Having grown up in this town, I’ve always taken the glut of casinos, bars and other watering holes for granted, assuming every city prioritized it’s nightlife scene like we do. As I grew to legal drinking age—and maybe a little before—I began to see the differences.
In my college years, during visits with friends at out-of-state universities, I would often find myself asking questions like, “Why is the bartender ringing that bell? It’s only 1 a.m.” or “Who cares if the liquor store closes soon? Why don’t we get the beer from 7/11?” Through our laws, general hospitality and culture of (maybe a little too much) indulgence, Reno is a haven for bar flies and party animals. That’s why this guide is intended to help citizens and strangers alike enjoy the liberties and libations the Biggest Little City has to offer.
To start, contributor (and mother) Jessica Santina consulted some of the other members of the Reno Mom’s Blog about how to have a night out when you’ve got kids waiting for you at home. Her ideas on how parents can party responsibly can be found on page 6.
Of course, when talking about the various ways Nevadans like to wet our whistles, we can’t ignore our neighbors to the south (even if we’d sometimes like to.) Contributor Andrea Heerdt, a Las Vegas native who spent the last few years studying at the University of Nevada, Reno, breaks down what to expect from a night out in the two cities. Whether you’re used to looking at pine trees or palm trees, you can read her piece on page 19.
With so many bars in town, it’s easy to stroll right past some of the less-obvious ones without even realizing—especially if you hit a few of the more obvious ones earlier in the night. Writer Pax Robinson lists some of Reno’s low-profile drinking spots on page 21.
To at least a few of our readers, though, having a drink might be secondary to simply socializing (or even unnecessary). If you’re looking for camaraderie without cocktails, I compiled a few dry options for a night out on page 22.
Finally, the centerpiece of our guide required the RN&R staff to put a little skin in the game. Recently, Associate Editor Jeri Chadwell, contributor Luka Starmer and I explored Reno’s reputation as a 24-hour town firsthand. In homage to a similar article published in this same guide nine years ago, we three writers went on a 24-hour bar crawl of our own design, putting our lives (well, at least our livers) on the line to find out where our readers can get a drink at every hour of the day and night. You can read about our exploits on page 10.
As a tourism town, Reno’s residents are spoiled in their accessibility to nightlife. When I hear people talk about their wild nights in Reno (a collection of which can be found on page 5), I think about how everyone else has to save up for a weekend away to have the same amount of fun I do walking around the city’s bars, breweries, casinos and clubs. Hopefully this guide will inspire you to get out and try a new bar or drink you read about here. I know I’ll be out this weekend celebrating another successful RN&R publication, so hopefully I’ll see you at the bar.