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Repair Cafés- Where You Can Get a Quick Fix

The Repair Café logo from repaircafe.nl

The Repair Café logo from repaircafe.nl

I can think of a dozen times when I’ve had something break on me that wasn’t worth fixing. Most things nowadays are made to break and not be fixed, just replaced with a new one. This creates so much trash and waste of not just computers and other electronic items, but clothes, household items, hardware, even sporting goods, that could all be fixed and used for a while longer instead of making more landfill. The void left by repair shops that have closed up over the last few years is about to be filled.

Some people in Amsterdam (I guess it’s Dutch Week here at BC) came together and created the idea of Repair Cafés. Here’s a NY Times article about Repair Cafés. And, the original website for the Repair Cafés– it’s in Dutch, so use Google or have Ken translate for you since he could use the practice. There, people have the tools and expertise available to fix all manner of things from clothes, to computers, to bikes, and everything else. The idea might have started in Amsterdam, but it’s spreading throughout the Netherlands and going international.

Since we already have a Maker Group and several other interesting collectives doing DIY stuff here in Reno, why not a Repair Café? I’m sure many people locally would be into it- I know I would be.

Classic Skate Shop – The Biggest Little Skate Shop in Reno

It’s no secret, really, I love MidTown Reno.   What is MidTown, you ask?  Roughly between California Ave to Plumb Lane, between Forest Street and Wells Avenue.   There’s places to eat, drink, shop, and hang out.   It’s a real neighborhood, and has everything from trashy to quasi-upscale.  With a little help, even more great tenants moving in, some sidewalk re-doing and some lights, it’s Reno’s most bustling place for local, new business.   I can’t wait to see what happens to it in the next few years—-it is going to be a model of what Reno can be.

So what makes MidTown?  MidTown, like most places, is uniquely the sum of its parts.

One of its parts, is the Classic Skate Shop, tucked neatly in the back of the Never Ender boutique on Cheney Street.   Situated just doors down from The Hub Coffee Company, I had never gone into the Never Ender because I heard it was a “chick store.”  No sooner did I enter in there and discover I was wrong, I eventually explored further and found Eric Lantto sitting in his skate shop.  Introductions and appreciation from my end turned into a long conversation, and lo, what went from a little exploration on my part turned into a great appreciation for a laid-back, business-savvy and cool guy.

Open since December of last year, on the wall are tiled pictures of skaters old and new inside this tiny shop, and when I say tiny, I mean it.  Use of space is remarkable.   It has no shortage of products, mind you, if you’re an active skateboarder, everything is there that you need:  decks, trucks, bearings, wheels, stickers, shirts, hats and more.   No bigger than a bedroom, Eric’s approach to his skate shop is to not be a “fashion shop” for skater lifestyle (hence, he doesn’t want to deal with bulky inventory such as shoes), but to be a shop where a skateboarder can come and buy gear to…skateboard.

Eric started skating in roughly 1984, and growing up in Fallon, his hobby wasn’t always an easy thing to do.  With no skate parks, friends would build ramps, word would get out, and soon skaters from farther away (even Gardnerville and Lake Tahoe) would stop by.   As Eric grew, he realized he’d always be intrinsically involved with skateboarding, and eventually landed in the business side of it.   He’d do everything from punk-style fliers for local skate contests for sponsorships to reviewing videos and working for outfits like Fish Lips, Gold Wing/Entity Skateboards, DC Shoes, and currently, Street League, where he helps as a stage director when his skaters need to be involved with events covered by ESPN.

The uniqueness and vibe from Eric’s shop is evident, even for non-skaters like myself.   A lot of it has to do with Eric’s cool approach, but his knowledge and clean shop, filled with only the brands and lines he backs 100%, speak for themselves.   He’ll size up and match parts to beginners, building their first skateboard from scratch, or just sell the parts more experienced skaters need to keep them rolling forward.   As Eric says, “There are no rules to skateboarding.”

