“What’s Up Downtown:” Papa What You Cooking Serves Up Delicious Soul Food (and Desserts!) in Downtown Reno

You’d never know Chef and Owner William Lyons is a first-time restaurant with his eatery in The Basement, Papa What You Cooking. The soul-food restaurant, which opened August 1, 2023, features New-Orleans-inspired comfort food and deserts.

From shrimp and grits to red beans and rice and tasty desserts, Lyons offers a great variety of items and adds new specials regularly.

“Some of our main hits are the red beans and rice, the Po Boy, and recently we just started doing the fried chicken sandwiches and we’ve been selling them quite a bit,” he said.

Located in The Basement of the historic post office at 50 South Virginia Street, Lyons is grateful for all his Basement neighbors as well as being next to the Reno Renaissance as many of their guests visiting from out of town, and from all over the world, come enjoy his food.

“Being downtown is an amazing part of being in this spot,” he said. “I meet so many interesting and amazing people every day.”

Lyons said the Ambassador presence around The Basement when he and other are coming to and from work as well as when they pop in to conduct their business checks are a great benefit to being in the downtown core.

“I always see them up and down the street and by the river. And I appreciate their presence being here,” Lyons said.

To learn more about Papa What You Cooking visit their website at:

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