It’s 3:30 a.m. Do you know where your ______ is?
Ever desperately wanted to buy a latte or a gun in the earliest hours of the day in this 24-hour town?
You’ve heard the line, “Reno is a 24-hour town.” The vast majority of us think that since a gin and tonic can be legally obtained at any time day or night, it must be true that Reno never shuts down. Well, that’s only accurate until you actually try to live life on the graveyard shift.
Ever try to enjoy a downtown park at 3:30 in the morning? Think Velvet Revolver is going to start a show at the Reno Events Center at 3:30 a.m., or that you can get your teeth cleaned in the hours between midnight and dawn? Think again.
What really happens is that Reno mostly functions on day shift, just like any city in the world that doesn’t have such an intriguing reputation. Most of us 9-to-5ers take care of business after work. Dealers, bartenders and other swing shifters do their shopping and see the doctor in the hours before work begins; graveyard types learn to take care of business after work, in the morning.
But let’s find out what you can do (or can’t do) at 3:30 a.m. There are rules to this little game: First, for some things like video-games, there are a bunch of 24-hour places, some very small, so we just picked one. Second, yes, there are some private parties who will sell you a gun at 3:30 a.m., but our search will focus mainly on goods and services that are available to the public on a regular basis. Third, we’re going to mention as many places as possible, but it would be impossible to mention every one of them in every category. Finally, you can do a lot of this stuff on the Internet, but that’s not what we’re talking about.
1. Buy a gun: Guess what? In a 24-hour town, you can’t pick up a new Glock at 3:30 a.m. How about that Second Amendment? A background check must be performed with every purchase, and the background-check office closes at 6 p.m. However, you can buy ammo at any of Wal-Mart’s four locations in the greater Reno area, 5260 W. Seventh St., 155 Damonte Ranch Parkway, 2863 Northtowne Lane, or 4855 Kietzke Lane.
2. Buy a custard-filled doughnut: The Jelly Donut, 1750 S. Virginia St., 324-7272.
3. Buy a latte: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, 5050 Kietzke Lane, 853-9111. Can you guess what else you can do here at all hours of the night?
4. See a DJ: Some Friday nights/Saturday mornings the DJ at Liquid Lounge, 148 West St., 337-8861, begins at 2 a.m.
5. See a live band: This used to be a much more difficult proposition. Weekends, Club Underground, 555 E. Fourth St., stays open until 6 a.m. It should also be noted that Satellite, 188 California Ave., sometimes rocks to the grittiest hours.
6. Daycare: Nope. You’re a single mother who works graveyard. You’re screwed. Better try a private household.
7. Play video games: Atlantis Fun Center, 3800 S. Virginia St. Yes, the snack bar and the redemption center close, but you can still play the games.
8. See a movie: OK, Century doesn’t often offer all-night movies, but if you’re really desperate to see art in its pure cinematic form, there’s always the dirty bookstore, Adult Theater & Bookstore, 1052 S. Virginia St.
9. See a veterinarian: Your dog gets hit by a bus at 3:30? Your cat chokes on the canary? The Animal Emergency Center, 6425 S. Virginia St., 851-3600, is open only during the hours that other vets are closed.
10. See a doctor: Actually, calling around to the area’s urgent-care facilities yielded one result: Laughter. Twenty-four-hour town or not, if you need to see a physician at 3:30 a.m., you have to go to the emergency room. There are four in Northern Nevada: Northern Nevada Medical Center, 2375 E. Prater Way, Sparks, 356-4040; St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, 235 W. Sixth St., 770-3000; Washoe Medical Center, 77 Pringle Way, 982-5010; and Washoe Medical Center South Meadows, 10101 Double R Blvd., 982-7000.
11. Buy a fishing license: Sav-On, 680 N. McCarran Blvd., 359-6808, will sell you a fishing license at 3:30 a.m. The only drawback: Despite its proximate location to the Sparks Marina, the store doesn’t sell speed boats.
12. Buy live bait: You guessed it. Sav-On Drugs in Sparks will sell you night crawlers for fishing or other purposes.
13. Talk to a mechanic: As you might guess, this is a tough one. That is, unless you happen to drive a big truck—as in semi. DJ’s Truck Repair, 840 Watson Way in Sparks, will work on the big rigs 24/7. For members, AAA Road Service, (800) 222-4357, will fix flat tires, deliver fuel, provide tows and extrication, alleviate lockouts or make keys at 3:30 a.m. whether you have an SUV or a hybrid. Or you can call one of the many towing companies that offer 24-hour assistance, see No. 41.
