Our History

The Grill at Quail Corners is owned by 5th Generation Nevadans. This Reno restaurant is family-owned and locally-owned. Following is a little bit about our restaurant and distiller roots, but if you ever want to learn more come in and meet the family at The Grill at Quail Corners.

Eli Francovich Started A Family Tradition

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As a young man in 1850, our great, great grandfather, Eli Francovich, migrated to California from Petrovac, Yugoslavia during the early gold strike in the Mother Lode. In 1859, he moved to Reno, Nevada. As one of Reno’s early settlers, he built the Wine House, one of Nevada’s first restaurants and bars. The Wine House became Reno’s leading gathering spot for locals and visitors. It was in the heart of downtown and the perfect place to share a meal with friends and guests. The Wine House operated continuously for 87 years and boasted Nevada’s earliest liquor and gambling licenses and was also Nevada’s first multi-story casino.

Eli, Spiro and their Decendents Kept the Tradition Alive

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Eli, his son Spiro, and ultimately Spiro’s children operated the Wine House for 87 years. In 1957, the restaurant passed to the 4th generation, who ultimately closed the business to pursue other interests. Sam Francovich, a 5th generation Nevadan, returned the family to its restaurant and bar roots, when he opened The Grill at Quail Corners. The Wine House was very successful and allowed the 3rd generations oldest son, Sam Francovich to build a mansion, which is on the national register of historic buildings and is known as The Francovich House. The Francovich House is one of two brick Queen Anne structures in the western United States, which makes it architecturally significant and historically important.

A Break in Restaurants, but not Nog

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Our father, Samuel Boyd Francovich, was a Navy Aviator Lieutenant during World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroic accomplishments at the battle of Samar Island on October 25, 1944. He opted for a career in law, serving as Reno’s City Attorney in the 1950’s instead of pursuing the family’s restaurant business. One of the traditions at The Wine House was to produce Francovich Holiday Nog, a spirited eggnog served during the holidays. Although Sam closed The Wine House, he did keep the tradition of making Holiday Nog alive. His children, Sam, Debbie, and Jeff brought this beverage to the market in 1999, and is enjoyed by all the citizens of Nevada and California today. In addition to Holiday Nog, the family also produces a ready to drink Manhattan cocktail, which is also sold commercially.

The Grill Takes the Family Back to it's Roots

In 1999, Sam Francovich opened The Grill at Quail Corners. The Grill has brought the family back to its roots, and prides itself on serving wonderful food by people who care.