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Business and Economy

The Basement: Touring Reno's New 'Hipster Mall'

An underground marketplace called The Basement has opened inside the historic 1933 post office in downtown Reno. Our reporter Rocio Hernandez took a tour of the renovated space and sends us this audio postcard. 

More than half a dozen shops are tucked between brick walls and under a maze of exposed pipes. I wander into Sugar Love Chocolates where store owner Krysta Bea Jackson is attending to new customers.

Jackson says her products are made from French and Belgium chocolate and natural ingredients such as fresh strawberries and pistachios. At least one customer is sold.

After the candy store, I head to what’s been deemed a modern apothecary called Pantry Vault with its aroma of flowers and herbs.

"It usually smells like lavender, geranium, roses and cloves, which is purely love."

That's employee Chris Thigpen. He says the Pantry Vault specializes in skin care, grooming and bathing products for adults, babies and even pets. While we are talking, a couple is drawn to the sweet smells of the shop.

Chocolatier Krysta Bea Jackson says The Basement has been a fun experiment. She's seen a good amount of foot traffic so far and expects even more after construction on the Virginia Street Bridge wraps up in April.

"Because all of the businesses have a slightly different flavor, we kind of add to each other," Jackson said, "so someone coming in here for the healthy, raw juice at the end will come down here and I feel like they 'retox' with my stuff. They have a few chocolates. So it's great to have a hipster mall experience for lack of a better quick term for it."

So what's next for The Basement? Shop owners tell me a salad bar and gym will be coming soon.

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