Carson company purchases Little Waldorf Saloon near university

A Carson City company announced Monday it purchased a landmark Reno bar and restaurant adjacent to the University of Nevada, Reno campus.

The SES Nevada purchase of the Little Waldorf Saloon may be the first of many acquisitions set to roll out this year, according to a company director.

A company member declined to give the purchase price. The saloon's last sale was in 2002 for about $1 million. SES Nevada also owns Red's Old 395 Grill in Carson City.

Commonly known as The Wal, the 1661 N. Virginia St. restaurant is a famous stomping ground for students and some of Northern Nevada's most influential leaders during the football season.

A new facade and some interior improvements have already been completed.

When renovations are completed in July the name of the restaurant will change to Red's Little Waldorf Saloon. Premium spirits and barbecue items popular at Red's, 1055 S. Carson St., were added to the Waldorf's menu.

"These are just the first of many improvements we're making to the building, the menu, the bar and the service," said Mark Schloss, SES Nevada director of operations.

"We're staying open during our renovations so our guests can watch our progress and provide suggestions on improvements. We want to give our guests the ability to improve their saloon."

SES Nevada took over ownership of the business Monday. The company owners have a combined experience of more than 75 years in operating bars/restaurants across the country, many near university campuses.

They focus on authentic decor complimented by its food, large beer selection, premium liquors and service, according to a company press release. The Wal will have authentic, Nevada-specific memorabilia.

The Waldorf, built in 1982, is a 6,628-square-foot building located on a little more than half an acre. Jane and Lewis Chatelle, of Reno, bought The Wal from Rookies Two LLC in July 2002 for about $1 million, according to Washoe County assessor records. The Chatelles formed JZLC LLC, which sold the business to the Carson City-based company. Its members are Albert Etringer, of Santa Monica, Calif.; and Jack Sterling, of Chico, Calif.

Originally opened in the early 1920s by Charles Meyers, the Little Waldorf has had several locations in Reno, including Fifth Street and another location on North Virginia Street according to research conducted by State Archivist Guy Rocha.

It's been a famous drinking location since.

While creating the initial renovation plans, the owners held a series of focus groups with community members, university undergraduate and graduate students, university faculty and staff.

Sterling said these focus groups helped the company determine what it needs to do to meet the customers' needs. He said this is the first of multiple acquisitions that will be announced in 2006, but he declined to elaborate on those projects.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.


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