Eric loves what he does, and does what he loves involving skateboarding.  When I stopped in to talk to him the other day for this article, one thing he said hit me:  “This has never been a job for me.”   No wonder he loves it, and hence, is very good at it.  With a second store in his hometown of Fallon first open in May of 2009, he makes the commute quite frequently between here and Reno, and really enjoys having the smaller stores.  With a quickly growing clientele as word gets around, local skaters have a rock-solid local choice of where to go for the stuff they need.

I enjoyed talking with Eric, and am growing to be friends with a great guy, yet another reason why I can’t speak enough about MidTown Reno.  These shops, restaurants, coffee places and bars are owned by some of the best of Reno, what makes Reno….Reno.   Fun, quirky, different, and totally different than downtown proper or whatever strip mall might be in the area.   Next time, I’ll be talking about the Never Ender where Classic Skate Shop is located, because you really can’t have one without the other!

Classic Skate Shop is located…

In Reno:

26 Cheney St, inside Never Ender, south of Maytan Music, west of The Hub
775-348-9440    Facebook: Classic Skate Shop

In Fallon:

Their new location will be:  270 S. Main Street, inside Hazel’s Fashion

Reno Image – Scattered Pride, Bitchy Inaction and Trashy Chic

Normally I don’t like to give other alt-weeklies, be they paper or online, much of a mention, as one of two things will occur.  One, I’d be seen as piggybacking on ideas and writing them (…which I kind of am right now…) and the other is boldly standing dependent on the output of another.

This is different.  The Reno News & Review, long-time alt-weekly of Reno, love it or hate it, is presenting an editorial, kind of doing what a lot of folks are doing in and about Reno: identifying a problem, chanting negativity, and leaving little else in the way of solutions.

It’s a subject I have talked about and discussed, pondered and chin-scratched over for years, more recently tackling some other ideas and thoughts via God Hates Reno, the predecessor to this here site called Burncards.  Why Burncards even exists, and GHR before it, was the idea that Reno can be more than it is.  It seems like such a theme in so many people’s eyes, that Reno can be so much more, but we’re almost hard-wired to expect it NOT to be.  Investors come in thinking this is an easy cleanup job, invest in a few properties and rake in the cash–it ain’t that easy.  Nor is it easy to have a necessarily good viewpoint on this town, and so I give a partial pass to those who might highlight their negativity.

This time I’m going to into a bit of a criticism-of-a-criticizer’s role, which seems mighty pointless, until I justify my intent.  I realize news and opinion, public opinion and the like, are really based around honesty.  I might add as well, there is no dishonesty going on.  What I do see, however, is a matter of civic pride that seems to almost be a cliche in Reno, because usually, we have none.  It’s quite easy for any one of us to write up a laundry list of what sucks here, and we look at fan-boys and girls of this town that actually like it here as eccentric nobodies–I mean, how many times have you heard someone say, “Oh well I’m STUCK here like the rest of the few displaced talented/cool/rich/decent people.”   Erm, okay.   Real nice attitude.

Editorials are great.  In the futureworld of 2011, EVERYONE gets an opinion.  The problem is, opinions are not always geared with the intent of the recipient, it’s usually the ego of the writer.  The  R&NR editorial piece here, as written by anonymous, is worth exploring.  It is a typical and classic example of what we here at Burncards call QRA, (also search the site for “QRA” for other instances).   We have here, someone who apparently has remained nameless, sitting back, comfortably on a computer, basically blackballing Reno.  They get a pass and a nod because they aren’t all wrong.  What isn’t flying with me is the commonness of how this is applied versus nothing being DONE about it.  No where in the article, which outlines McCarran’s inner ring as a source if problems (never mind MidTown, a baseball stadium, the Old Southwest neighborhoods, parks, rivers, art galleries, bike paths, etc etc etc etc etc etc), dropping the typical “Vegas” comparison (which, if you know me, L.V. can K.M.A.),  further comparing to San Francisco, then just going after low blows calling vendors “carnies,” and essentially calling the town a circus.  The town needs a little help, especially downtown, and no one is perfect.

My question is, who is this bitter San Jose vacationer, and how faster can I get his or her ass back to their two-story, expensive, cookie-cutter, law-saturated utopia?  Did you bother leaving your Silver Legacy suite on a weekday special or just sit in your room on the Internet calling up Yelp reviews and opinion columns?

