KOLO ATE: Squeeze In

Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 10:54 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Squeeze In has come a long way since the original location opened in Truckee back in 1974.

“It’s literally a squeeze in. Ten feet wide and 62 feet long,” pointed out co-owner Kay Salerno.

Her family bought the beloved but struggling restaurant back in 2003, expanding it to 11 locations in four different states.

“There’s no such thing as an overnight success, and the loyal guests that were with us all along the way, even before the Throwdown, are really the life-blood of this business,” added Salerno.

The “Throwdown” aired nationally on the Food Network back in 2010, in an episode of “Throwdown! with Bobby Flay,” that brought the celebrity chef here to Reno.

“Bobby Flay meant so much to us,” admitted co-owner Shila Morris. “It really helped legitimize our restaurant to the community.”

It also highlighted their signature omelette, called the Racy Tracy.

‘It’s a typical California omelette,” added Salerno. “You have bacon, avocado, mushrooms and jack cheese. And it’s done in our signature Squeeze In signature wine sauce.”

They lost the showdown, but gained a lot of attention and some new customers.

“We saw an immediate increase in business,” said Morris. “We saw a lot more support and attention.”

Every one of their four-egg omelettes come with a choice of three dipping sauces: cheese, mushroom or tomato pesto. It’s just one thing that really sets them apart. Another is the fact that anyone can sign their wall; literally leaving their mark.

“Leave a positive message or maybe a memento or a memory on the wall,” explained Morris. “It helps them remember their experience here, and it helps others see how many memories are inside these walls.”

Memories like graduation celebrations and proposals. Even a wedding was once held in one of their locations.

But of course staying open has been a challenge this year. And one of their restaurants in Redwood City, California, was forced to close down by the pandemic.

“Human life was more important than our business life,” stressed Morris. “We have to shift from being hospitality first to being compliance and health and safety first. But we’re so lucky to have such a loving base that’s positive and supportive and wants to see us stay safe and stay open.”

There are four locations in northern Nevada; two in Reno, and one in both Sparks and Carson City. There’s also a customer loyalty club called the “Eggheads”, where members get discounts and even free champaigne for their birthday and anniversary. You can get more information on the Squeeze In by clicking on the link below.

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