During the Prohibition era in the 1920s, Reno was a hot spot for bootlegging, organized crime and infamous speakeasies. Reno was a hotspot for entertainment—illegal entertainment—due to its location in the middle of nowhere.
Nowadays, Reno still has its charm in being northern Nevada and northern California’s gambling capital. Nevada is infamous for being one of the few states legalizing certain activities, and this might be due to the volume of anti-Prohibitionists in the area.
If you find yourself downtown—and are 21 and over—you might want to go looking for some of Reno’s hidden charm.
Shim’s is a great place to start. Fully named Shim’s Surplus Supplies, this place is inspired by an authentic 1920’s speakeasy. In order to get into the bar, you have to go around to the back. In the back of the building there is a door with the word “DELIVERY” on it. The door should be unlocked. When you go in, you’ll see a black curtain. Behind the curtain there is a fully furnished, 20’s style atmosphere complete with a stage for all your speakeasy rallies. This bar is located at 125 W Third St.
Another great place to go on a Friday night is Royce. Located on the other side of the river, Royce is a quaint, lesser known bar hidden behind a red door. This place is great for a chill night with your friends. Enjoy a burger with a craft beer. Royce Bar can be found at 115 Ridge St.
Next is Davidson’s Distillery—a biker bar. Anyone willing to toughen up a bit and check this place out shouldn’t be too disappointed. This bar also hosts events specific to the bar, like “Reverse the Cycle,” “Cell & Post Humous” and “The Cut Ups.” Davidson’s is at 275 E Fourth St.
Our Bar is another authentic American pub complete with lunch, dinner and even take out. Located near the Reno Riverwalk, this place is great if you’re looking for a night full of the real Downtown Reno. You can find Our Bar by the Riverside Theatre at 211 W First St.
The Basement is home to a few cool places to check out as well. Including a few shopping outlets, it’s also where you can find Seven Troughs Speakeasy. A day bar with an elegant country atmosphere. The Basement is located at 50 S Virginia St.
Wherever you find yourself in Reno, you will always be able to find a great place to get a drink. Whether you’re a college student of drinking age or here for the weekend, bar life in Downtown Reno has something for everyone.
Sarah Strang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @sarahstrang100.