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August 25, 2009
By Claudene Wharton
Students at the University of Nevada, Reno will have another dining option as this year begins. “Cantina del Lobo” celebrates its Grand Opening on the third floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., this Thursday, Aug. 27.
Although the menu is very similar to owners’ Justin Quinton and Shawn Plunket’s Cantina Los Tres Hombres in Sparks, the new campus restaurant is clearly tailored to its University clientele.
Glance inside, and you’ll see interactive television/video games, foosball, air hockey, pool tables and plenty of TVs. In addition, customers will be able to order online and by text messaging. There will also be an Express Menu that will offer extra quick to-go options for students hurrying off to class.
Take a closer look at the menu, and you’ll find a dozen tempting milk shakes and more than 20 blended nonalcoholic “mocktails,” such as the virgin del Lobo Mango Margarita, or the “Pack Bite,” a lime-cherry fizzy delight.
“The ownership of Cantina del Lobo clearly understands the youth market and the University community,” said Chuck Price, director of the Crowley Student Union. “They are absolutely the right people for this University partnership.”
Price said that over 4,500 students completed a survey expressing their desires for the Crowley Student Union before it opened.
“In that survey, students rated very high a need for a sports grill with no alcohol,” he said.
Price said that other studies have also shown a lack of program space for people under 21 in northern Nevada.
Shannon Ellis, the University’s vice president of student services, echoed the University’s support of gathering places without alcohol for its students.
“The students have voiced their desire for this loud and clear in the surveys we have done, and the University supports this 100 percent,” she said. “The University of Nevada, Reno will continue to offer places for students to eat, study and congregate on campus where alcohol is not offered.”
So, “Study Hour” will replace “Happy Hour” during the week at Cantina del Lobo, with discounted food and nonalcoholic specialty drinks offered to students wanting a change of scenery or a break from their dorm rooms. There will also be Taco Tuesdays, with all-you-can-eat tacos for $7.99. Wii tournaments, trivia nights, game-day breakfasts and other special events will also offer students a break from cracking the books.
The restaurant’s Grand Opening this Thursday will feature the jam/funk band “Jelly Bread” noon to 2 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m., along with free samples, a prize wheel, Wii tournaments and more.
“We want everyone to come by and have some fun and try some of our menu choices,” said Quinton, who pointed out that several designated “heart-healthy” options are included on the menu.
“We make almost everything fresh, on-site, and offer a lot of grilled, healthier options,” he said. “We also try to get as many ingredients as we can from local sources.”
Quinton has been working in the restaurant business since he was 15, here in Nevada for the past 13 years.
“I started out as a dishwasher at my first job in Ohio,” he said. “I really loved working in this business and worked my way up to management positions and then owning my own businesses.”
Quinton’s partner, Plunket, is a McQueen High graduate and attended University of Nevada, Reno. He is also a flight engineer with Nevada Air National Guard who has been to Iraq five times and leaves for Afghanistan in September.
Contact Cantina del Lobo at 682-LOBO (5626) or visit online at dellobo.com.