Perhaps it is a local.  To that I challenge, so what’s your solution?  Should YOU move or should you start enjoying funnel cakes and Natty Ice by the river?  There’s some really fun, dirty, shameful things to do in this town, along with some pretty sophisticated “big city” type lifestyles.  That’s part of the charm.  Without either of those things, it’s chain coffee shops, check loan cashing joints and bad gringo-fresh-Mex food—-utter HELL in my eyes.

The ludicrous end in this pointless debate stops where the words start:  so where’s the SOLUTIONS?  I know so many business owners that not only are out there doing something for a living, they’re making a community!  Beyond them are event organizers that are NOT Hot Exhaust Blights oriented, couldn’t give two shits about Street Vibrations or ArTown, and actually work quite hard to turn over zero profit for the sake of culture.  They exist in art galleries, on small side streets off Virginia, occasionally develop in living rooms, basements or warehouses.  Side streets, converted dwellings and even motels running art spaces.  Music ideas turn to bands that turn venues that turn to scenes.  Cookingklatches can turn to groups to co-ops to restaurants.  Coffee and beer aficionados throw caution and life savings to the wind and risk it all for a business they really love—that all come together and create a TOWN they love, so that people will have something more.

There really is no excuse to come here, live here or even leave your front door, if all Reno is and ever will be is a dead shell, compared to Vegas and San Francisco (like comparing a 1949 Porsche to a 2011 Bentley–i.e, unfair) and call residents nothing but (and I mean, no exceptions) trash and losers.

It is suggested Reno has an image problem.  I say residents then must have an acceptance problem.  When we are faced with a problem, and they (defined as anyone else but the complainant) can’t fix it, then you (defined as you) find out how to exploit and enjoy it.  Lemons into lemonade, ya know.  See this website?  The one I made before it?  My bands?  My shows?  My participation in my community?  Yeah.  Get the picture?  Here, I’ll help those that are a little lost to understand:  I don’t know how to fix this town, but I DO make it better.  It’s called effort.

There are then those that simply need to get out and go make some other town miserable.  They are hopeless.  They are the losers.  They make a career out of their own inaction and thrive on the lack of effort of others.  No art museum is big enough, no event classy enough, no party exclusive enough, no business front-page enough will ever, ever, satisfy them.  With that said, I love this town, that’s why I stay here, work here, live here, drink here, play here and enjoy my many good neighbors, fellow business owners and ultimately:  people that are INTO Reno.   WE are THIS TOWN!

May Reno’s real, positive and constructive voices, efforts and success rise above those that chain themselves like anchors to this town’s feet and keep it down by ignorance and rhetoric alone.

Reno pride, motherfuckers.

Some Pre-Weekend Cyclist Humor

Originally taken from this website, we have here NYC cyclist Casey proving a point that the law, even the law you get fined upon infraction, cannot always be followed to the letter.   Granted, his method isn’t exactly suggested, it’s worth a laugh, no matter if you prefer gas pedals or geared ones:



Ride and drive safe out there, folks.

(…thanks to Adam for finding this wonderful gem…)

Distractions Of The Author While…Hold On A Sec, My Phone Just Beeped

The Internet has really changed the way we do things, and it’s getting to the point where we almost take it for granted. Generations like mine (as a mid-thirtysomething) can certainly remember times when we did things “the old-fashioned way,” such as using our minds, pencils and papers to write or research something. We were also the first generation to grow up using computers as an every-day interaction in our schools—-I began school in 1984, which means we had a library full of Apple IIe computers that all the classes used. Once a day, we got one hour on the computer. There was a computer in my learning curve ever since, and little has changed today.

One thing we don’t realize is the valuable process we lose by using the ever-increasing technology that we enjoy on a daily basis. I know a couple of friends of mine jokingly were calling any phone with any kind of Google searchability “The Oracle,” as questions can and will be answered. I’m only getting to the point now where I realize I have a pocket full of information with my phone, which makes us only more interdependent on our silicon-based lifestyle. One that will poke us in the ribs every time someone tweets, messages or demands our instant attention, no matter what we’re doing. I’ve done everything I can to make me in control of my blasted phone, rather than the other way around.

