In the Reno of yore, if you wanted to meet for coffee, enjoy lunch with friends or take the family out for dinner, which wouldn’t bust the budget, the choice was always the Gold ‘N’ Silver. This iconic restaurant, which opened in 1956, is located at 790 West 4th St.
The reason it was in the news recently is that it was sold on February 3rd for the handsome price of $6.3 million to Jacobs Entertainment. News of the sale brought a tremendous outcry from old time Renoites, particularly those who were frequent customers.
What they failed to realize was that there was a leaseback agreement that guarantees the establishment was to remain open for the next two to four years. It is quite possible that in that period the old gal will set attendance records. One feature that made the restaurant a favorite was the enormous parking lot that assured easy access.
For me, I lost count of the many times I visited the G ’N’ S, but I recall sampling their wares at all three meals. I remember my favorite dish was a bowl of steaming hot oatmeal that was so thick I would have to use two glasses of milk to finish it off.
It has been mentioned that the place was the gathering spot for the movers and shakers of old Reno. Some of the names that I recall seeing on my twice a week morning visits were Bill Raggio, Link Piazzo, Myneer Walker, Major Inch, Len Savage, Charley Welsh, Dick Trachok, Dick Munn and Mike Robinson. Most of those folks gathered at the big table, which was usually under the direction of Raggio.
Occasionally a political candidate would make the rounds of the dining area to press the flesh of the important people as well as the help both on the floor and in the kitchen. I would often see Judd Allen, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, hustling a newcomer in the business community. Tyrus Cobb was usually in the company of Joe Crowley, President of UNR. Outstanding athlete Mert Baxter was always accompanied by his wife Gwen.
My two coffee companions were usually David Farside and Jack Joseph. In addition to the large dining area there was a separate bar facility, a private room for small meetings and a bank of slot machines next to the door. Most frequent player I remember seeing at the slots was Raggio and we used to accuse him of spending his campaign contributions wantonly.
In cities all over America, big or small, there is always a favorite spot to drink and dine and discuss the subjects of the day. In New York it was Toots Shor’s, in San Francisco it was the Iron Horse, in LA it was Frascati’s, and in Reno of course it was the Gold ‘N’ Silver.