Shawn McClain is at it again, opening a third restaurant in Las Vegas. The James Beard Award-winning chef plans to open Libertine Social at Mandalay Bay this summer in the former Shanghai Lily space that’s been shuttered for years.
McClain calls this a modern gastropub with New American bar food and cocktails by Modern Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim.
“When I think about the best times in life, they usually center around sharing good meals with friends so I look at eating as the ultimate social activity," McClain says in a press statement. “With Libertine Social, we wanted to create a dynamic experience that celebrates the connections and memories made while sharing in the pleasure of delicious food and excellent drinks. It’s our vision to excite our guests by being both familiar and bold, comfortable and cutting edge with this concept. Libertine Social invites guests to define their experiences on their own terms, whether it’s stopping in for a quick drink solo or coming in for a special occasion with a large group, and everything in between. As with Sage and Five50, this concept is progressive and a little provocative, which I believe is a meaningful addition for Mandalay Bay and the Las Vegas dining scene as a whole.”
McClain plans to serve a combination of small and large plates. Look for dishes such as house-made grilled sausages, artisanal flatbreads, creative toasts and dips, seasonal salads, dry-aged steaks and cocktail-inspired desserts. Guests can get their food to go at a take-out window called “Libertine To Go.”
Abou-Ganim brings a bottled cocktail program, including what he calls “Swizzle” cocktails — icy drinks made table side that are created by rapid swizzling with five-pronged swizzle sticks from the West Indies. Artisanal shots, wines on tap and craft beers curated by Mandalay Bay Certified Cicerone Sarah Johnson round also make the menu.
The space includes a second, more intimate bar dubbed Scratch Bar in what Mandalay Bay is calling a “jewel box atmosphere.”
Guests can sit at communal tables and “modular mixed-use seating” in Voyeur’s Lounge, the main lounge near the restaurant entrance. McClain plans to put together the playlist for the jukebox here. A chef’s table next to the kitchen gives guests a view of the wood-fired ovens and cooking line. The space will even include an outdoor patio as well as a standard main dining room.
Studio Munge is creating the look of this space with murals from Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz.