Truckee community sees return of a familiar face |

Truckee community sees return of a familiar face

Mike Thompson/Sierra SunBilly McCullough and Dick Howell of Dragonfly stand behind the bar Wednesday afternoon. McCullough brought Howell, former owner of OB's, on as general manager at Dragonfly last month.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; About a year ago, a familiar face disappeared from the downtown restaurant scene.

After 39 years, Dick Howell shut down OBand#8217;s Pub and Restaurant in May 2008, closing the doors on the restaurant that brought locals back downtown, acted as the de-facto town hall and hosted many community events over the years.

But now heand#8217;s back, managing another familiar restaurant and#8212; Dragonfly Cuisine.

and#8220;I needed a new general manager, and there were a lot of choices out there in this economy, but when I stacked him (Howell) up against everybody else, I couldnand#8217;t pass up his experience, knowledge of downtown Truckee and his customer service,and#8221; said Billy McCullough, owner of Dragonfly. and#8220;And weand#8217;re very like-minded in being community members, not just businesses.and#8221;

Howell said he suffered through 13 months of health issues before coming back to work, and is excited to be back downtown again.

and#8220;I really enjoy being back and#8212; I really missed this relationship with the community,and#8221; Howell said.

Starting in June right as the summer season started to ramp up, Howell said he has hit the ground running.

and#8220;He brought people in the door right from the start,and#8221; McCullough said. and#8220;Weand#8217;ve focused on the food for so long, Dick brings attention to the front of the house and customer service, he had a great following at OBand#8217;s that never came to Dragonfly, and now theyand#8217;ve followed him here.and#8221;

Thatand#8217;s good news, considering the state of the economy, Howell and McCullough said.

and#8220;This economy has effected everybody, and in a lot of ways we are hit as hard as anybody in a tourist area,and#8221; Howell said.

McCullough said a lot of people are still going out and#8212; just not spending the same amount of money.

and#8220;We had our May special and it was our second-busiest month, it shows people want to go out but they want value,and#8221; McCullough said. and#8220;The number of people coming out is as strong as ever.and#8221;

Another reason McCullough said he hired Howell was his community involvement and#8212; hosting meetings and events for local groups, and even providing space for the burgeoning town before they had a town hall.

and#8220;Dick has always been one of my heroes for his community spirit,and#8221; he said.

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