The rumors about Pignic Pub & Patio’s death have been greatly exaggerated. After a brief dust-up with the Washoe County Health Department late last year, there were rumors that the popular bar and grill had been permanently shuttered. But nope, the Health Department had expressed some concerns, the business made some tweaks to its standard operating procedures, and the grills were back up and running.
The concept for the business is unusual, so maybe it’s that surprising that the Health Department had some concerns. Essentially, Pignic has grills available where customers can cook their own meat.
“What it came down to was tracking the source of the food,” said co-owner Ryan Goldhammer. “The big thing for [the health department] was, ’Where does this food come from? How old is it?’”
The new regulations for the business require that customers bring their food in original packaging from a store or a licensed meat processing place, like Sierra Meat & Fish. If customers want to add a marinade before grilling, they must now do it on site—rather than doing it at home beforehand. Those are the only main changes to the business’s operating procedures.
And, now, grilling season is upon us.
“Sharing food and drink and music is what brings people together,” Goldhammer said. He sees Pignic as a place for people to host parties. “You come here. You do your thing. You throw all your dirty dishes in the bus tub—we wash the dishes. You don’t have to buy charcoal or pay to maintain the grills.”
The grill yard has six grills. There also prepping and hand-washing stations, refrigerators and stovetop burners. Grill users sign a safety release waiver and there’s a grill yard attendant on hand to answer questions and make sure everyone is using the equipment safely. (Goldhammer and co-owner Trevor Leppek are happy to report there have been zero injuries in the three-and-a-half years they’ve been open.)
The bar’s cozy, living-room-like front room has become a regular destination for fans of unplugged music. Musician Glynn Osburn hosts an open mic night every Tuesday with free pizza from sister business Noble Pie Parlor. There’s also a variety of monthly events. And the first weekend of May will feature a few special events. On May 5, the bar will host I’d Hit That Dos, a Cinco De Mayo celebration featuring live mariachi music by Trio Bossanova, grub from Battle Born Food Truck and Catering, and adults-only pinatas filled with candy, booze and other prizes. (The event name, in case you’re confused, refers to pinatas.)
May 6, from noon to 7 p.m. Pignic will host its “Grilling and Chilling” spring season opener, co-sponsored by Sierra Meat & Seafood and Great Basin Community Food Co-op, which will provide meat. “It will be a really cool, fun day—a nice hangover day for all our Cinco De Mayo friends,” Goldhammer said.
But the biggest news of all for Pignic is that Revision Brewing Company is going to partner with the business and plans to open a taproom in the upstairs portion of the pub later this summer. Revision’s hop-heavy brews are popular throughout the region.
“They’re one of the raddest up-and-coming breweries—not just in Northern Nevada, but probably in the entire Pacific Northwest, so we’re really excited about that,” Goldhammer said.