When I write, it is usually on a computer. A once-steady hand of pen-holding and paper medium, I probably couldn’t write more than a page or so before my hand started to cramp up. Muscles gone to hell in a once proud method I used constantly, before this infernal laptop and phone began routinely joining my travels. Similar as it goes, according to this article, those seeking a writing refuge in Iowa City, long known for its tradition in writing, will find many using the old ways, and sternly encouraged to do so!  From a lack of distraction to a long history of fiction writing that has become a cultural norm there, it’s good to see people even attempting to find out what writing, publishing and the writing environment really means without necessarily the help of some kind of bothersome technology.

What about students?

Recently, my partner Zack was at home watching “The Whitest Kids U Know,” and this amusingly offensive and NSFW video touched upon something that teachers undoubtedly are probably fighting every day: the telltale “Internet reference,” such as… “…but Wikipedia said so!”

You know when it’s become part of our comedy routines, it’s at least common enough to question how technologically-reliant we are, or the common denominator like an informational website like Wikipedia being the first (and sometimes only) stop in our quest for knowledge.

At the same time, what would have happened in 1984 when I was in school had things been different, or say I was a first grader right now? Likely, if I wasn’t being forced to do some kind of research in a stinky, old library with stinky, old librarians, I’d probably be ignorant to my subject matter, or at the whim of some teacher’s interpretation of the information. Wikipedia, arguably, if not correct, at least naturally opens doors in which we didn’t have back then, either. Otherwise, ignorant of information we would stay, unless that is, we stuck with stinky, old-fashioned learning and continued into higher education.

It’s a pointless battle to choose sides and say one is superior to the other. Long have we had the information and we have been just as dedicated (or lazy) at obtaining and retaining it, and perhaps we just have to remember the experience is best, and we’ll leave that up to the individual to discover (or rediscover, if you will). Distracted or not.

Mining Tax Cap Elimination Gains Support and Another “Claim Tax” Deemed Unconstitutional

The Nevada mining and minerals industry is really on a roller coaster these days.

Those in Nevada opposed to the elimination of the tax cap put on state net proceeds of mines (Constitutionally at 5% currently) are likely none too happy with state Senators Ben Kieckhefer (R) of Reno and Michael Roberson of Las Vegas (R) as they cross party lines and join the Democrats in support to amend the Nevada State Constitution.  The movement partially-known as the “Fair Mining Tax,” soon, it will be going to the State Assembly for a vote: we’ll just have to wait and see what turns out. If voted in-favor, it would be required to be approved by State Legislature in 2013, and then put on the election ballot in 2014. Incidentally, the two main groups behind changing the constitution to eliminate caps on mining taxation are the Nevada Teachers’ Association and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. It’s another polarized political push in the name of perceived “good.”

Why is this happening in such a fiery manner? The unthinkable has perhaps happened: Casinos are failing, and we’re going broke. We got too used to one industry padding our system here in Nevada, and with few to choose from, we’re asking old ideas to work with a different industry rather than fixing the problem.

It’s true, I’m one of those none too happy, as someone who makes a living doing geotechnical assistance for minerals exploration in this state, it means one of two things to me. The first being that these tax-cap percentages are now unhindered, and mining opponents, the kind of people who apparently dislike working Nevadans, have access to push through taxation on Nevada’s best job opportunities and state growth potentials. Taxes are almost never lowered, they’re re-named (as I’ll go into on another subject below) and raised, often without representation, but usually they just get higher, usually due to increased spending, thus, more hands get held out. The second being what those taxes actually mean to the producing mines (who they are intended to penalize—-and I choose that word carefully) and what that means on down the chain of economics in Nevada. Workers get thinned out, hours cut, benefits reconsidered, less possibility of mine (and then job) expansion, etc. That’s just at the surface. Likely, the workers will then blame the company (they’re not accountants, nor would they want to be), possibly form unions because they’re “being treated badly,” and force what they once had, further buckle the company…okay, that’s extreme. It’s also how these things can happen.

