Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dante’s for sale

DANTE'S ON THE RIVER is on the market, listed for sale. The owner has been the subject of controversy, with a case pending review at the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office regarding possible charges of vandalism and brandishing a weapon. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

REST STOP FOR SALE - Dante's on the River is on the market. The Italian restaurant that also specializes in chocolates is located in Whitehall along Highway 50. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

From page A1 | January 19, 2011 |

Kevin Cairns, the embattled owner of Dante’s on the River restaurant, is sticking a fork in his most recent business venture.

Cairns, 50, has placed his Whitehall-area establishment on the market, the Mountain Democrat learned.

According to David Bolster of ERA Realty, Cairns placed the fine-dining restaurant up for sale in mid-December.

This past weekend, a billboard advertising the property was placed along Highway 50, near Dante’s.

Although Cairns bought the restaurant in 2004, Bolster said he and his family were ready for a change.

“They’re ready to move on and start the next chapter of their lives,” he said.

Cairns’ asking price is $499,000, which includes the 2,000-square-foot restaurant and bar, as well as an adjacent two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment.

All told, the property is just under 10 acres.

Since the billboard went up, Bolster said he and partner Kim Miller have received several inquiries but “no serious prospects at this point.”

The restaurant will remain open while it is on the market.

Cairns is the third owner of the restaurant. In the mid-1940s, the eatery was known as McCann’s. In 1975, it was purchased by the Alioto family and was renamed Alioto’s.

After Alioto’s closed shop, the property was vacant for nearly a decade until Cairns opened Dante’s.

Cairns’ decision to sell comes amidst accusations of vandalism and brandishing a weapon after a late November 2010 altercation with a motorist.

Joseph Goodrich, 36, told El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies he pulled into the restaurant’s parking lot to tend to a carsick child. Goodrich felt he was unable to stop anywhere else because of the snowy conditions.

Cairns reportedly approached Goodrich, flung snow at his vehicle and told the motorist to leave the parking lot.

When Goodrich confronted Cairns, Cairns reportedly called for his dog.

Goodrich is believed to have returned to his pickup truck at that point, but Cairns followed the victim with a piece of wood and hit Goodrich’s vehicle at least twice, causing damage, according to authorities.

Cairns was then said to have waved the piece of wood at Goodrich, who was seated in his vehicle.

Cairns was arrested at his restaurant later that day on suspicion of vandalism and  exhibiting a weapon.

As of Tuesday afternoon, charges had not been filed against Cairns. The case is currently under review by the District Attorney’s Office.

Cairns has had other parking lot-related incidents over the years. He was arrested in 2006 on suspicion of assault with an electrical device and making terrorist threats after allegedly attacking a Georgetown man with a stun gun.

He was eventually found not guilty of a single misdemeanor assault charge in connection with that incident.

Also in 2006, deputies responded to the restaurant for a call of trespassing after a young woman used the facility’s restroom without paying Cairns’ posted $5 fee.

When she did leave the restaurant, Cairns reportedly followed her outside and used his vehicle to keep the girl from leaving while he awaited deputies.

Attempts to reach Cairns Wednesday were unsuccessful.

E-mail Jim Ratajczak at or call 530-344-5071.





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