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Basic on the rocks: The Loving Cup retains the dream of the early 2000s dance bar alive

3 min read

Few areas in Reno have stood the take a look at of time within the bar trade just like the nook of California Avenue and Plumas Avenue. For nearly twenty years, folks have recognized they will rely on exhibiting up on Saturday night time to drink and dance the night time away.

The Loving Cup is the latest of the three bars which have inhabited 188 California Ave., and it is going to be celebrating its ninth 12 months this 12 months. Holding a enterprise—particularly one whose rhythms vibrate on the frequency of youthful vitality—open for 9 years is not any straightforward activity. I sat down with considered one of The Loving Cup’s house owners, Pete Barnato, to speak about what it takes to maintain the dream of the early 2000s dance bar alive.

Music has all the time been on the coronary heart of The Loving Cup; heck, the identify of the joint comes from the traditional Rolling Stones music. Bars specializing in music programming bought hit doubly exhausting throughout and after the pandemic shutdowns, however as folks slowly inched their manner out of their properties and returned to bars, the venue began filling up.

“We’re returning to the unique vibe we meant,” Barnato mentioned. “We misplaced rather a lot in that interval, however we discovered rather a lot, and one of many issues we discovered was that we had a singular id in Reno.”

Bringing again the vitality and enjoyable of a venue like The Loving Cup will be difficult, however Barnato feels they’ve their groove again. One of many hallmarks of The Loving Cup is the extremely curated record of acts that come to play stay. Bands like Loss of life Valley Ladies, which might play 1,200-person venues, cease in Reno to play on the intimate bar, with ticket costs that generally go as little as $5.

“It’s particular for us,” Barnato mentioned. “It’s the vibe; lots of the bands, we now have supported from the start. Proper after they depart, these bands are reserving again into Reno as quickly as potential.”

Whereas music often is the lead singer at The Loving Cup, the drinks will all the time be the rhythm part. The again bar is an eclectic mixtape of extremely curated spirits, esoteric canned beers and dive-bar classics.

“We wish to run this like a high-end dive bar—constant, easy and really properly achieved,” Barnato mentioned with pleasure. You’ll be able to get pleasure from a glass of WhistlePig Black Prince with a can of Hamm’s whereas listening to Reno’s longest-running jazz night time.

The longer term is shiny for The Loving Cup, which is now open seven days every week. With the addition of late-night meals choices from the brand new Satisfaction Pizza, crowds have much more causes to cease and boogie. New musical acts, acquainted vinyl DJs and particular occasions like classic markets all preserve the vitality going.

“You might be consistently tweaking and progressing—however you all the time have your sound,” Barnato mentioned.

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