“Enjoy the helpful, wholesome habit of 3-a-day at 10, 2 & 4 o’clock!” So urged an advertisement for Dr. Pepper upon the soft drink’s official arrival in Reno in 1939. The promotional blitz (with its somewhat questionable nutritional advice) accompanied the opening of a new plant specifically constructed to produce the popular beverage.
This single-story brick building at 1047 (later renumbered 1049) South Virginia Street contained everything needed for manufacture and distribution. Its 6,000-square feet included a complete water purifying outfit, an automatic bottling operation, and an ample warehouse for storage. The machinery had a capacity to fill 1,800 bottles per hour.
Chris Weske employed eight people at the plant, which he sold in September 1941 before leaving Reno to join the Navy in San Francisco. The fledgling business did not survive the war. By 1944 the building housed Ray’s Auto Body Works and it later served as the economy store for the adjacent Nevada Home Furnishers.
Beginning in 1950, the building was associated with William Gravelle, first as the home of Sellman and Gravelle Upholstery, and then Interiors by Gravelle, his furniture business. A Las Vegas native, Gravelle became a pillar of Reno’s business community, even serving for a time on Reno City Council. The Melting Pot World Emporium moved into the building in 2006.