Reno, NV 89501
There was a bit of buzz around town that the owner of a favorite old stomping ground had opened a new high-tech restaurant downtown. Desperate to see if it was true that even the staff of a certain local alt-weekly could afford a lunch at what used to be a very upscale (read expensive) spot on Virginia Street, and up against deadline, an email press release inspired a phone call. Nate Lance’s new restaurant is called Amendment 21 Grill and Sports Bar, opens daily at 11 a.m., and no reservations are required. For more info, call 786-0808.
What made you want to open a new restaurant at 425 S. Virginia St.?
I’ve always loved this restaurant. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the space, but it’s absolutely gorgeous inside here.
What was in the space before?
There was a series of restaurants before we got here, but probably the most famous were the Board of Trade and Adele’s. Those had the most staying power. … I’m a big fan of downtown redevelopment, so that was another reason I wanted to come into this space.
And where did you work before?
I owned a little college bar for 10 years called the Beer Barrel.
Oh, no kidding.
And after that closed, I opened the BrewHouse, and that’s it.
How’s the reaction here so far?
Everyone loves the place so far. We’ve had a very warm response from the surrounding business community and from the neighborhood.
Could you characterize the food? You don’t have to read the menu, but just an idea.
Absolutely. It’s kind of sports bar meets fine casual dining. We’ve got everything from steak to chicken wings to pizza.
What’s with the high-tech aspect of your restaurant?
We’ve got free wifi and all our TVs are integrated so that you can come in and you can click images up, pull the internet up on any of the TVs, play Xbox on any of the TVs.
How many TVs do you have?
We have seven 50-inch screens and one 100-inch screen.
What type of crowd do you get? Is it college kids or a more upscale crowd?
We don’t consider ourselves upscale at all. One thing that this location has always had a problem with is it was too upscale. You couldn’t get out of here for lunch without spending 50 bucks. The most expensive thing on our menu is 15 bucks, so we’re definitely not a fine-dining restaurant. Our crowds so far have been a lot of young professionals. Our lunch crowd is a lot of professionals from around this building—lawyers, accountants and federal employees, because we’re right across from the federal building. In the evening, a lot of professionals, then late at night, it turns a little younger. I wouldn’t characterize them as college kids, but it is a younger crowd.
Kind of that urban hip crowd?
Exactly, it is that kind of restaurant. We put in that kind of music and we have that kind of feel in here.
Where did Amendment 21 come from?
The 21st Amendment was the one that repealed Prohibition and made it legal to drink again.
I guess that’s about it.
Hey, you know that wasn’t 15 minutes. I feel you robbed me of eight minutes.