Back on my side of the fence, if larger companies can’t invest in us little guys because they’re paying taxes, well, we don’t get the clients, we don’t get hired, and then we don’t pay our taxes, and then we go out of business and collect unemployment. Again, extreme, but that’s a timeline of possibility. Even half of those in my fine hyperbole might be a bad thing, and certainly isn’t good for a shaky economy, statewide or even nationally. This is just my opinion.

On the other hand, wouldn’t more taxes for Nevada be good? It’s my argument and understanding that a tax dollar is a tax dollar. It can come from anywhere if we put our minds to it. Usually, our simple minds look at simple numbers, say, the price of gold, and immediately (and seemingly sensibly) put two and two together: Our state mines, gold is at an all-time high. Sure, the big production companies are doing well. Will they in 10 years? Gold has a bad habit of not staying the same in price: that’s why the Mining Law of 1872 and helpful things like 5% caps on mining taxes in Nevada are there. If gold goes back down to $200/oz, Nevada will be stuck paying 8%, 10%, 25% taxes on production: which means, we’d be broke either way, if we’re as broke as we are now AND suddenly gold takes a dump. It won’t support us, and it will punish our industry. What a wonderful thing if you just happen be anti-mining ala Bob Fulkerson.  Masquerading as solutions equates fanatical success–don’t let spun, misleading pie charts fool you.  What mines pay in other taxes and fees outside production is WHY the taxes are what they are.

In good news, in an emergency session last year, not known much by the public, known to the chagrin of mining claims holders, a “fee” on all mining claims in the State of Nevada.  This has recently been deemed unconstitutional by a Carson City judge. What is this “fee” you ask? It happened to be a fee of as low as $70 and as high as $195 per mining claim filed with the BLM, handled by the county, and piped right into the state’s “general fund.” That’s right, it was a tax that was dodged by use of wording (aka, “fee”), was not voted on whatsoever, and blew right past everyone to become law. The only repercussion of not paying this fee was…yep, more fees. It was really causing havoc with the counties (as they were responsible for collecting the money and doing the paperwork…the state just sat back and watched the unconstitutional tax money roll in) and the smaller mining companies.  They had no idea who was in charge of what, or what would happen if they were late, or didn’t file. Ah, but finally enough protest and uproar from the counties and claim owners went to court, and now these taxes are on hold until further notice. My question is now, what about the money they collected unconstitutionally? When will we be seeing that returned?

Mines are expensive to run. It is not the same as oil producing, log cutting or any of the other industries that produce raw materials that come from the earth. Profit gained based upon money spent by said company is usually not in favor of the industry, with exception to rare times like we’re in currently. It’s a bust or boom industry, it always has been: fat or famine. Mining, as an industry, are among the most environmentally-scrutinized, safety-necessary and harrowing jobs out there. They indeed can be clean, profitable and beneficial, especially to our state.  It’s the only industry that actually cleans up other old mines, sets aside wildlife sanctuaries and wetlands, and makes an attempt to give back (…casinos don’t even do that!). This is why we have to be very careful about what are “fees” and “taxes,” and why they are there.

I believe we as Nevadans owe it to mining to scrutinize our politicians and the obstructionists that would like nothing more than for mining to just pack up shop and head to China, make sure we know what their real angles are, look beyond the words “Fair!”  “It’s for Nevada!”   “It’s for the people!”   “It’s for the earth!”    Mantras that have been used as leverage for years.  We need Nevada MAKING something again—-something besides tax laws: we all know how great California’s doing. Traveling this truly vast state,  I know there is plenty of Nevada for all of us, as citizens, nature-lovers and industry folk alike (which to my reckoning is all of us), and we can, in fact, get state revenue without punishing someone else.

(info from mineweb.com — a great resource for all news Nevada mining)

(image WSJ)

The Worst Little Podcast In The World

“Radio-talk locally personified.”   Seriously, they’re all idiots.  The sad thing is, they’re good at what they do, and I personally love them.

Reverend Rory Dowd (yeah, he’s really a bona-fide man of the collar: dog, ring-around-the, etc.) has been around for years, from spreading his woeful vitriol via Java Jungle poetry nights to the (shudder) Zephyr Lounge, he now appears at Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor doing the “Dirty Spelling Bee,”  and other cockamamie stuff.

