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BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Pepe Robertson talks to guests at Cafe Del Rio in Virginia City recently. Cafe owners Brian and Ardi Shaw have invested two years of work and nearly $500,000 to make this 1873 building structurally sound and turn the former first-floor auto shop into an attractive restaurant.

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To operate, you must renovate

VIRGINIA CITY - The second floor of 394 S. C St. hasn't changed much from the time when miners and laborers boarded beneath its roof. The spectral space has uneven and creaky floors and it traps in an old, musty smell.

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