NevadaGram #27 – The MaryJane Sisters, a Reno Hotel with a Heart and Doing Lunch in Carson City

The Hobrauhaus Las Vegas, opening any day now. . . .

The only disappointment of my recent visit to Las Vegas was that Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas was not yet open.

The $12 million, enclosed beer garden, a replica of the famous one in Munich, Germany, was supposed to have opened across Harmon Avenue from the Hard Rock Cafe in October. The structure is to have a 45-foot ceiling and accommodate 800 beer drinkers gulping down the authentic German suds from authentic German steins while listening to authentic German oom-pah bands. Can you understand my sulky mood? Can you feel my pain?

Ingrid, three more over here!

But the local people were not completely discouraged, as the proprietors, when they realized they would not be open in time for Oktoberfest, erected a 1,000-seat tent in the parking lot at Terrible’s Hotel and Casino at Paradise and Flamingo. From Oct. 10 to Oct. 26 they provided sit-down service from a wait staff brought over from Germany, along with the food (including a 40-foot container with 75,000 frozen pretzels) and the beer. I can hardly wait.

The MaryJane Sisters, at Piper’s Opera House, Virginia City, on Halloween.

The MaryJane Sisters came to visit recently, just back from a 5-day tour of eastern Nevada, and were attending the Piper’s Opera House Halloween events. They are as vivaceous and delightful in person as in their travel reports, and we’ll head out for Beatty or Caliente with these two any time they want to go. In the meantime, here are The MaryJane Sisters in Virginia City.

For as long as he’s lived in the Big Smoky Valley, my friend Don has visited Reno three or four times a year. He’d see a doctor, buy a car or take care of legal business, and he liked to stay a couple of extra days just for the sheer self-indulgent fun of the downstairs casino, room service and the big color TV.

He came to have a favorite hotel, and he stayed there often enough to develop friendships with some of the staff. So when his wife was badly hurt in a rollover car accident, he called a friend at the hotel and explained he’d need a room while she was in the hospital. When things had settled down a little, Don thanked his friend for making the arrangements on such short notice. “Don,” the hotel man replied, “You stay as long as you need to, the room and your meals are on the house.”

My friend will never forget what the people at that hotel did for him. And I thought you’d like to know the old Nevada spirit is still alive in at least one of the big hotels. Which one? The answer is at the bottom of the page.

Can it be the State workforce of courtiers, drudges, drones and droids that puts such an emphasis on lunch in Carson City? This is easily the lunchingest town in the state. Actually Carson City’s work force is 20% manufacturing(!), but does anyone carry a lunch-pail any more? Here are three good places for lunch, from north to south: The Villa Basque Deli on N. Roop just south of Hot Springs Road, operated by the Coscarart family that had been at LeMaire’s Store in Battle Mountain for many years. I can’t get past the lamb sandwich, but you can choose from other Basque-flavored selections and take home some of the superb fresh chorizo as well. Mo & Sluggo’s is a downtown bar and restaurant a half a block off Carson Street on W. Telegraph where lunch is Mexican food from a family kitchen, served frank and friendly. Red’s Old 395 Grill, at 1055 S. Carson Street, is a combination bierstube and cafe moderne, the menu as eclectic as the decor. It’s cheerful and hearty, and they pour Ruby Mountain Beer so you know lunch will be good, maybe even great.

Gold Point is a long commute to the Las Vegas Strip.

Herb Robbins writes from Gold Point: “Now that it’s official I will tell you that I’ve been made a foreman at the new Wynn Resorts Hotel being built on the site of the old Desert Inn on the Las Vegas Strip. It will have about 4,000 rooms, plus or minus, and be at around 60 stories. That will make it the tallest hotel in the state. The cost I’ve been told is around 2.2 billion dollars. It will keep me away from Gold Point for about a year and a half. Until overtime starts I will only be able to get back on the weekends.”

Overheard at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas: “How can you go to bed with friends? That’s a mystery to me. Sometimes you become a friend of somebody you’ve gone to bed with, but not the other way around. That’s, well, incest. Yet that’s how society works, particularly upper-class society, in any country. People are forever destroying friendships with sex.”

Happy Highways,

David W. Toll

Oh, the Reno hotel with a heart — it was The Peppermill



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