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By FREDA MOON
Published: October 15, 2013, New York Times
Photo by: Frank Haxton

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As Nevada’s second city, Reno was once a boomtown of gambling, vice and quickie divorces. The city struggled as tribal casinos proliferated in neighboring California in the last decade, sapping the demand for just-across-state-lines slot machines and blackjack tables. Never as cosmopolitan as its “Biggest Little City” motto suggests, Reno has long had a night life dominated by second-rate casinos, strip clubs and the diviest of dive bars. Those days, however, are disappearing.

Nowhere is that change more apparent than in the Midtown District, a modest neighborhood south of downtown where a half-dozen new lounges, gastro pubs, craft breweries and cocktail bars have recently opened. In a city notorious for wicked night life, this generation of businesses represents a continuation of a boozy after-dark tradition and a break from Reno’s seedy past. This Midtown, as such, has existed for only a handful of years. Previously, the district was known as the Bungalow District for its many small Craftsman homes. But the area, like Reno itself, battled a sleazy reputation.

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