A shock went through the city when the word came down that Satellite Bar, 188 California Ave., was closing. Another shockwave followed not far behind when word spread that it was going to reopen with new owners, and its name was going to be the Biggest Little City Club with lifelong Renoites Brian Egan and Brian Ligon as owners. The bar had its soft opening on March 10 and will be generally open daily at 3 p.m.
Have you ever owned a bar before?
Nope. Worked in bars when I was down in San Diego, as has my partner, Brian Ligon. He worked a bar and ran a bar in Omaha. He’s kind of managed one in Virginia City for a while. We consider ourselves experts by hanging out in bars way too much.
Why would people know your name?
Both Brian and I were raised here in Reno. We actually met in kindergarten at Roy Gomm Elementary School, where we had our first lemonade stand. He lived up the street from me, so we’ve been doing business together for a long time. Reno’s a small town, and we both know a lot of people from going through the school system here. He’s in business with his dad, C & L Coatings, and I’m in business with my dad and my brother at Egan Commercial Real Estate. We’re both active and involved in the community. Why, do you know my name?
Yeah, weren’t you in a band
like 15-20 years ago?
I played around with some of the musicians here around town or out of town now, some who stuck with it. I’ve played with a lot of them. … It was just for fun, I’ve never been in too serious a band.
How old are you?
You bought the Satellite and changed the name, how’d that come about?
I know the previous owner, and I’m pretty good friends with the first owners, Noel and Jessica. I always loved it. When it opened up, it was the hippest thing, and it kind of brought a new face to California Avenue. It was a new type of product. Along the lines of what Silver Peak did downtown, it showed that businesses were going to be successful in this kind of neighborhood. Both Brian and I knew Andy—I think since grade school. He’d been trying to sell it for a while, and we talked about how we could do it, and about the beginning of the year we got serious and did a quick little deal. Brian and I had ratcheted on a couple locations over the last several years, but we just never pulled the trigger. This location is so killer. In my opinion, it’s the best corner in downtown Reno. The bar’s not huge but I’m big-time invested in California Avenue. … I love California Avenue. I think it’s the best street in town. Real up and coming—boutique shopping, food and bars, and I think we are just at a really good time. All Satellite needed was to get rebranded, have a new face, do something new. The first person to agree with me or even to put those words in my mouth was Noel, who originally created it.
What are you going to do with it?
[We’re going to make a] scene that’s a little more timeless, a little more classic. I think it’s slightly more upscale than Satellite was when we got it. We definitely have cleaned it up a bunch. I think people will be impressed. It’s going to be cocktail-focused again. And a we’ve got great staff. Everyone on staff is top-notch, very professional.
Anyone who worked there before?
One person who worked there before. I think a lot of people will be happy that Brooke Christopher is still bartending.
Oh, Brookie’s still there, great!
Yeah, I wanted to hang on to Brooke. I think she’s an asset. We also have Anna Remaklus. Her sister Kadie helped us design the place. She owns KDesign. We also have Erin Sweeny. Brian and I are also going to hop behind the bar sometimes. We wanted to have employees who are really good at what they do.