It’s been 10 years since I acquired Louis’ Basque Corner, located on the corner of Evans and Fourth streets. As many Renoites know, the area had undergone a decline from its glory days of the 1950s and 1960s. Further adding to the decline was the recent recession that hit Reno harder than most.
The name “Fourth Street” had become synonymous with negative stereotypes that would deter most people from visiting the area.
One of the primary concerns given by most individuals was the homeless population. Unfortunately, this stereotype was supported by reality. The neighborhood was home to the only homeless shelter to serve men, women and children for the entire Reno-Sparks area. The already stressed facility couldn’t handle the increasing homeless population created by the recession, forcing many people to live without shelter.
Encampments were erected along the river, empty alleyways and vacant lots, which reinforced the seemingly unsafe image of the area. It was arguably the most difficult timeline for Fourth Street.
Eventually, economic recovery led to development in the area with more local businesses opening, including my second restaurant, The Depot Craft Brewery & Distillery.
The immediate surroundings began to visually improve. Enough momentum was created to justify branding our neighborhood as The Brewery District. From the outside looking in, one could think that our homeless population was on the decline. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. We still only had one shelter and the homeless population continue to steadily increase.
Click HERE to read the rest of the article on Northern Nevada Business Weekly.
Source: What’s Up Downtown: Reno’s Fourth Street – a decade and counting (Voices), Northern Nevada Business Weekly