Restaurants ready for Taste of Downtown

Kimberly Landry, owner of Scoups Ice Cream & Soup Bar, outside the downtown shop on June 4.

Kimberly Landry, owner of Scoups Ice Cream & Soup Bar, outside the downtown shop on June 4.

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More than two dozen restaurants and other outfits are bringing their best fare for the annual Taste of Downtown event scheduled for 5:30 p.m. June 15 in historic downtown Carson City.

The event is a fundraiser for local nonprofit Advocates to End Domestic Violence.

“In 1995, the revitalization of Carson City was just beginning. Small shops and restaurants were slowly returning to downtown buildings, bringing along a sense of excitement and opportunity to an area that had been long depressed. After discovering a restaurant serving delicious creations in a hidden backroom of a bar, the idea for the Taste of Downtown was born,” reads the event’s website.

When it started, the Taste of Downtown saw 500 tickets sold. Flash forward to the 2020s; the event sees around 2,000 tickets sold.
“The Taste of Downtown proved to be the ideal opportunity to meet both the needs of the agency as well as increase awareness of the culinary, retail, and historic downtown district of the capital city,” according to organizers.

Scoups Ice Cream & Soup Bar has been participating in the Taste of Downton since opening in McFadden Plaza in 2017.

“We’ve done a lot of things to give back, and that (Taste of Downtown) is one that we can help support our community,” said Scoups owner Kimberly Landry.

Landry, 63, wanted to open an ice cream shop in the capital city for years. Going to the dedication of McFadden Plaza in the summer of 2016 inspired her to take the leap into the nearby storefront.

“Ice cream by itself is never enough, so we put soup with it,” she recalled, “and some sandwiches and salads, so here we are.”

Landry said she wanted a place for Carson kids to hang out. To that end, the business now employs Carson High students among a staff of 10.

“I have three seniors graduating,” she said. “As a matter of fact, I take them out to dinner when they graduate, the graduates, and usually I do it before they graduate, but we ran out of time, so we got to get them together.”

Landry likened Scoups to a family.

“I love watching the students grow and do something in their world,” she said. “It’s nice to say I’ve been here long enough to see that.”

For the Taste of Downtown, Landry was planning to offer three ice cream flavors: a nondairy option, a nut flavor and what she described as something fun. She thought mango sorbet and maple nut would suffice for the first two but wanted to leave the last flavor undecided.

“It will be a surprise,” she said.

Of the event, Landry said, “People enjoy it. There are so many people. I love it. It’s like everybody’s out there… Just swarms of people, and everybody seems to be having a really good time.”

For information about Scoups, visit https://www.scoupsbar.com/.

Also preparing for the Taste of Downtown in the first weeks of June was Joe Laub, owner of Sumi Sushi at the corner of North Carson and East Telegraph streets.

“We’ll be better prepared for the lines,” he told the Appeal June 3 at the restaurant, which opened at the start of 2023.

In the Taste of Downtown last year, Sumi was named “best discovery.” Laub ascribed this success to word-of-mouth and using the best ingredients — and freshest fish — the chefs can find. For instance, he calls the restaurant’s yellowtail, or hamachi, “sumi butter” for the way it melts in the mouth.

Laub, 63, lives at Zephyr Cove but has offices in Carson and other locations in Nevada and California. He’s known for his role in the regional law firm, Laub & Laub. He described Sumi as a passion project that frees him and the staff of 15 to be creative.


5 Joe Laub, owner of Sumi Sushi in downtown Carson, with the Adam Roll and Tahoe Mountain roll on June 3.

 

“Because I don’t care about profit,” he said. “Here I can make it as big as I want, as big as the customer wants and as elaborate.”

During the event, Laub said, the restaurant would serve a popular off-menu item, the Jasper, the on-menu Luke Skywalker and Delilah’s Delight and some “surprise rolls.”

Unlike other food items, sushi is a challenge for an hours-long event. Laub said the restaurant will be making the rolls as needed, freshly, with nothing stale or “sitting around.”

“Last year was really fun, and it was really challenging,” he said. “Last year we closed down the restaurant just to serve because we had huge lines the entire time. This year, we’re going to keep the restaurant open and bring in extra staff because so many people, once they sample our food, say, ‘Oh, we got to have more.’”

Like Landry, Laub considers staff and customers family, including literal family members that work in the restaurant.

“It’s just like a community,” he said.

And he said it’s ingrained in his family to contribute to the community through events like the Taste of Downtown.

For information on Sumi, visit https://sumi-sushi.com/.

For information or to order tickets for the Taste of Downtown, visit https://www.tasteofdowntowncarson.com/.

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