Diamond Jim’s Restaurant in Mi-Wuk Village is back in business — partially.
The longtime high country eatery on Highway 108 has been closed for the past 11 months after the building was badly damaged during a major winter storm in 2011.
Owner Antone Picchetti said the bar is open for business, but the dining room area is still closed for repairs. The restaurant serves a lunch and appetizer menu, but Diamond Jim’s well-known steaks and fresh seafood will not be on the menu until the kitchen has finished undergoing remodeling.
The restaurant closed Sept. 28, 2011 after a snowstorm in February 2011 caused a portion of the roof and walls to collapse. Picchetti said the sheer weight of the snow cracked beams and a falling limb tore a hole in the roof.
The business just opened Sept. 1 after being closed for nearly a year, he said.
“So far our customers are happy that we’re open, but the word hasn’t really gotten out there,” he said.
Picchetti said the reason for the long hiatus has been difficulty getting his insurance company pay for the damage.
“I thought we would be back open in February or March of this year, but it obviously hasn’t worked out that way,” he said before adding, “We’re glad to be back open and seeing our friends again.”
Picchetti has owned the business since 1989 and it is known as a popular stop for vacationers traveling to Pinecrest Lake or to visit high Sierra ski resorts. It’s most famous feature is a bullet-riddled wood carving of a gold miner, that stands watch outside of the restaurant.
The bar is open Thursday through Monday at 11 a.m. and closes in the evenings when business slows down, Picchetti said.