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

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
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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
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Map

535 East 4th Street, Reno, NV