This, though, is his latest and (by my account) greatest venture yet, The Worst Little Podcast In The World.  With friends, such as Rick from Dogwater Studios, broadcasting from deep Sparks, they take on Reno, weird conversation, offensive musings, music, news, and whatever the hell else they want.   Sometimes sober (not often, you can hear drinks of all sorts being popped open on set) and sometimes sobering, a lovely way to listen to the (anti-)intelligence of Reno et al.  They’re damn good at being bad.

If you like to just listen to awesome, funny and mindless chatter with local guests, featuring a Reno-style of crass, dirty humor mixed with a wonderful inclusion into our lovely town, look no further than a NSFW podcast from The Worst Little Podcast In The World.

http://www.worstlittlepodcast.com/ ; or you can find them off to the right on our “Local Specialties” list in case hyperlinks baffle you—at the very bottom (where they belong).

(image above stolen without permission from WLP, and we don’t apologize for it, in fact we may use it inappropriately)

Spicy Pickle: Santa Fe Chicken Goodness

Yeah, I know. Spicy Pickle is publicly traded. It’s not grassroots “local.” Here’s the thing: If a company is doing something right, they ought to get credit for it. If it makes you feel any better, the two locations locally are also locally-owned franchises. For those not-in-the-know, a franchise is a small business, and it’s also a local business, it just isn’t a local idea. It gives local jobs to the owners, workers, and the backing of a label and a product. Often, they give back to the community in many ways.

Regardless, Spicy Pickle’s two locations (one at Los Altos, the other at the corner of McCarran and Longley) has a ridiculously good limited-time-offer sandwich and salad, both of which go under the same moniker “Santa Fe Chicken.” I was fortunate enough to try both the sandwich AND the salad, which you can either get together (as half-sizes), or just the sandwich or just the salad. Whatever way you go, you’re in for a treat. Chunk, fresh chicken, Spicy Pickle’s signature artisan-style breads, a unique aioli sauce and cheese, the sandwich will give you a fresh taste of pre-summer while we still are waiting for it to warm up around here. The salad is no different in attitude, with the same fresh chicken, candied onions, sun-dried tomatoes, a romaine/spinach mixture, and topped with the chili vinaigrette.

I’d highly suggest you go there and try them. The people are quirky and cool at both locations, and you won’t feel guilty whatsoever by partaking in such sandwich/salad tasting. I promise.

Unhinged Reno Park Authority Gets Filmed

Quite honestly, I don’t even know what to say about this. Something about removing a fly from a friend’s nose with a hatchet, or to that effect.

While I am perfectly okay and with the guy getting pissed off about some kids making his job harder, spending tax dollars to fix the park, but can we say “public relations?”

In today’s world, Big Brother is actually, and most likely, someone’s little brother, with an iPhone or some other kind of recording device, catching people in what should be considered embarrassing acts. Would the City of Reno or Washoe County be particularly thrilled to hear this guy talking like this to the kids of taxpayers? Lack of identification aside, even if he were an authority with a badge, should he be engaging people like this? Most notably, saying Reno is a shit hole meanwhile trying to instill a sense of fear and morality of local youth, even more while supposed to be doing a job for the City of Reno.   Interesting approach.

Especially since the kids were of the general opinion, “Okay, we’ll leave—-sorry…”  None of the youth were being jerks, well, unless you ask the trees and landscaping.  And this guy.

I’ll let the rest of you decide. It’s funny in one way, disturbing in others, and filled with not-safe-for-work audio content.

QRA saves the day.

Two Years of The Hub Coffee Company!

Mark Trujillo and his son, Joey, opened The Hub Coffee Company on June 17 2009, and it’s time for a little 2 year appreciation!  I thought I’d tell you a little about one of my favorite spots in town.  For years, I have been nuts about coffee, and The Hub was just the place I needed to fuel my appreciation for this over-complexified yet misunderstood, energetic concoction.

