94 W. Railroad Street
The original portion of this structure was built as a dwelling in 1878. For several years a hay & lumber yard operated behind the home. Eventually the structure became annexed rooming for the Lafayette Hotel which was located two buildings to the right. Then in 1912, Alfonso Pasquale, who owned both the annexed rooming house and its neighboring stone structure, made improvements to the rooming house and opened "Roman House". It is speculated that the phallic-patterned pressed tin still present in the building today came from this era.
In 1915, A. Martin and his family arrived in Winnemucca and leased the property on Railroad Street from Alfonso Pasquale. On December 25, 1915, they held a grand opening for their restaurant, which occupied the stone building next to the rooming house. The Martin Family was only in Winnemucca for a short time, as they left for California due to Mr. Martin's declining health in 1917. Pasquale then leased the property in early 1919 to the Quilici Brothers, who opened an Italian restaurant called 'El Trovatore' in the Martin's former restaurant.
In August 1919, a massive fire swept the block, destroying the Lafayette Hotel, the Quilici's El Trovatore, and severely damaging the rooming house on the corner. The stone walls of the restaurant prevented the fire from spreading and fully engulfing the wooden rooming house. While the restaurant next door was destroyed in the fire, the rooming house was salvaged and reopened as "The Martin Hotel & Restaurant". Over the years it has been leased, owned, and operated by several different individuals, but the name hasn't changed. Today, there are no longer any rooms to rent, but the restaurant on the main floor continues to serve delicious family style Basque meals and those renowned picons.Read More