More than a century of Basque tradition shines bright at The Star

Try to say the word “Basque” in Elko without someone immediately saying “The Star.” The words are practically interchangeable in Elko-speak, and residents are ready and willing to inform even a complete stranger of this. 

That is because The Star Bar & Dining Room has been serving up some of Elko’s best family-style Basque and European-style food for more than a century in an old-world atmosphere. The Star Hotel (lodging is no longer offered at the building) opened in December 1910. Original owner Pete Jauregui aimed to create a gathering place for the region’s Basques, many of whom were sheepherders that had immigrated to America.

Today, the Elko restaurant and lounge is a social hub for all who sit at its bar or post up (come hungry) there for lunch or dinner. Current owner Scotty Ygoa says The Star has been Basque-owned for all of its 102 years. “This place has a lot of history,” he says. “Our focus is keeping the traditions alive and hopefully keeping [The Star] around for another 100 years.” 

The Star is known for its house-aged and cut beef. One bite of any of the enormous, flavorful steaks will make you immediately grateful for the extra attention the restaurant pays to the meat. Family-style dinner includes all the usual suspects, such as soup, French bread, salad with an unmatched house dressing, Basque beans, vegetables, fries, and spaghetti. 

Good to Know: If you spend time around a Basque restaurant, you're bound to order the staple drink, the Picon Punch (one’s not enough, and three’s too many). Also, the restaurant is closed on Sundays.

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