An event is born

Fourth Street Tavern Tour

Tavern Tour organizers David Muskin and Stephanie Otto pose as though planning an event in the Davidson’s Distillery bar.

Tavern Tour organizers David Muskin and Stephanie Otto pose as though planning an event in the Davidson’s Distillery bar.

Photo By David Robert

David Muskin had two pressing thoughts in his mind when he came up with the idea for the Fourth Street Tavern Tour: How do I convince the population of Reno that Fourth Street is a safe place to visit? How do I fill up this cardboard barrel with toys for underprivileged children?

The barrel in question sits against the wall at Davidson’s Distillery, attached to Shoeman’s Cyclery, at 275 E. Fourth St.

“I kept coming to this: Charity is something that will bring people out,” the soft-spoken bar owner says. “That barrel triggered it for me.”

It must have felt like a bubble rising to the surface as he was struck by the idea to get a bunch of the bars on Fourth Street to participate in a charity event. The thought was honed as more and more bars joined in. The music and entertainment lineup evolved, with an eye toward showcasing the talents of East Fourth Street.

True, the concept of an event that draws visitors to one street where they frolic from bar to bar, accenting the strengths of each, isn’t new. It isn’t even new to Reno. Remember Wells Avenue on St. Patrick’s Day, back when Wells had a different ethnic makeup? Other cities, such as Tucson, have their own club crawls. Tucson’s draws thousands of visitors every year. And for those who really think big, Fourth Street, which includes West Fourth, East Fourth and Prater Way, is a long, long street with a lot of bars.

So, Muskin came up with the idea—checked for interest by visiting other bar owners, got a few on board, got some financial pledges of support—and then went out of town, leaving the planning in the capable hands of one of the bar’s employees, Stephanie Otto, 22.

“I’ve put together events for this bar before, but nothing on this scale,” she said. “It’s really about Fourth Street. The city said it was going to clean up Fourth Street a year and a half ago. This is the bars’ way of taking it into their own hands and helping.”

Here’s how the (grammarians beware) First Annual Fourth Street Tavern Tour 2004 will work. It will begin on Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. and run through Dec. 18 at 6 a.m. This year’s theme is “Dusk ’til Dawn.” At press time, Davidson’s Distillery, The Jazz Club, Abby’s Highway 40, Spotlight Nightclub, Club Underground, The Spice House and the Downtown Cue & Cushion are participating. Between now and the day of the event, $10 tickets may be purchased. The tickets can be exchanged for a wristband on Friday, which will get the wearer into any of the participating businesses with no cover. Since Budweiser is a sponsor, the bars have drink specials like $10 Buckets of Bud (a five-pack served on ice in a galvanized bucket). The Downtown Cue & Cushion will provide free barbecue at Davidson’s at midnight.

Every club will have live music, including groups like Blue Haven, Renegades, Gufano and DJ Oz. Some, like the Spice House, will feature regular specialty entertainment.

All ticket proceeds will support the Reno Active 20/30 Club’s efforts to aid underprivileged children. So far, sales have been pretty good, with more than 200 advance tickets sold. If there is good participation, 2005 might see the Second Annual Fourth Street Tavern Tour.

“I imagine it happening again," said Otto. "We’ll have to see the turnout. I hope so."