Covered Wagon Room, Harold's Club, Reno - The Oregon Fail.

When you're doing up a themed restaurant/bar/casino/laundromat, your priority stops being "Does this look good?" and becomes "Does this fit our theme?" That's the mantra of any cornball cheese-fest emporium. In that regard, the Silver Dollar Bar in the Covered Wagon Room, in Harold's Club, in Reno gets ten out of ten.

Once you own a casino in Nevada, you can't go far wrong with a western theme, especially in the cowboy-crazed 1950's. Silver Dollar Bar: bullseye. Now, since I didn't grow up in the fifties, and since I have an allergic reaction to the sound of a rustic twang or the smell of an old-fashioned book burnin', the cowboy thing doesn't work on me. But when I found this postcard, I happily threw down my hard earned dollar, not in spite of the bar's awfulness, but because of it.

The back of the card says the bar has a "waterfall of real whiskey". This makes it a whiskeyfall, not a waterfall, but I understand the inaccurate phrasing. When you're making up a thing that doesn't exist, you sometimes have to describe it as it's exact opposite, just to get people to understand. "A waterfall of real whiskey". "A normal responsible driver, but talking on the phone". "An intelligent, clever sitcom starring Tim Allen."
Sure, your guests know they're sitting at the Silver Dollar Bar in the Covered Wagon Room in Harold's Casino, but when was the last time you reminded them of your theme? If Harold was playing the theme game the right way, his answer had better be "NOT RECENTLY ENOUGH!". "Wagon stools? yes, please! The name of the bar is on the napkins, coasters and stir sticks, but what if the patrons look down? Sure, the carpet has cowboy pictures and stuff on it behind the stools, but not right up next to the foot rail! We need some frikkin' wagon stools, stat! Make them just like the cowboys used to have, with a little pretend wagon tenty thing and some little wagon wheels and a bigger wagon wheel holding the legs together, so that the guests can imagine the axle going right up their butt. Only then will our cowboy theme be complete. Why are you still standing here? Make with the wagon stools!"(Celebrity voice impersonated).

So what's there now? Well, the Harold's Club used to exist between 1st and 2nd streets, where they meet highway 430, in Reno. Reno Community Relations is there now, which sounds very nice . There's also Club Cal Neva, and a nearby Superpawn. Sounds like Reno's doing okay for itself.

View Larger Map

Here's a picture of Harold's going plooey in 1999. Harrah's bought  the property (story here) to put up "an outdoor plaza". Sounds like Harrah's just wanted it gone. You'd think casinos would be more sentimental when they buy each other out. That sentence was hard to type with a straight face.


Phil said...

Do you reckon they remembered to dig out the 'thousands of silver dollars set into its illuminated plastic bartop' before it went pa-blooy? It might be worth a trip out to Reno to find out. Nobody is going to hassle us if we just dig a moderately-sized hole at the base of the Harrah's Plaza. Just look like you know what your doing.
Think about it. I've already got mine spent.

Post a Comment