The Imperial Bar And Lounge

The minx’s posse made an appearance at the Imperial Bar & Lounge’s opening night last night, and if the headache I woke up with is any testament as to how much fun I had, then we can all assume it was a great night because my head hurt like a mother this morning, but I don’t remember much. Actually, that’s not true. Although the free drinks and food were plentiful, and I definitely partook of my share, I stayed sober enough to report back to you on the stellar night my kittens.

The Imperial is gorgeous and cozy with exposed brick, dark wood floors (I’d hate to be the one who has to clean those), lots of tables, benches, and chairs, (even some leather chairs!), exposed wood ceilings that give it a spacious feel, and a never ending bar. Seriously, the bar is U shaped, but with a top, so it literally never ends. Do you really need anything more?

The drink menu features some original selections. Feeling spiritual? Try “A Touch of Buddha’s Hand” which includes citrus vodka, lemon juice, and a fresh Basil leaf (check the spelling guys). Wanna get your date drunk fellas? The Flirtini looks like a winner with ingredients (Chambord, vodka, champagne, and pineapple juice) to make any lightweight floozy stumble after just two. And she will drink them quickly. You could be in and out in 20 minutes if you play your cards right. There’s also a nice wine list and some sake selections. Mmmm, I love sake! The drinks are a little more expensive here but, hey, you’re paying for the atmosphere and the high prices help weed out the undesirables (frat boys, women in tube tops, and mulleted Bros).

Regrettably, I did not try the food (I probably wouldn’t have a headache if I had), but it looked great–White Castle “Slyder” style hamburgers, pizzas, fries, garlic bread (the Italians’ greatest creation), etc.. And because they serve food, there is no smoking inside so if you like that raw throat feeling and ash try smell the morning after you go out, you’ll have to hang out with the smokers outside. However, the Imperial provides a perfect solution for a mixed smoking/non-smoking group of friends. They installed a huge window that opens completely to the street like cafes in North Beach so you can still hang together, you’re just standing on different sides of the window.

Combined with the opening of Se7en Tea House, Saigon Pearl and the Sierra Tap House, WeFi is shaping up to be the the kind of neighborhood I always envisioned for Reno. Now if they could just finish the Palladio and build that damned canopy, I’d be an ecstatic minx. One this is certain, I will definitely be walking around the corner to The Imperial again (and again, and again and again–you get the picture).

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[...] DMD and I have been chatting about how alive WeFi was this weekend. Its probably a combination of the good weather and the opening of two new night spots (The Imperial and Divine Ultra Lounge)–whatever the reason, its a great development for the neighborhood. I absolutely love the Imperial, the frites are fantastic. This place keeps getting busier and busier and the crowds are justified. More on Divine below. I didn’t know Jill Benesch is “queen of young downtown Reno” Surely, I would have heard. And when did Johnathon L. Wright turn into a gossip columnist? Anyway, WeFi has a bar circuit now which makes for a lovely and varied night out. [...]


I must concur with your findings minx, the Imperial Lounge is legit. The layout is great, and is what Reno clearly needed. Big ups to Justin Owen and Ryan Gold for having the desire and follow through to create the Imperial Lounge.

By the way, the opening VIP party was probably the best time I have had in downtown reno thus far. You guys did a great job hitting the cross genera demographic and we thank you for stimulating the Reno nightlife scene.

I look forward to many nights in the Imperial.

The Imperial Bar and Lounge is the first of many new things to come from Imperial Concepts.

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