Caffeinated instinct, a love for the combination of cycling and good coffee, gut feelings and not having too much control, The Hub started doing coffee in Reno a different way.  For a small niche (physically and figuratively) market of newly-refined coffee palettes, he’s doing quite well.  One satisfied customer at a time!

Speaking to the owner Mark, his original idea was to simply bring a standard of coffee not seen in Reno, establishing something unique.  Everyone has had Starbucks, but had they had coffee before?  Did they know where it came from?  Did they even know why it tasted the way it did, or that it might have been roasted right here in Reno?

Some might say The Hub is a “coffee snob” kind of place, since the baristas will frequently unload tons of information about their coffee beans’ origins and locales, roasting techniques, flavor profiles and suggestions on how to enjoy them.  For example, try the coffee BEFORE you dump in the half-and-half and sugar.  At first, even I made this mistake:  now I don’t even use sugar anymore.  Seriously, coffee, when done right, can  stand on its own.  This appreciation (“snobbery,” if you will) is special though:  anyone is invited.

If you want to learn about your coffee, maybe even develop tastes you didn’t know you liked, The Hub will begin your journey.   A word of warning, though:  it’s an addicting habit.   Luckily, their prices are still among the cheapest in town.  So come, be a snob with us!

Don’t like coffee?  That’s okay, no one will hold that against you.  There’s tea, iced or hot, by Intelligentsia, gourmet hot cocoa (with their homemade chocolate syrup!) and fresh pastries (but get ’em fast, when they’re gone, they’re gone).

Mark might own the hub, but the customers made the experience.  Mark was surprised how the customers “took over,” by making so much of the Hub their own.  No one knows, amongst doubts, how this little, hole-in-the-wall joint was breaking all of the rules and suggestions and defying failure to become what it is.

Tiny but not claustrophobic, The Hub gives off a vibe—-people LIKE it here.  So small, so comfortable.  Like most business owners, he had a grand plan, but he knew better than to fight the evolution of something special.   That’s how Mark rolls, and he won’t hide it.  He has his own thing going on.   Make no mistake, Mark might not be a stereotypical business owner in Reno, he’s very savvy in what he wants.  Friendly, extremely outgoing and welcoming, his warm simplicity at running a business has truly planted a different seed in this town.

Joey is Mark’s son and right-hand-man, lending a creative, youthful and unique barista talent to The Hub.   Joey runs The Hub at the ground level (pun intended). For being in his early twenties, he’s on top of it. Doing some schooling in Portland, working as a barista there, and connecting with other baristas, he eventually found himself at American Barista and Coffee. There, he learned even more, and notably, the admiration of the owner, who told his father that by going back to Reno, he was taking one of Portland’s best baristas with him. Joey isn’t the bragging type. Generally speaking, he just says he has a knack for making coffee–I’d have to agree. Overall, he’s striving to have a Portland-like experience here in Reno, and would love that standard to spread to other coffee and restaurants in town.

So, what if you already know about coffee?  Well, if you already know your stuff, not only might you have already heard of The Hub, but also them selling and pressing out coffee from Barefoot Coffee Works (San Jose), Ecco Coffee (recently bought by Intelligentsia) in Santa Rosa, and Ritual Coffee from San Francisco.  Most importantly, Mark just started doing small batch roasting right here in Reno!

Speaking of Reno, both Trujillos want to keep The Hub a Reno thing… they like it here. They realize there’s both room for this and a real need for it.   Joey said it best to me when I spoke with him: “I want to introduce this [kind of coffee experience] to Reno…Portland already has plenty of it.”

So what’s next?  Expansion as far as other locations have been considered, however their focus is going to be local roasting…perhaps a little more…at the roasting location coming nearby to The Hub. I can’t wait!

Located at 32 Cheney Street (just opposite Maytan Music on the south side), they will be extending hours from 6am-9pm M-F, 7am-9pm Sat, 7am-5pm Sun starting next week!

As you can see, I love The Hub.  Everyone fits in (somehow, by magic), talks, and enjoys a slice of life.  I have made new friends there, opened up my world, and I’m so thankful for it.  Thanks Mark and Joey, and best of luck, I’ll be along for the ride for another two years!