughout the entire property. Custom wall coverings will incorporate various designs and accents for enjoyment by guests and recognition of culture by tribal members. 
Every seat in the ‘Redwood Taphouse’ will allow guests open views of multiple television screens placed all along the walls, including a unique four-screen cube similar to the ones you see in sporting arenas or stadiums. 
“There is probably as much TV screen “covering” as there is wall covering,” said Jurbergs. “The volume of this space, it’s going to be like Porterville’s living room, really, I mean, how could it not be? It’s going to be so welcoming and it will change in ambiance through the day as light will filter in from a window up high. At night it will come alive with bar lighting, TVs, and fun illuminated signage. It’s going to be a pretty dynamic space,” continued Jurbergs.
‘The River Steakhouse’ was inspired by the word “soar” and the tree’s canopy and incorporated the eagle pattern into the design. The restaurant, which is already popular among guests for its delectable menu, will feature rich materials like natural stone tops, beautiful bar fronts with a lot of sparkle and depth, and custom wall panels to help enliven the space. The River Steakhouse will also incorporate artwork directly from Tule River tribal members.
“A tribal member has taken incredible photos of birds in flight, and we are going to incorporate those in the private dining. That’s another layer that Tribal Council was interested in was getting artwork from tribal members,” said Baruffaldi.
‘Acorn Diner’ will be a 24-hour dining option for guests and will feature a theme of “gather,” with a community focus aspect. It features large tribal photographs, including one of the tribal elders making a basket with elaborate patterns. 
“Reading books from the earliest accounts of the Tribe in this region, they are always known for these beautiful big baskets, and some of the art depicts how they are made. The panels have that weaving process, so when you think about the word gather and baskets, it’s all about collecting and creating a special place for people. The three-meal restaurant is a workhorse for the food and beverage side serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and we wanted it to be appropriate for meals at every time of the day,” said Jurbergs.
‘Yokuts Coffee House’ will feature patterns from a tribal gambling tray and geometric diamond-style railings as this will be a pivotal corner of the Casino. In the future, as the phase two hotel is complete, this will be the first location guests will see as they come in from the hotel into the Casino. 
“It’s very convenient even if you wanted to come in from the outside and are not gambling, but you wanted to very quickly get a pastry or coffee. We placed it near the front door, so it really services with a lot of ease and is right up front and center,” said Jurbergs.
The countdown to Fall continues, and the excitement is building as the construction of the relocation nears completion. Soon the guests of The People’s Casino will be able to experience all of the fantastic designs and countless years of hard work put into this one-of-a-kind property. 
Currently, Eagle Mountain Casino is located 17 miles east of Porterville and is a full-service casino owned and operated by the Tule River Tribe. Guests must be 18 years of age to enter. The Casino is open 24/7. In addition, the Grizzly Food court is open 24/7, and the River Steakhouse is open Friday – Sunday from 5pm – 10pm. Eagle Mountain Casino is a short drive from Bakersfield or Visalia. 
The new casino property is scheduled to open in late Fall of 2022, off Highway 65 in Porterville, CA, next to the Porterville Fair Grounds. The new property will double in size, growing to over 100,000 square feet, featuring new dining options, 1750 slot machines, 20 table games, and a 2000 seat state-of-the-art event center.


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