In 2016: “Mama” Inez Casale Stempeck at Casale’s Halfway Club: “In the early days it was hard work. Dishes by hand and we just worked all the time. I’m very, very proud. I would recommend the ravioli because they’re homemade from head to toe.” (Photo: Jason Bean/RGJ file)
Reno dining legend Inez Casale Stempeck of the Halfway Club died Saturday at 93. The restaurant’s Facebook page posted the news on Sunday.
“Our Mama Inez lived the most amazing life filled with family, friends, and the community that is our Halfway Club. She was a living example of the ‘greatest generation’ and we aspire to be just like her,” the post read, in part.
The Halfway Club said it plans to close on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday will mark the one-year anniversary of the City of Reno recognizing Casale’s Halfway Club Day.
“We believe there’s no more fitting tribute to Our Girl (especially in the time of COVID) than swinging by to pay your respects or honking as you drive past just like the old days,” the Facebook post continued. “We love you, SHE loved you, and we appreciate the family that is Casale’s now more than ever.”
The Reno-based restaurant has operated since 1937 in a number of formats, and has been known as Casale’s Market, the Halfway Club and, finally, Casale’s Halfway Club. Its menu was originally known for homemade ravioli, but later expanded to include spaghetti and other Italian dishes.
Guy Clifton wrote about the establishment’s history when Stempeck was honored by the Club of Nevada in 2014.
“The Halfway Club on East Fourth Street was the Casale family home when it started as a produce stand by John and Elvira Casale and later switched — by popular demand — to serving raviolis and other Italian dishes in 1937,” Clifton wrote.
The family used the name Halfway Club because, at the time, the location was halfway between Reno and Sparks along Fourth Street — the city’s former thoroughfare before Interstate 80.
Inez Stempeck’s 87th birthday:Remembering the iconic Mama Inez
The best thing about Casale’s Halfway Club: Raviolis, garlic bread and a hug from Mama Inez
In 2013, Stempeck received a Lifetime Achievement Award from then-Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. Casale’s Halfway Club was honored as the oldest continuously family-run restaurant in Reno.
This story will be updated.
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