Eddie's Corner Bar/Mr. O's

Dunc's

The small brick building on the northwest corner of South Virginia and Mount Rose Streets has been a busy neighborhood bar for generations. When constructed in 1937, however, it was a simple market and service station on the southern reaches of town.

Its transformation into a bar began in 1945, with the addition of slot machines and a beer license. A few years later, Duncan Dorsey took over, becoming the first of several well-known proprietors. Dorsey, who had grown up in Los Angeles, played football for the University of Nevada in the 1930s. After serving in the U.S. Navy during the war, he worked as a bartender at the Little Waldorf while finishing his degree. Popular and athletic, Dorsey renamed the place “Dunc’s,” spelled out on a big sign in front of the building’s covered porte cochere.

By the early 1950s, the surrounding neighborhood was experiencing some significant changes. A Safeway grocery store opened across Mount Rose Street in 1952, transforming a former auto camp and pasture into a paved parking lot. To the north of the bar, a private home was converted in 1956 into a Spanish restaurant called Casa de Flores, and two years later was bought by chef Miguel Ribera.

Dunc left to open another bar across town, and the little spot on the corner of Mount Rose was briefly known as the Office Bar before that establishment moved up the street, taking its charming neon sign with it.

In December 1958, Eddie Boehme, a former employee of Club 116, the Trocadero Lounge, and Harrah’s Club, completed a round of improvements to the place and reopened it as “Eddie’s Corner Bar,” which it remained through the 1980s. Beginning in the mid-1960s, Boehme also operated The Wonder Bar on South Wells Avenue. In 1987, Paul O’Gorman bought the establishment, presiding over “Mr. O’s Corner Bar” for the next twenty years. Thoroughly renovated, the bar opened as Chapel Tavern in 2008 and in 2012, became 40 Mile Saloon.

Images

Dunc's, ca. 1950

Dunc's, ca. 1950

While operated by Duncan Dorsey in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the bar was called Dunc's and had a small porte cochere on the front. | Creator: Nevada Department of Transportation View File Details Page

Mount Rose Street, ca. 1950

Mount Rose Street, ca. 1950

Looking past the south side of the bar, this view westward along Mount Rose Street shows a quiet, tree-lined street with a few private residences. The door and windows on this side of the bar have been bricked in. | Creator: Nevada Department of Transportation View File Details Page

South Virginia Street, ca. 1955

South Virginia Street, ca. 1955

Looking northward along South Virginia Street, the left foreground is occupied by the parking lot for the new Safeway. Then called the Office Bar, the corner tavern was flanked on its north side by the Casa de Flores. Further north is the vertical sign for the Washoe Market. | Creator: Nevada Department of Transportation View File Details Page

Corner Bar, 1986

Corner Bar, 1986

As Virginia Street became a busier thoroughfare, it became the site of enormous billboards. In 1987, ownership of the bar shifted from Eddie Boehme to Paul O'Gorman, known affectionately as Mr. O. Image courtesy of Nevada Historical Society View File Details Page

40 Mile Saloon, 2015

40 Mile Saloon, 2015

One of Paul O'Gorman's former bartenders, Duncan Mitchell, purchased the bar, transforming it first into Chapel Tavern and then 40 Mile Saloon. The door and windows formerly on the bar's south side have been bricked in, leaving only their outlines behind. | Creator: Alicia Barber View File Details Page

Street Address:

1495 S. Virginia Street, Reno [map]

Cite this Page:

Alicia Barber, “Eddie's Corner Bar/Mr. O's,” Reno Historical, accessed May 1, 2017, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/134.

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