Some Art with your Car Repair in Reno
Here's a combination you probably haven't heard of before: an auto repair shop-slash-art gallery. The where, and the why behind Reno's "CoAuto."
We had to go to the street with all things funky for this one. For true commercial oddity, it's hard to beat Dickerson Road in west Reno. This former industrial street sends out an unusual vibe. And at CoAuto, do more people come in for the art gallery, or to have their car fixed? Co-owner Vinnie Lucido told us, "I would say to have their car repaired, but they get sidetracked with the art gallery."
It is offbeat. But if you're going to set up shop there, it almost has to be. Right between the spaceship-adorned metal art factory and Wedge Ceramics…which is open pretty much when they want…sits Vinnie Lucido's CoAuto. As Vinnie says, “We're on Dickerson Road, so why wouldn't you want to incorporate local art?"
Yes, you really have to have art if you're on Dickerson Road, even if you're an auto repair shop. And adding car repair is not a bad idea at all. The concept has been working at CoAuto for 4 years. Today (Wednesday), the service bays were full and the parking lot was packed…some for the art, some for car repair. As Vinnie told us, “People who walk in are confused. They think they walked in the wrong door. We have these windows that look into the garage so they feel like 'OK I'm in the right place, but...is this the...auto shop?’"
And Vinnie hates blank walls. Besides the murals surrounding technicians in the workshop, drivers on west Fourth can't miss co-auto's "yellow brick road," painted by local artist Asa Kennedy. Vinnie does his art too. Meet Mr. and Mrs. Piston, made from parts from his car shop of course: "You know his hands move, his head moves, his torso moved, you could push him back and forth and he was on springs."
It all fits in with the creative/small business/hobbyist/artist identity that's taken over Dickerson. You won't see any chain stores here. Just shops like Vinnie’s that you won't find anywhere else. And if you drive on Dickerson, it’s a dead end: there's only one way in and one way out. You get to see it all twice.