The El Tavern – Reno’s first truck stop?


Here’s an old friend, just west of town on West Fourth Street – Old Highway 40 – an old friend because as a child, I ate a lot of good meals there in the coffee shop that was generally crowded with Reno residents and long haul truck drivers, breakfast, lunch and dinner

The highway in front of the motel was always lined with trucks – which then were trucks with a cargo body pulling a full trailer, as opposed to the semi-trailers common today (and I  don’t recall any sleeper cabs then, but I could be wrong.) I fudge a little in calling it the first truck stop; it probably was tied for that honor with Ernie’s Flying A on East Fourth Street, which was still Highway 40, or the Lincoln Highway

And the food? Great – after all, the guy that owned it was an old hardscrabble miner from some central Nevada mining camps, operating before WWII. His name was Bill Parker, a good friend of my dad’s. He made his swag mining gold and silver. Which probably accounts for the name of the restaurant he later opened, a few blocks to the east: The Gold ‘n Silver. You’ve probably eaten there…!