Let’s start with what hasn’t changed at Louis’ Basque Corner. The waitresses still wear their traditional Basque outfits. The table cloths are still vibrant red. And you can still order the house specialty Picon punch.
But that might be where the similarities end.
Earlier this year, 6th generation Nevadan, Chris Shanks and 4th generation Nevadan, Brian Elcano bought Louis’ Basque Corner. They’ve turned it into their own, without losing that old familiar essence so many have come to love. “We didn’t want to skimp on anything. We wanted to make it feel like an old Nevada bar that you could find in any ghost town in Nevada kind of a thing,” says Shanks.
Decades old brick that was covered up with wood paneling is now exposed. The floors are now 150-year-old reclaimed barn wood from Montana. They also raised the ceiling in the back room to expose the original duct work. Although they didn’t change this room structurally, it now seems much larger.The bar also seems bigger, more up to date. And the biggest change to the main dining room is the fresh coat of chocolate brown paint.
But once you’re seated, the similarities return. The food is exactly the same. “Still family style, same people cooking it. Always offer a lamb dish, always offer a steak, usually a fish of the day. It’s a four course meal every time, ” says Elcano.
You sit with strangers who become friends. You pass serving platters as if it were Thanksgiving. You toast to the fact that even when some things change in Reno they can still remain familiar.
Even Louie Erriguible, the original owner, says he’s happy with the changes.
For reservations, call 775-323-7203.