Restaurant Buzz

by Mike Van Houten / Nov 2, 2011

There has been a great deal of restaurant acitivty in the past couple of weeks, so to get you up to speed here's a breakdown:


Opening this December in West Street Market in Downtown Marketplaces' former location. Z-Pies is an amazing pot pie concept born after travels to Australia and New Zealand, where it's hard to walk a city block without passing several pie eating opportunities. In 1998 upon return from Austrailia, a family and a few close friends decided to open a gourmet pot pie restaurant in the small gold rush town of Placerville, California and offer their own version of the “down under” pies. They started out perfecting just three flavors, Steak and Cabernet, Chicken and Mushroom and Very Vegetable. Over the years they have grown to offer 20 delectable gourmet z pie flavors along with soups, organic salads, desserts and locally-brewed beer and wine. The local Z-Pies' profits from the restaurant will fund a local group home for young men who are leaving the foster care system because they have reached the age of 18. They will also be working at Z-Pies. Unfortunately 70% of this population either goes homeless or becomes incarcerated. So not only is it a great food concept coming to downtown, it also helps our community out. Construction should begin in a couple weeks.
Click HERE to download their menu in pdf format.


Already open in West Street Market is Larry Dunning's latest culinary masterpiece, Bowl. If it's 4.5 Star Rating on Yelp isn't enough to entice you to check it out, then maybe their menu will. Grilled chicken salad, romaine, honey crisp apples, cashews, citrus walnut vinegar served in a bowl, can you say yum? Remember, this is from the gentleman who brought us Sezmu.

New Italian Restaurant

The for-lease sign at Amendment 21's former location in the BofA building at 425 South Virginia on the corner of Liberty and Virginia is now gone, and there's lots of interior construction work happening. A little birdie told me this is going to be an Italian restaurant.

New Restaurant Going In Choc Bar's Former Location

I heard from another little birdie that the owner of Legends Grill out by Whole Foods is building out some kind of restaurant in the Chocolate Bar's former location at 475 South Arlington Avenue.

Two New Restaurants Going In CocoBoom's Former Location

Two new restaurant spaces are being built out at 701 South Virginia, between Midtown Eats and Sup's new location.

Reno Public House

Ok not a restaurant, but a cool pub to hang out, and just opened up behind Creme at 33 St. Lawrence. Check them out here.


New Mark Estee restaurant going in the Palladio at 50 North Sierra Street right on the river, across from Riverside 12 movie theater. Click here to get the full details on this restaurant, including an interview with chef Mark Estee and fact sheet.


Already open, this entertainment complex offers a wide range of eateries not found elsewhere downtown, and priced budget-friendly about $8 and under. Options include Meditarranean food, Italian beef sandwiches, gorditas and tacos, raw foods at TarTar Bar, frozen treats at Twisted, and energy smoothies at Up! The food is great, especially for the price, and the staff is super friendly. Most of the eateries open at 4 pm daily. Located at 255 North Virginia Street right next to the Reno Arch.

MidTown Wine Bar

A new wine bar has opened in the heart of Midtown at 1527 South Virginia Street, just south of LouLou's and Chapel Tavern. Follow them on Facebook to learn about the latest flights offered.


Maybe coming soon in the Sierra Vista building just south of the courthouse on Sierra Street and Court Street, it might not be as glamourous as Campo or Bowl, but it does add to a collection of affordable eating establishments downtown including Subway.

Rounds Bakery

New sign up at 215 South Sierra, the Sierra Vista Building mentioned above that says 'coming soon - Rounds Bakery'.

Post your comments
  • November 2, 2011 - 4:15:49 PM

    Another Italian place taking over A21's former location? Ummmm....why? With Campo coming to Downtown, not exactly the best timing but I'll reserve judgement until more is known.

  • November 2, 2011 - 4:28:37 PM

    Re: the former Chocolate Bar...same owner as Sierra Tap House too, I've heard the project referred to as a 'nanobrewery'. See "Brewers Cabinet" on Facebook. No real info, but that's it.

  • November 2, 2011 - 4:51:38 PM

    Actually, in England, Aussiestan and Kiwistan, "pot pies" are referred to as meat pies. The Isles serves meat pies that are frozen. Their curry one is pretty good. They should have called it Z-meatpies, cuz I think people will be looking for cherry pies. That mural on the wall of Bowl is freakish. I walked in, was startled by it and lost my appetite. A lot of bars and restaurants are opening while many bars and restaurants are closing? Are commercial loans cheap these days? Interest rates are historically low, maybe that's the deal.

  • November 2, 2011 - 5:34:47 PM

    @Rory, Italian 1 block from La Famiglia no less. @ B Crosby, Typically banks don't give large loans or loans at all for bars and restaurants due to the failure rate. Ex. Campo has several private investors.

  • November 2, 2011 - 5:54:47 PM

    Italian food is one of my faves so I might be a bit biased chiming in on this convo, but simply because it's Italian means very little. The Pasta Mill at Shoppers Square which was awesome before they changed their menu, was Italian at a completely different price point than La Famiglia. I can afford La Famiglia maybe once every few months. It's a treat or where I take family visiting. I could afford the Pasta Mill on a weekly basis...Pasta Mill (before they changed their menu) was decent Italian at half the price, so we'll see what their price points are. Also, it may not even be Italian, that's just what I was told.

  • November 5, 2011 - 6:41:55 PM

    I tried those Z pies and they are great! They also have dessert pies, yummy, can't wait for them to open

  • November 7, 2011 - 9:48:19 PM

    Rounds is in the works, but Togo's never landed at Sierra Vista. We'll see where they do!

  • November 8, 2011 - 4:48:15 PM

    I'm sorry but I too remember Pasta Mill at Shopper's Square, and I don't know if it was before or after their menu change, but it was the most pathetic expression of Italian food ever. Nasty, old, dirty interior w ugly old picnic table looking red checker plastic table cloth, and really bad service and pasta that was worse than a can of Spaghettios. Olive Garden was 100x better than that and La Familgia is 1000x better than Pasta Mill. Pasta Mill of all things was expensive too, which made no sense. If it was like $7 a plate, I'd understand the cheap pasta and simple sauce w no seasonings, but if I remember it was like $11 a plate. It was a horrible horrible place and thankfully it went out of business.