14. Get a tattoo: The folks at Raven Tattoo, formerly CafeTat2, 855 E. Fourth St., Suite H, 337-0909, particularly Dustin Lecuyer, say that if you call ahead and set an appointment, you can get that ink at 3:30 in the morning. If you show up at 3:30 without an appointment, it had better be in the afternoon or you’re going to be awful lonely. None of the other tattoo shops contacted were taking appointments for that time of night, but if you have a favorite, it never hurts to ask.
15. Get A LaBreT piercing: Believe or not. The experts over at Black Hole say that since there are no shops open at 3:30 a.m., and freelance piercing is illegal in Washoe County, you can’t get a labret piercing at that time of night. On the other hand, they do sell safety pins at Rite Aid Pharmacies, 1410 E Prater Way, Sparks, 355-0220, Sav-On, 680 N. McCarran Blvd., 359-6808; Walgreen Drug Stores, 750 N. Virginia St., 337-8700, 3495 S. Virginia St., 824-0800.
16. Get your teeth cleaned: Northern Nevada Dental Referral Service, 322-3888, has a fee-for-referral service. You aren’t going to get your teeth polished at 3:30 a.m., but if you break a bicuspid, this is the number the hospital calls. However, if you have a regular dentist, in an emergency if you call her, she’ll usually get back to you—even if it’s early in the morning.
17. Buy drugs: See No. 28.
18. Get a hooker: C’mon, it’s Nevada. If you don’t know where to get a hooker at 3:30 a.m., you’re not going to find it in the newspaper.
19. Get a massage: Mary Stringer is a massage herbalist and alternative health care consultant. She’ll do an alignment or just give you a backrub with an appointment at 832-0157. She specializes in shiatsu and sports massage for animals and humans, and she’ll crack your back at 3:30 a.m.
20. Buy an authentic spicy pork burrito: Oh my god. If you haven’t had the burrito pastor at La Michoacana, 4950 S Virginia St., 826-4144, you haven’t really learned to enjoy the hours when the crickets sing.
21. Buy vegetable chow mein: Kinda hard to find Chinese food past 3 a.m. (like at the China Diner on West Street or the Tivoli Garden at the Eldorado Hotel & Casino, which both stop serving Chinese food at 3 a.m.). Word on the street is nobody serves vegetable chow mein all night long.
22. Get a pizza: There appear to be two main places to get a really good pizza at 3:30 in the a.m.: The Breakaway, 10 E Ninth St., 324-6200 and Bully’s Sports Bar & Grill No. 7, 1640 Robb Drive, 747-8600.
23. Pay your power bill: Sierra Pacific Power Company, 6100 Neil Road, has a night-drop box, which, according to the customer-service representative who wasn’t busy helping other customers, is one of the two places in Reno-Sparks where you can pay your power bill at 3:30 a.m. The other? The SBC Customer Service Office, 1450 Vassar St., and Sierra Pacific have reciprocal agreements so you can pay your phone and power bills at either location. Unholy alliance? Only the Shadow knows.
24. Pay your phone bill: See No. 23.
25. Buy art: With an appointment, Art Source, 9748 S. Virginia St., 828-3525, will sell you some high-end, reasonably priced art at 3:30 a.m. “By appointment, we will certainly open this store at 3:30 a.m.,” says Patti Melton. We’re purely diurnal art purchasers here at the RN&R, but the idea of setting an appointment just to look is certainly intriguing.
26. Buy edible underwear: Suzie’s Adult Super Stores, 195 Kietzke Lane, 786-8557, sells only the most delicious edible underwear at 3:30 a.m. (We had to ask; it’s $6.95. Eech.)
27. Talk to a priest: Boy, this is a tough one. For a life-and-death emergency (like for the administration of last rites) priests are on the clock 24/7; call St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral, 310 W 2nd St., 329-2571. If you are merely in the midst of an existential spiritual crisis, you might as well talk to a bartender.
28. Fill a prescription: OK, in case you missed No. 15’s reference to 24-hour pharmacies in Reno-Sparks, here it is again: Rite Aid Pharmacies, 1410 E. Prater Way, Sparks, 355-0220; Sav-On, 680 N. McCarran Blvd., 359-6808; Walgreen Drug Stores, 750 N. Virginia St., 337-8700, 3495 S. Virginia St., 824-0800.
29. Go bowling: Ever wake up late at night, jonesing, caught up in a hurricane of ideas, one thought keeping you awake? Where can I go bowling? The Reno Hilton, 2500 E. Second St., 789-2285, has 50 lanes open at 3:30 a.m. It’s $2.50 a game, $3.50 for shoes. And it’s the only open-all-night bowling center in the Truckee Meadows.
