Digging Into David’s Place

native_WEBLast week, I mentioned David’s Place, a restaurant near Rancho Drive and Charleston Boulevard that suffered a destructive bombing in 1976—reportedly the strong-arm result of a culinary union dispute. Reader @steverhames tweeted to ask if David’s Place wasn’t actually at the current site of Davis Funeral Home, just two parcels west from the empty land I indicated.

Digging into the details of the location, I found Steve was correct. David’s Place was at 2127 W. Charleston Boulevard. Clark County records show the parcel as initially owned by Lee & S M Fong, then sold to Frank Sala in May 1974. Sala, a former president of the Las Vegas Board of Realtors, and the one who brokered the sale of the Thunderbird Hotel to Howard Hughes, flipped the property a year later to David and Bonnie Silverman. Thus, David’s Place was born.

Its socialite success was short-lived, however. According to a Las Vegas Review-Journal article, “On the morning of Jan. 12, 1976, a bomb blew up David’s Place, a nonunion gourmet restaurant …” It was one of a series of bombings (or attempted bombings) at nonunion eateries, including the Alpine Village Inn, the Village Pub and the Starboard Tack. The latter two devices failed to ignite, which, according to testimony, ultimately led to the desert execution of union leader Al Bramlet, who had refused to pay for the duds.

David’s Place owner Silverman held on to the Charleston Boulevard property until December 1980, almost a year after losing a Nevada Supreme Court appeal (case #11929) of the insurance settlement appraisal. The property went to Ajax Inc. in December 1980, then in December 1981 it was sold to Gary and Heather Davis, of Davis Funeral Home. While Davis Funeral Home Inc. still shows as owner of the property, a new operator, Affordable Cremation, remodeled the buildings in September and has taken over the business.

If you are a history geek like me, uncovering all these streams and eddies is incredibly rewarding. But even if you aren’t, the information offers Las Vegans a sense of place in a city that for so long suffered the tiresome accusation of having none. It’s there; you just have to go looking for it, and for that reason, I appreciate all those readers who send me on missions like this one. Keep them coming!

Have a question about Las Vegas, past, present or future? Send it to askanative@vegasseven.com.