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.