30. Go swimming: There are only two places in town with 24-hour, 3:30 a.m. water sports: Sports West, 1575 S. Virginia St., 348-6666, is a members-only athletic club with a swimming pool, basketball, sauna, boxing room—you know the drill, like you’re going to work out at 3:30 a.m. 24-hour Fitness, 6155 Neil Road, another members-only spot, also has early-morning/late-night swimming some nights.
31. Work out: See No. 30. There’s also another 24-hour Fitness at 1595 Sky Mountain Drive.
32. Rent a DVD: A lot harder than you’d have guessed. There’s always the porn option from the usual outlets.
33. Get married: Peculiarly, you can’t. According to our sources, the Washoe County marriage license office is open only till midnight, and apparently the folks at those fabled wedding chapels get bored.
34. Get bail: Guess what? If you need bail, anytime day or night, Big Daddy’s Bail Bonds, 790 S. Virginia St., 337-9009, will answer the phone. On the other hand, if you have a phonebook handy, many of the local bondsmen claim 24-hour service.
35. Get a weekly newspaper: Little red box at the top of the steps, 708 N. Center St.
36. Get your eyes tested: Non-emergency? Fuhgedaboudit.
37. Get psychiatric help: Established patients can get 24-hour help from John Altrocchi, Ph.D., Nelson Bldg., 401 W. Second St., Suite 216, Reno. At least, that’s what it said on the Internet. For appointments, call 784-6388.
38. Get your toilet plunged: Too easy and too many to mention. Just look in the Yellow Pages under plumbers for “24 hour emergency service.” If you aren’t calling during banker’s hours, though, you’d better hope your credit card isn’t maxed out.
39. Get your colon cleansed: OK, we found a place a few miles east of Sparks, but it’s not what we were thinking, and the prices seem somewhat … restrictive.
40. Get room service: So you found a room, but it’s 3:30 in the morning, and your dogs are tired. Can you get room service at a time when even the early birds are going hungry? You can if you’re staying at the John Ascuaga’s Nugget, the Atlantis, the Eldo, Golden Phoenix, Harrah’s Reno, the Peppermill, Reno Hilton, the Siena or the Silver Legacy.
41. Get a tow: There are several towing companies that offer 24-hour service, but All Points Towing, 2801-B Vassar Street, 323-4002, picked up the phone. Again, you’re paying for your weird hours, and from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. there’s a $10 extra charge for towing (although the other services, like lockouts and jumpstarts, don’t increase in cost at night).
42. Practice your drums: Tired of those cranky phone calls from the neighbors? If you show up at Interpretive Gardens, 7777 White Fir St., 747-2222, with an African drum at 3:30 a.m. on the Saturday closest to the full moon between May and October, it’s a safe bet you’re going to be able to bang your drum. Call for dates.
43. Wash your dog: This was the Holy Grail of late-night things to do. Lots of rumors about a car wash off the Parr Boulevard exit on U.S. 395, behind Mac’s, that has an open-all-night bay strictly for pets, but alas the Tropical Carwash is closed from 11 p.m.-6 a.m.
44. Buy a birthday cake: Any all-night grocery with a bakery can probably offer this product, but there’s one tucked-away, 24-hour grocery store that’s worth mentioning: Albertson’s on 195 W. Plumb Lane, near Lakeside. Just ask a checker if you need help in the bakery. For you Sparkians, there’s always the Smith’s Food & Drug Center, 1255 Baring Blvd.
45. Send a singing telegram: Mark Taxer at Eastern Onion Singing Telegram Service, 2885 Kietzke Lane, 826-7070, says for the right price (basically, double regular rates), you can order a singing telegram to be delivered at any time; just remember to call during office hours, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. to schedule your graveyard performance. And they do have a Grim Reaper to sing.
46. Get your sweater dry-cleaned: Good luck. While there a few dry-cleaners around town that promise 24-hour service, open 24-hour dry cleaners are scarce as hen’s teeth.
47. Fast food: Got a hankerin’ for one of those big burgers that defy all logical attempts to keep a reasonable waistline? Two Jack in the Boxes, 410 Keystone Ave. and 655 E. Prater Way, will calm that rumbling in your tummy. And, yeah, we have to look up “ciabatta,” too.
48. Pawn your neighbor’s Xbox (with your neighbor, of course): Talk about a hole waiting to be filled. Our research did not yield a single place to unload your electronics at 3:30 a.m. … yet.
49. Save yourself (24-hour suicide prevention): Crisis Call Center, Reno, (800) 992-5757 or 784-8090.
50. Play darts and pool: Come on, be a little creative, will ya? Just drive down Virginia St. You could probably get a gin and tonic there, too.