Spencer Hobson

Spencer Hobson, Hobson Square

Spencer Hobson was born in Reno, where his grandfather, Antonio Bevilacqua, emigrated from Italy. His family members owned several casino properties, including Virginia City’s Frontier Club and Reno’s Overland and Riverside Hotels. Spencer owns the Reno Brewing Company bottling plant building on East 4th Street, which his father purchased in 1956 after the brewery closed. He also discusses Reno’s Italian community and the urban renewal project that targeted homes north of East 4th Street in the 1960s. Photo by Patrick Cummings

Full Oral History Transcript

Interviewed in 2011, Spencer Hobson describes “riding the roof” and other ways he participated as a child in the house moving business run by his grandfather, Antonio Bevilacqua. Recorded by Alicia Barber.


Spencer Hobson describes some popular businesses that flourished in the vicinity of 4th Street during the U.S. 40 era, including Johnny’s Little Italy and the Subway Bar. Recorded by Alicia Barber.


Spencer Hobson recalls the diverse community of Italians and African Americans once populating the residential neighborhood north of East 4th Street before the onset of urban renewal in the 1960s. Recorded by Alicia Barber.


Spencer Hobson shares his understanding of why the area north of East 4th Street was targeted for urban renewal: to clear the land for a new convention center, a project that eventually was constructed on South Virginia Street. Recorded by Alicia Barber.


Spencer Hobson lists the businesses that operated in the historic Reno Brewing Company Bottling Plant, which he owns, from the time his father purchased the building in 1958 through 1989. Recorded by Alicia Barber.