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

Few places in Reno have stood the check of time within the bar trade just like the nook of California Avenue and Plumas Avenue. For nearly 20 years, folks have identified they’ll depend on exhibiting up on Saturday evening to drink and dance the evening away.

The Loving Cup is the newest of the three bars which have inhabited 188 California Ave., and it will likely be celebrating its ninth yr this yr. Conserving a enterprise—particularly one whose rhythms vibrate on the frequency of youthful vitality—open for 9 years isn’t any simple job. I sat down with certainly one of The Loving Cup’s homeowners, 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 title of the joint comes from the traditional Rolling Stones track. Bars specializing in music programming bought hit doubly arduous throughout and after the pandemic shutdowns, however as folks slowly inched their approach out of their properties and returned to bars, the venue began filling up.

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

Bringing again the vitality and enjoyable of a venue like The Loving Cup might 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 Women, which might play 1,200-person venues, cease in Reno to play on the intimate bar, with ticket costs that typically go as little as $5.

“It’s particular for us,” Barnato stated. “It’s the vibe; lots of the bands, we’ve supported from the start. Proper after they go away, these bands are reserving again into Reno as quickly as doable.”

Whereas music will be 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 nicely executed,” Barnato stated with pleasure. You possibly can take pleasure in a glass of WhistlePig Black Prince with a can of Hamm’s whereas listening to Reno’s longest-running jazz evening.

The long run is brilliant for The Loving Cup, which is now open seven days per 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 maintain the vitality going.

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