Tell me wifi

We check out some of the locally owned businesses that offer up free wireless internet access

Patrons can munch on fresh pastries and sandwiches while using the free wifi at 5th Street Bakehouse.

Patrons can munch on fresh pastries and sandwiches while using the free wifi at 5th Street Bakehouse.

Photo By misty Kinser

There are those who have advanced into the technological age with grace and ease. Others are still clawing at the ledge of paper, pen and landline. Lastly are the folks who have yet to make adjustments for simple conveniences, such as installing a router for internet use in their own home. I am among this last breed. Even after drawing out my bachelor’s degree for more than six years, I have always depended on cafes for people watching and free wifi (wireless internet access). My work still requires my presence in front of a computer and, rather than making my life easier and working in the luxury of my pajamas, I continue to force myself to get up, get presentable, and leave my home to check email and the weather forecast.

Reno’s options for internet cafes have increased in the last few years, with more places springing up all over and offering much more than free wifi. Many cafes seem to be following a hidden template featuring local art, live music, locally roasted coffee and tasty snacks to keep you fueled throughout your visit. Listed below are some old and new locations where you can temporarily situate your home office away from home.

Hi-Point Coffee and Café

1655 Robb Drive, 787-2477

Under new ownership, Walden’s still has good food, coffee, free wifi and is bringing back its locally loved open mic nights.

Photo By misty Kinser

Colorful creations from local artists adorn the walls at Hi-Point Café. A corner shelf is stuffed with books and games. Small tables are covered with chalk tablecloths and a jar of chalk. It’s great for doodlers and perfect for distracting children when you’re trying to have a conversation and need to bring the litter along. Owner Sarah Toney says she has been told numerous times her café is one of the few places where kids can be occupied while their parents enjoy a break. Hi-Point offers pastries, sandwiches, fruit smoothies and, of course, coffee and tea. Everything is made on-site, which is comforting for those with food allergies. Open a year, Toney has her café bustling with events, from open mic nights and book clubs to Sunday brunches with a three-course menu. Events are posted on Facebook and their website. Deep- dish veggie quiche with homemade apple turkey sausage, anyone?

Cyber Infusion Café

33 St. Lawrence Ave., 384-3113

Hi-Point Coffee and Cafe is kid-friendly and features coffee, tea and food.

Photo By misty Kinser

Need a place with free wifi that’s open late? How about one with beer, wine and wraps? Oh, and a lot of space? This place is it. With couches, lots of tables with dividing walls to create privacy, Cyber Infusion is an option for those who need to get stuff done late. Most nights it is open until 11 p.m. It’s also a great place to also have a late night snack or catch local bands. Cyber Infusion is a true internet café. Computers occupy one corner and, for a small fee, are available for you to go online, check email or print something. Printing! These guys also have office space available to rent if you’re from out of town, and owner Brian Depew offers services as a web designer. Check out their online calendar for some fun events this summer, including movie nights, live music and horseshoe pits.

5th Street Bakehouse

953 W. Fifth St., 323-1885

This isn’t just another cute coffee shop with free internet. Every food item on the menu is made from scratch. When a customer requested breakfast burritos, owner and chef Dan Carter came up with his own flatbread recipe.

Of Bibo Coffee Company’s three locations, the one on Liberty Street is the only one with free wifi.

Photo By misty Kinser

“If I don’t make it, we don’t have it,” he says. The menu draws from Carter’s Latin American upbringing merged with culinary training in Napa, Calif. The result? Menu items that demand to be tried—habañero ice cream, for example. The wifi is free, it’s right off the freeway, close to the University of Nevada, Reno and family owned and operated. If the alluring aromas of the chipotle chicken sandwich with Anaheim pepper relish, ham and cheese croissants and roasted potato buns don’t grab you, get your nose checked.

Bibo Coffee Company

50 W. Liberty St., 329-3322

While owners Paul and Debbie Martin have three locations, Bibo II on Liberty is the only one with wifi. It’s a perfect option for wifi services due to the many businesses surrounding the café. Local architect Jack Hawkins is responsible for the angular, urban design of both this place and the Mt. Rose Street location. Huge windows emphasize the open space inside, making it a great option for business meetings. Bibo-a-Go-Go coffee carriers make it the place you need to stop not only for your own daily cup, but also if you need coffee for a meeting or group of people, available in 96 oz or 128 oz. With the convenient downtown location, there are no excuses for stopping at a chain coffeehouse. These locals offer great coffee, friendly staff and tasty quiche and baked goodies from Truckee Bagel Company.

Walden’s Coffee House

3940 Mayberry Drive, 787-3307

Longer summer days mean longer summer hours at this long-time locals’ favorite. New owners Melissa Townsend and Ron Griffin have been trying to maintain and enhance that status. Walden’s offers a little bit of everything: good food, free wifi, great coffee, local art, beer and wine. The garden patio is one of the best spots for enjoying Reno’s cool summer nights with friends. Remember the bumping open mic nights they used to have? Well, they’re bringing them back with the help of Reno Music Project, Saturday nights at 7 p.m. Lots of tables and power outlets ensure you needn’t worry about settling down with your computer or getting a table to chat with friends. Look for some new menu items coming up featuring vegetarian and vegan options. Check out their website and Facebook page for news and upcoming events.