The Lancer

Mt. Rose Highway

1959 – 1971

The Lancer Restaurant, previously known as The Mesa, was one of the most elegant restaurants in the Reno-Lake Tahoe area from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. It featured gourmet dining, cocktails, and dancing.

The property was owned by Roy Crummer and was opened on July 1, 1959. Crummer, who owned the Riverside Hotel for a time, selected Bill Nitschke as manager of the Lancer and Denny Sayers, a longtime Reno resident, as a host and greeter. In September 1959 Roy Bell and Bill Nitschke were approved for a gaming license for slot machines and two 21 games.

The popular restaurant was perched on a hill overlooking Reno and the Truckee Meadows, and the view was spectacular. Many regular customers had their own cocktail and wineglasses kept for them at the bar, and the Lancer was famous for its spinach salad and its side dish of white seedless grapes. On an average weeknight, as many as five hundred people had dinner there.

The Lancer was destroyed by fire, believed to have started in the kitchen, on the night of August 1, 1971, and was never rebuilt. At the time of the fire, the property was owned by Walter McCarrell and leased to Frank Sebastian and Arthur Allen.

According to Dwayne Kling

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