Filed Under Businesses

Dr. Pepper Bottling Company

Built in 1939, the plant was later home to Interiors by Gravelle.

“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.

Images

A taste-exciting thrill!
A taste-exciting thrill! A newspaper ad in November 1939 touted the arrival of Dr. Pepper in Reno, promoting the many benefits of its consumption. Source: Nevada State Journal Date: November 25, 1939
Street widening, 1965
Street widening, 1965 In 1965, the Department of Transportation undertook a major project to widen South Virginia Street to accommodate increasing traffic. Interiors by Gravelle, in the former Dr. Pepper building, can be seen directly behind the worker on the right. Source: Nevada Department of Transportation Date: 1965
Nevada Home Furnishers
Nevada Home Furnishers A cartoon by beloved Reno cartoonist Lew Hymers appearing in June 1949 depicts an aerial view of the soon-to-close Nevada Home Furnishers "economy store" at 1049 South Virginia Street. Source: Reno Evening Gazette Creator: Lew Hymers Date: June 8, 1949
Interiors by Gravelle
Interiors by Gravelle Seen from the interior of the Hansel & Gretel Children's Clothing Store across the street in the mid-1960s is Interiors by Gravelle, a fixture at 1049 South Virginia Street for more than three decades. Posing for a newspaper photo feature are Allison Brown and Barry O'Sullivan. Source: Barry O'Sullivan Date: ca. 1960s
The Melting Pot, 2015
The Melting Pot, 2015 The Melting Pot World Emporium has been located at 1049 South Virginia Street since 2006. Creator: Alicia Barber Date: 2015

Location

1049 South Virginia Street, Reno, NV

Metadata

Alicia Barber, “Dr. Pepper Bottling Company,” Reno Historical, accessed July 14, 2024, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/153.