Ben’s Liquor flagship remodeled
The giant bottle of Dewar’s White Label that has long held watch over the corners of Keystone Avenue and Fourth Street in Reno soon will come down during an extensive remodeling of Ben’s Liquor.
Ben’s owner Jamy Keshmiri is expanding the site’s footprint by 4,500 square feet for additional retail space and also will remodel the building’s fa ade. The large iconic sign will not be part of the store’s new look.
“At first I thought it was kind of cool, but it collects a lot of pigeons,” Keshmiri says wryly. “I think it is time to give it a rest.”
Keshmiri says the west portion of the lot where the new retail is to be situated was heavily used in the 1970s when tour buses and RV traffic from California stopped by en masse so visiting gamblers could load up on cases of liquor sold at prices cheaper than found in the Golden State.
“(Now) there is no need for all that space,” he says. “It’s great real estate. It will be better utilized with more tenants, and it would help Ben’s if I could find tenants that would complement that business. It is a great corner, and it is a shame not to utilize it as best as possible.”
Keshmiri prefers a sports bar or restaurant take the new space. Contrive 83 Inc. of Reno is the general contractor for the privately financed project, which is scheduled for completion near the end of October.
He says City of Reno officials were extremely helpful in approving his plans to modernize the dated store.
“With their vision of trying to clean up the Fourth Street corridor, they have been open to a lot of our ideas,” he says.
Keshmiri, co-owner of the Wild Orchid, Fantasy Girls and Diamond Dolls strip clubs, purchased four Ben’s Liquor stores in April of 2003 and has since added Ben’s locations in South Meadows and Sparks.
After the FTC lent approval on June 26, the $17.3 billion merger is still subject to various closing conditions, including a review from the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission; that’s set for July 8.