JC’s Steakhouse hires chef from recently destroyed Mining Camp Restaurant

BY Jess Harter Friday, August 11, 2017

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One restaurant’s misfortune can be another’s opportunity.

That’s how Dennis Petty and wife Diana Blewer, owners of JC’s Steakhouse in Gilbert, saw the July 28 fire that destroyed the historic Mining Camp Restaurant in Apache Junction,

That same day, Petty was on the phone to recruit chef Dennis Bagnasco, who oversaw the Mining Camp’s Dutchman’s Hide Out steakhouse for nearly eight years.

(The Mining Camp consisted of three restaurants: a family-style dining hall, a steakhouse, and a dinner theater.)

Bagnasco (shown above on left), whose 22-year career also includes eight years with Pei Wei, will head JC’s kitchen with Petty (right).

‘‘I saw it as a great opportunity to take some weight off my shoulders and Diana’s,’’ says Petty, who has handled nearly all chef duties with Blewer as his backup.

The addition of Bagnasco, whose first day at JC’s was Thursday, allows the owners more time to focus on intereacting with customers, planning special events, and expanding their catering services.

‘‘It allows us to do what we’ve wanted to do since we opened (in December 2014),’’ Blewer says. ‘‘Dennis has rarely had time to greet customers and chat with them.’’

JC’s Steakhouse, located on the southeast corner of Gilbert and Ray, opens for dinner at 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday (3 p.m. for happy hour).

It also recently began opening for lunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Friday.

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