What a wild and harrowing ride. I hope the new year allows us all a permanent leap off this pandemic roller coaster.
Until our local food-and-drink community is back to 100 percent operation, business owners will have to continue relying on their ingenuity and creativity. For instance, I marvel at the cleverness and imagination that have gone into crafting COVID-19-compliant and comfortable outdoor dining and drinking spaces. It appears to be the advantage that restaurant and bar owners need right now.
Some people are pouring more than $10,000 into their outdoor venues, as T. Duncan Mitchell did with his Von Bismarck restaurant in Reno. He tented the entire area and added wood-burning fireplaces inside. Owners of FUMO in Incline Village installed two “snow-globes,” which look like plastic geodesic domes and seat six customers each. Other restaurant and bar owners have added gas fire pits, outdoor heaters, umbrellas, and covers to their decks and patios. Some owners are just encouraging customers to bring their puffy coats, cozy blankets, and Battle Born and Golden State hearty spirits and brace for the cold. Luckily, our signature sunny skies and high elevation will help keep us warm while we dine and imbibe outside. For more details, read our story on the topic.
To support locals offering interesting drinks around the region we offer you great inspiration: a fun list of extraordinary drink experiences. Ethiopian coffee ceremony? Check. Flaming cocktail served tableside. You got it. Lake Tahoe wine cruise? Indeed. Drag queen bingo? We have that, too. With so many choices in our region, we couldn’t include every fabulous drink and drinking experience. Even though it’s not a comprehensive list, I hope you enjoy what we have included.
Please note: With the pandemic shutdowns and restrictions, we can’t guarantee that all of our recommendations will be available in January and February. We hope that you will work your way through this list when they are accessible, and return again and again to support these and other local businesses.
I know it’s been rough, but our food-and-drink community will persevere. And we are here to support restaurant and bar owners, brewers, distillers, farmers, and more in any and all ways that we can. But we can’t do it alone. They need your support, too. Please get out and buy a cocktail for one or three, a glass of local beer or a keg, and a bottle or a case.
Here’s to much better times in 2021.
About the Cover Dianne Charvat, maitre d’ at The Steak House at Western Village in Sparks, makes a tableside flaming cocktail, Coffee Diablo. Photo by Candice Vivien
Clarification In the Nov./Dec. edition’s story on local makers, Dreams to Reality Pottery’s website was not written correctly. Its website is Dtrpottery.com. We regret the error.