Reno’s Ground Cow diner

Ground Cow</a

A friend e-mailed, following a mention of the Ground Cow re-opening under it’s own name in Penryn a year ago, “Didn’t we have a Ground Cow in Reno?”

Indeed we did; back before the freeway came through Reno, back before there was a McCarran Boulevard – “Ring Road” – running north/south west of Keystone Avenue, there was a Ground Cow. It resided approximately on the corner of West Seventh Street and Keystone, which was known as Peavine Row in my youth.

In the photo above, a familiar scene, traveling north on Keystone, the car on the right coming off the freeway, the antenna array on the site of the ole Ground Cow.

It was a popular place, food was good and the prices were right, but, it was a casualty of the freeway construction in the mid-1960s.

The Ground Cow was an Oakland-based “chain,” if three restaurants make a chain. The first was in Oakland, and in the early 1950s another opened in Auburn, on the north side of Highway 40 just about across the path from Lou LaBonte’s. In 1962 that one relocated westward to Penryn, flourished, then for reasons unknown seem to go to hell. It reopened again other other names, each new tenant being worse than the last (in my humble opinion. I am not a restaurant reviewer.) It’s now back to being the (only) Ground Cow, and I’ve had so many bum meals there I can’t bring myself to go in and dine. Maybe this fall I’ll put that on my list of columns that need to be written. Or, in the alternative somebody from my burgeoning reader base may actually consume food there and I can do a review.

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