Sprouse-Reitz Co.

The Sprouse-Reitz Co. was described as “Reno’s most beautiful store” upon its opening on October 30, 1948. With more than 9,000 square feet of space, the variety store offered two floors of merchandise, selling everything from household goods and toys to candy. The store joined a growing retail community in the vicinity that included the Washoe Super Market, which had opened just to its south in 1939. Together with the shops of the Benetti Block across the street, the commercial cluster accompanied Reno's ongoing residential expansion southward in the postwar period.

The Sprouse-Reitz company was founded in Tacoma, Washington in 1909 by John A. and Robert A. Sprouse and Fred L. Reitz, and eventually grew into a chain of more than 470 five-and-dime stores across the western United States. Reno eventually had two other branches: one in the Village Shopping Center on California Avenue (opened in 1955). and another in the Plaza Shopping Center at West 4th and Vine Streets (opened in 1957).

After this branch closed in 1968, the building housed Bates and Bell TV & Appliances for several years, with reconditioned and freight-damaged appliances offered for sale in the "Bargain Basement." After serving as an antique mall in the 1990s and early 2000s, the building became home to Carter Bros. Ace Hardware store in 2008.

The small addition on the building's north side was constructed around 1960 to house Johnny Tinsman’s Washoe Barber Shop. Red Kittell opened a State Farm Insurance office in the small space in 1973 after removing the mirrors and sinks of the former barber shop.



1215 South Virginia Street, Reno, Nevada