Filed Under Food

Pinky's Market

Brothers Guido and Bruno Pincolini opened their namesake market on East 4th Street in 1946.

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 West Second 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.

Audio

Working in Pinky's Market Interviewed by Emerson Marcus, Dick Belaustegui recalls working in Pinky's Market on E. 4th Street in seventh and eighth grade. Source: University of Nevada Oral History Program Creator: Emerson Marcus Date: 2012
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. Source: University of Nevada Oral History Program Date: 2005

Images

535 E. 4th Street
535 E. 4th Street The building stood vacant in 2014, awaiting its next incarnation. Creator: Alicia Barber Date: 2014
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. Source: University of Nevada Oral History Program Date: 1930s
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. From left to right, Vince Manfredi, Guido Pincolini, Mike (Manfredi?), Bruno Pincolini. Source: University of Nevada Oral History Program Date: 1940
Butcher's specials
Butcher's specials 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. Source: Nevada State Journal Date: December 31, 1963
Dick Belaustegui
Dick Belaustegui 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. Creator: Patrick Cummings Date: 2014

Location

535 East 4th Street, Reno, NV

Metadata

Alicia Barber, “Pinky's Market,” Reno Historical, accessed June 14, 2024, http://renohistorical.org/items/show/91.