The Corkscroo has taken over the space once occupied by the Breakaway, an infamous college bar where I spent more time than in actual class when I was a student at the University of Nevada, Reno. My friend Casey—who I actually met at the Breakaway—and I went to have some drinks and dinner and check out the place. The Corkscroo occupies the top floor of the old Breakaway, while a bookstore has taken over the basement area.
Walking in, the space has changed a lot, and by that I mean it’s no longer the disgusting, vomit-stained bar it once was. There are still tables in the entry and the bar in the back, but the pool table has been replaced by modern booths. The bar is very dark, with low lighting, but also very clean, and flat screen TVs hang on the walls. Casey and I sat at the bar, just like old times, and ordered some Ickys ($4). The main difference being this time we could afford to drink something decent and were of actual age to do so.
The menu offered choices from breakfast items to standard bar items like sandwiches and burgers. The menu, like the name of the place, spells everything wacky. The friendly, attractive bartender explained this is because the owners wanted to show that nothing here is taken too seriously.
Casey and I started with the Not Yo Chips ($4.50): crisp, thick tortilla chips with a generous portion of warm and spicy nacho cheese and a side of sour cream. I’m not usually a huge fan of nacho cheese, but this really seemed to work well, all thanks to the chips. For entrées, I ordered the Tempura BLT ($7.50), which came with deep-fried tomatoes, bacon, lettuce and orange aioli on a hoagie roll. Two large, fried tomato slices gave this sandwich an interesting flavor and the fried tomato texture went well with the crispy bacon. The orange aioli also brought out the fried tomatoes but needed more garlic, as it bordered on being too citrusy. Overall, I really liked this sandwich and would definitely order it again.
Casey ordered the North Beach burger ($7.75), a garlic and blue cheese burger. The burger was huge and incredibly moist, with each bite releasing an explosion of garlic, blue cheese and meat. The bun was thick, which it needed to be to keep everything in place and also absorbed the blue cheese and garlic, which gave it another layer of flavor. This burger was far beyond what I expected from a bar burger. Both our dishes came with fries, which unfortunately needed to be crispier but were thick, home-cut and had a good layer of salt.
The place started to fill up as the night went on. Most people coming in commented on how nice it looked, then began to share stories of past nights there when it was the Breakaway, which ranged from being arrested to hanging out with the strippers who came there after their shifts. Oh college, how I miss you! The Corkscroo made me nostalgic for the days when my biggest worry was whether my class schedule would allow me to make it to happy hour. UNR is starting back up soon, so for all you college kids out there, get yourself to the Corksroo and keep the tradition alive. For everyone else, this food is above average bar food, so definitely give it a try.