A new late-night, diet-friendly pizza joint from Portland, Ore. grand opens Friday, January 4, in downtown Reno.
Sizzle Pie pizza joins two other restaurants, an apartment building, Patagonia Outlet and future barbershop on the corner of Center and Pine streets — a corner previously considered one of the most blighted in the city by City of Reno code enforcement.
“The downtown core is a lot more active, the energy seems to have changed overnight,” said Bob Peyton, chief operations officer at Sizzle Pie.
Property developers Paddy and Brian Egan and their partners spent the last several years buying property and renovating it, including a motel that had more than $4,000 in city fines levied against it in 2015.
Now the corner is home to Center & Pine Apartments and Portland-based See See’s Motor Coffee Co., Pine State Biscuits and Sizzle Pie. All of them now make up what the hipsters are calling “Lil’ Portland” or “Portland Corner.” But really, let’s compromise with “Lil’ Portland Corner.”
Lil’ Portland all started when Brian Egan attended See See Motor Co.’s motorcycle show in Portland a few years ago, where he invited the owner of See See’s to check out one of the spaces in Reno. Those owners loved it, opened up in 2016, then told Sizzle Pie’s owners about the great spot next door to them in Reno.
Peyton said it was a perfect fit for them and they saw the potential in downtown Reno.
“It’s the foot traffic,” Peyton said. “When you see people walking around and engaging in a community, it’s a good feeling.”
Sizzle Pie replaced a liquor store and its damaged parking lot with a pizza shop that sells meaty, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free pizzas whole or by the slice (Peyton said their vegan cheese destroys Daiya brand and you’ll never turn back).
Peyton said the owners and company believe strongly in alternative transportation: bicycles, buses, walking. So instead of keeping the big parking lot, they replaced it with an open-air patio so people can hang out and throw pizza parties in the summer or warm themselves by the fire in the winter.
He expects Sizzle Pie to draw an eclectic crowd since it’s open 365 days a year from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. (open until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday). Sure enough, on its first day open during New Year’s Eve weekend, the place was buzzing with families, guys with epic dreds and scene kids on dates.
“Pizza is a great unifier — everyone loves pizza,” Peyton said. “You could be eating lunch with a punk rock kid and the next table over has two guys in suits and the table next to that is a whole family.”
While they’re new to town, Sizzle Pie wants to buy local and contribute to local nonprofits and the community as much as possible.
“Sizzle Pie is committed to supporting causes that align with our vision and guiding principles,” according to its website. “We love to support the communities we serve and take pride in donating thousands of dollars worth of delicious pizza every year.”
They also make their dough in house and only serve high-fructose-corn-syrup-free soda from Jones Soda Co. Their seasonal cocktail and beer taps round out a collection of local, regional and national options.
And most importantly, they deliver the same hours they are open. That’s right, 3 a.m. pizza delivery. And they deliver to anywhere inside the McCarran loop, with Caughlin Ranch and northwest Reno thrown in for good measure.