Pinky's Market

Guido and Bruno Pincolini were already experienced grocers when they opened Pinky’s Market at 535 E. 4th Street in December 1946. The brothers had opened the Reno Public Market on E. 2nd Street in 1934 when they were just teenagers. After World War II broke out, Bruno left to serve in the Army, and the family closed the market to focus on their ranch.

Upon Bruno’s return, the brothers opened Pinky’s Market in a new stand-alone building they had constructed on what was then bustling U.S. 40. Popular especially among the area’s Italian population, the market was known for its butcher shop, where the brothers made their own sausages and corned beef. Friends Vince Manfredi and Tommy Dorsi worked in the store for years, as did many young men like Dave Pincolini and Dick Belaustegui, who helped stock shelves, pick up deliveries, and carry groceries for customers.

As large supermarket chains began to move into town, the area’s family markets struggled. Pinky’s Market closed in 1964, and the Pincolini family went on to purchase and operate the El Cortez Hotel on W. 2nd Street.

Sav-Mor Electric & Plumbing moved into the old grocery building, which was joined to the other buildings on the block some time later, when the vacant space on its east side was finally closed in. In later years, the charming corner building became a pool hall and then a nightclub, but the large plate glass windows on its front façade still evoke its heritage as a small family market.

Images

The Pincolini brothers, 1930s

The Pincolini brothers, 1930s

Left to right, Bruno and Guido Pincolini pose after a successful hunting trip with their friend, Aldo Vacchina, sometime in the early 1930s. Image courtesy of University of Nevada Oral History Program View File Details Page

The Reno Public Market on E. 2nd Street

The Reno Public Market on E. 2nd Street

This photo is of the Reno Public Market, owned by the Pincolinis, who later opened Pinky's Market on E. 4th Street. Photo taken in November 1940. From left to right, Vince Manfredi, Guido Pincolini, Mike (Manfrediz), Bruno Pincolini. Image courtesy of University of Nevada Oral History Program View File Details Page

Butcher's specials, 1963

Butcher's specials, 1963

The Pinky's Market butcher shop was held in high esteem, with a butcher always on duty and a variety of products, as seen in a newspaper advertisement from 1963. Image courtesy of the Nevada State Journal View File Details Page

535 E. 4th Street

535 E. 4th Street

The building stands vacant in 2014, awaiting its next incarnation. Photo by Alicia Barber View File Details Page

Dick Belaustegui, 2014

Dick Belaustegui, 2014

A childhood resident of the neighborhood, Dick Belaustegui worked at Pinky's Market while in junior high. In 2012, he was interviewed about his experience there. Photo by Patrick Cummings View File Details Page

Audio

Working in Pinky's Market

Interviewed in 2012 by Emerson Marcus, Dick Belaustegui recalls working in Pinky's Market on E. 4th Street in seventh and eighth grade. | Creator: University of Nevada Oral History Program View File Details Page

Remembering the family market

Interviewed in 2005, Bert Pincolini, son of Guido Pincolini, recalls his first memories of Pinky's Market and explains why it closed in 1964. Interview courtesy of the University of Nevada Oral History Program View File Details Page

Street Address:

535 East 4th Street, Reno, NV [map]

Cite this Page:

Alicia Barber, “Pinky's Market,” Reno Historical, accessed April 24, 2017, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/91.
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