Heartbreaking news for fans of chef to the chefs Sammy DeMarco. Both First Food & Bar at the Venetian and Rattlecan at the Palazzo got the news last night that both would shutter, effective immediately.
The staff was told last night. In a tweet, Rattlecan's assistant general manager Michelle Bautista said, "I'm standing here @VenetianVegas watching them board up my restaurant @RattlecanLV!!!! My heart is broken!!!!!!"
UPDATE: VV Ventures, the ownership team behind First and Rattlecan issued a statement: "After years of enjoyment by our customers of FIRST Food & Bar and the initial success of Rattlecan, we have entered a mutual agreement to relocate the restaurants from their current locations. Both restaurants are closed at this time and we look forward to announcing a new Las Vegas home for Rattlecan in the near future. We couldn't be more proud of these two unique restaurants and our amazing staff members. The owners deeply appreciate the amazing press, reviews and customer support that the restaurants have enjoyed over the years."
Yesterday Eater Vegas reported that there were rumors that both of the spaces would shutter, likely to make way for Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's two new restaurants rumored to be coming to the Venetian and Palazzo. Batali told Eater Vegas in December that he was considering bringing an Eataly-type concept to the resorts that would include his Bet on the Farm farmers market if he had the outdoor space. Rattlecan, which just opened in November with graffiti art walls and burgers that even serve the sports book and poker room, sits in the former Lutece space overlooking the Strip.
But in order to do that, Batali and Bastianich would need a huge space, fueling rumors that Rockhouse, the dive bar that just opened at the Venetian after being relocated from the former Imperial Palace to make way for the Linq, would be next to shutter to make room for the massive undertaking. "We're trying to figure out if there's a space in the Venetian/Palazzo area where we can do maybe not Eataly itself but a little Eataly," Batali told Eater Vegas in December.
UPDATE: A spokeswoman for Rockhouse says the bar is not closing.
UPDATE: Eating Las Vegas also reported that The Act Nightclub at the Shoppes at the Palazzo closed, but a rep with the club says that is not true. The club does plan to add a late night as well as open an additional night, Thursdays.
This news all comes amid rumors that not only would Batali and Bastianich open two new restaurants but that Daniel Boulud would make his return to Vegas and a star sushi chef would be coming as well. Yesterday news broke that Valentino would shutter in June so Boulud could take over the space.
As for DeMarco, the chef wants to stay in Vegas and plans to look for new space on the Strip. He's currently working on a new television show, already scheduled to shoot seven episodes in March, for a food-related television network. He also plans to open a new restaurant in Los Angeles next spring.
· Daniel Boulud Rumored to Take Over the Valentino Space [~ELV~]
· Massive Palazzo Rumors Swirl About Mario Batali Opening 2 Restaurants Plus Star Sushi Chef and Daniel Boulud? [~ELV~]
· All Coverage of Rattlecan [~ELV~]
· All Coverage of First Food & Bar [~ELV~]