Happy Birthday Louis - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Happy Birthday Louis

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When you step inside Louis Basque Corner on a Thursday afternoon and find the place completely packed, you know it's for a special occasion.

"Thank you," Louis Erriguible tells a patron. "Thank you very much."

August 25, 2016 was Louis' 90th birthday.
 
"I'm still alive," he tells another patron. He is still alive, and undeniably loved. 
 
"A man with this much love, could have no less than what is going on here today," said Michael Perry, a family friend. 

Louis' Basque Corner opened in 1967. "The first night, we sold 300 dinners," Louis remembers. 

The restaurant and bar pays homage to his Basque heritage. However, it has become a fixture itself in Northern Nevada. 

"Louis Basque Corner is part of being home," said Chris Healy, who came to wish Louis a happy birthday. 
 
Louis left his home and came to the United States on a sheep herders contract in 1948. He camped in Dayton Valley. "He worked out there three straight days, 14 hours a day," his daughter, Margi Silonis tells us. "He'd never seen 10 sheep in his life."
 
Needless to say, it didn't go well. In fact, when he needed to go to Bridgeport for more herding... "He said, 'no. I'm not going," Margi laughed. 
   
"I refused," remembered Louis. Instead, he got a restaurant job in Reno. "In 1948, I ended up in this town over here," he said."Ever since, I liked this town."  Twenty years later, he opened a restaurant of his own.  
 
"He was here for 43 years and everyone of the people in this place are special to him," said Margi. Special is an understatement. The people who came adore Louis. 
 
"He is an establishment," said Lynne Heydon of Reno. "He's the Basque world for Northern Nevada."
 
"He's a first class man and he treats people well," said Peter Duffy of Manchester, who first came to the University of Nevada on a track scholarship. Duffy remembers the several meals Louis gave him and his wife when he first moved here. 
 
Because Louis is that special of a guy, they didn't sing happy birthday to him once, not twice, but three times... all in different languages. 
 
"What a tribute, what an honor at 90-years-old to have this many people who love him," said Perry. "You only love if you've loved others. Louis is the man."

Louis Basque Corner is located at the intersection of Fourth Street and Evans Ave in Reno.  

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