Going mobile

Ryan Gold

Photo By brad bynum

The owners of two of Reno’s most popular bars, Imperial Bar & Lounge and Lincoln Lounge, have a new venture: Calvin’s Sausages, a truck with a mobile kitchen that serves Lincoln Lounge during Aces baseball games and tours local bars at night looking for hungry folks. To rendezvous with Calvin’s Sausages, call 762-9808 or follow twitter.com/calvinssausages.

Who’s Calvin?

We were at my business partner Ravi [Anne’s] house in San Francisco, and he was having a party. I was giving one of the guests a tour of the house, and there’s this giant, old painting from the late 1800s, and just kind of tongue-in-cheek jokingly I said, “And that’s Ravi’s uncle Calvin.” Ever since then it’s been Uncle Calvin. We walk by Uncle Calvin and scream profanities at him. We all dislike Uncle Calvin—but really we like him. So when we were thinking of a name for the sausages, we were like, Uncle Calvin! … And there’s a big painting of Calvin on the truck [hand painted by Made for Glory Sign Company], and anyone can feel free to yell at Calvin.

Why a truck?

We wanted to be able to serve food at Lincoln [Lounge]. Obviously, open kitchens are really expensive, and trucks are much less expensive. In order to have one of those trucks, you have to have a commercial kitchen, which we have [at Imperial]. You have to have a commercial kitchen to receive food, to prep it, and store it properly.

As we were brainstorming how we wanted to do [food at Lincoln], we were like, we should just get one of those trucks, a mobile kitchen, and that way we can do it at Lincoln and then drive it around and go bar to bar. And that’s the plan—at Lincoln for baseball games, or at Lincoln for a little while in the evenings, and then we’re going to go to all the bars that say it’s cool. … Chapel says it’s cool. St. James says it’s cool. Everyone’s like, “Yeah, sure, why not? Everyone’s going to stay at our bars and eat food.”

The mobile kitchen thing is a huge trend in the country right now, because it’s low overhead, and you’re going out to where the people are. It’s by no means a huge money maker, it’s just something rad and cool that we wanted to do. …

It has its own number; it has a cell phone. So you could text and say, “There’s 10 of us at Chapel right now, and we’re hungry.” And we’ll bolt over there.

Or … Twitter’s a big part of this. We’ll tweet our route for the night. It might be different every night. ‘OK, we’ll be at Lincoln till 7. We’ll be at St. James at 8.’ We’ll keep everyone posted. There’s no set structure. We’re going to try to get menus at the bars, with the phone number, and again, if you call and say we’ve got a bunch of people, and we’re hungry, then we’ll bolt over, because it’s mobile.

Tell me about the food.

We’ve got six sausages locally made from the Sausage Factory in Carson City, all real good, quality product. We’re using a really light, fluffy, Vietnamese baguette for the buns, and we do free toppings—sauerkraut, peppers or sautéed onions. We also have a a vegan kielbasa. The whole thing is all quality ingredients. We’re doing Imperial’s fries with a choice of the aiolis, and then we’re doing spicy falafel. We’re making the falafel balls fresh with a Tzatziki slaw and a harissa, a spicy Mediterranean spread.