More than two years ago, chef Grant Achatz and his business partner Nick Kokonas of Alinea and Next fame in Chicago said their cocktail bar The Aviary would be the most likely of the three to take flight and roost in new cities. "The Aviary is more adaptable to different locales. I can imagine the one in L.A. being very different from the one in NYC or Shanghai or Vegas, and each being true to themselves. Another Alinea serves no purpose — that is the flagship. Another Aviary gives us a chance to explore," Kokonos told Eater National at the time.
Now rumors are spreading that The Aviary could replace Mandarin Bar at Mandarin Oriental. Eater Chicago reached out to Kokonos, who says that rumor is not true.
I saw it... I don't understand really. There is no way that one of our employees said that — first, because I've never talked to a single Alinea employee about development plans for Aviary in Las Vegas, second because I'm not 'stockpiling rare spirits,' and third because how the hell would one of our employees be talking to Vegas Seven publication (ha!).
I have spoken with the Mandarin about development with them, that is true... but nothing is concrete and I haven't even visited the Vegas property ever. I suspect this is just a local developer trying to entice us in some measure... I don' t know. Seems odd that people would report anything without just calling us personally.
I never say never about anything, especially if it's with the Mandarin Oriental group who are highly service oriented and probably the only group that really pushes their cuisine... to wit: partnerships with Heston and Daniel. But like I said I haven't even ever been in the MO Las Vegas in my life.
So that quashes that rumor.
· Mandarin Oriental Bar Could Take Flight as 'The Aviary' [Vegas Seven]
· Chicago's The Aviary Eyes a Move to Vegas [~ELV~]