222 Club

222 North Center Street

02/03/41 – 10/44 and 06/10/47 – 01/23/49

Photo from the Mark Englebretson Collection

To the best of our knowledge no casino ashtrays were ever created for the 222 Club. If you happen to know where one exists please consider sharing a photo of it with the collecting community.

The 222 Club was first opened by Jack Fisher, a prominent sportsman long time friend of Jack Dempsey and a famous horse-racing judge and impresario. Fisher came to Reno to retire but found himself opening a new business.

Fisher opend the 222 Club at the former location of the Ship and Bottle Club on February 3, 1941. The interior of the club was decorated in a warm, cheery style with a fireplace at the rear of the room. The fireplace was said to have been transported to Reno in the early days and was reputed to have been in Simon Bolivar’s castle. Also, in the club was a famous old ship’s clock that was taken from the wreck of the Mary Hatch in 1821. In the ads that Fisher ran in the Nevada State Journal, he printed the folling quote: Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire to pause from toil, and trim their evening fire.” To go along with the evening fire Fisher added four different entertainment acts, including “The Girl in the Mirror,” one 21 game, one roulette game and a few months later a craps game.

Sometime in 1942 or 1943 Fisher sold the club to Cliff Judd and Blanche Dupuis. They sold the club to Al Hoffman and Frank Mercer on Octobert 10, 1944, and the club’s name was changed to the La Fiesta Club on October 27, 1944. The property operated as the La Fiesta until June 1947.

Early in 1947 A. K. Sekt attempted to open the club as the Grid Iron Club but sale was not completed.

On June 5, 1947, William Barrett was granted a license for the “new” 222 Club for 6 slots, one 21 game and a craps game.

In January 1948, under the first ruling of the newly created Nevada Tax Board (Headed by Robbins Cahill) F. J. Esswein was denied a license . He had proposed to buy the 222 Club and change the name to the Dunes.

In January of 1949 The City of Reno refused to renew the gaming license at the 222 Club. The application was made by William Barrett, but the reason for the denial was that Lois Maury, wife of co-owner Oscar “Lee” Maury, had recently ben arrested for possession of narcotics. In April the city once again denied Barrett a license for a 21 game but did license him for 6 slot machines.

Warren Wilson, former owner of the Inferno Club, took possession of the 222 Club in July 1949 but was never licensed for gaming there. Ernest Zottola bought the 222 Club in December 1949. On January 5, 1950, the 222 Club, owned by Zottola and managed by William Barrett was destroyed by fire. In April 1950 the building was condemned and razed.

The site of the 222 Club is now part of Harrah’s Sports Casino on the east side of Center Street.

According to Dwayne Kling

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