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The Cutest Town In Nevada: Genoa

The Genoa Bar and Saloon in Genoa, Nevada. The bar says it is the state's oldest thirst parlor since 1853.
Courtesy: Genoa Bar & Saloon

The Genoa Bar and Saloon in Genoa, Nevada. The bar says it is the state's oldest thirst parlor since 1853.

It might be a little silly. But a website named, has published a list of “The Cutest Town in Every U.S. State.”

Of course, we immediately scrolled down the list to Nevada. And there it was: Genoa (by the way it is pronounced, JEN-oh-uh), near Lake Tahoe at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

We wanted to know more about Genoa. So, we called - what else -  the local watering hole, the Genoa Bar and Saloon. It's probably the best known bar in Genoa, and known as the oldest bar in the state. It opened in 1853. 

“There’s nothing like it,” Ellie McIntire-Webb is a bartender and daughter of the owners Willy and Cindy Webb. “We have a very rich history here and a lot of original buildings.”

McIntire-Webb pours at Genoa Bar & Saloon

Webb said about 400 people live in the tiny, but historic town. But because of its history and cuteness, a lot of tourists stop by the bar. 

Genoa has been used as a backdrop to several films, including "Misery" starring Kathy Bates and James Caan. 

Webb told us the story of one celebrity stopover:

“Raquel Welch came in in the 80s. And at the time, it was tradition for women to leave their bras hanging all over the bar and when she came in, someone asked her if she would leave her bra. And she said half kidding, ‘I will, if it’s the only one that hangs here ever again.’ So, they just stared ripping bras down right and left as fast as they could. So, she had to honor that agreement and she did. She left her signature leopard-print style bra hanging on one of our deer antlers on the wall and it is still there today”

There is also interest in the town because of its Old West legacy, which includes a hanging tree that still stands:

“Apparently, the man who was hung he hid in the bar and the townspeople were looking for him. He had shot a beloved town member in the back and it enraged the locals. They drug him out of the bar. Hung him on the hanging tree outside and that was a very long time ago”

“We had some ghost investigators come into the bar, set up all their recording equipment at 4 in the morning when everything was really quiet. And we asked if that man was still here and a woman’s voice on the recording said ‘he is forgiven’ and I just thought that was a really cool answer”




Ellie McIntire-Webb, bartender at the Genoa (NV) Bar and Saloon, and the daughter of the bar's owners Willy and Cindy Webb

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Since June 2015, Fred has been a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada.