The Players: Top Chef Masters’ chef Lorena Garcia and John Kunkel's team from 50 Eggs
The Situation: The Venetian lands its first Latin-influenced restaurant in the former DB Brasserie space, right next door to Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, also run by 50 Eggs Inc. features recipes from celebrity chef Lorena Garcia and and a kitchen helmed by chef Mike Minor, a Border Grill veteran returning to the Strip. Open for lunch, dinner and a weekend brunch, expect influences from Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
• All Coverage of Chica [ELV]
Location: Hard Rock Hotel
The Players: Michael and David Morton pay tribute to the Morton family tradition of steakhouses
The Situation: When the family business includes Morton’s of Chicago, Michael and David Morton know they have a lot to live up to with their latest creation, MB Steak. Located on the Hard Rock Hotel’s casino floor, the Morton brothers will fill 7,774 square feet with their re-imagining of the steakhouse concept, a vision they hope will become a flagship for a future chain.
• All Coverage of Hard Rock Hotel [ELV]
Patio Desserts & Drinks
Location: 5255 S. Decatur Blvd.
The Players: Chada Thai and Chada Street's Bank Atcharawan
The Situation: Admitting he is "trying something completely new to me," Bank Atcharawan is moving into another realm, seemingly far from his wine and Thai food expertise and into a patio garden-themed world, with a relaxed menu and environment expected to include Thai rolled ice cream, Hong Kong waffle, honey toast and other dessert specialties.
• All Coverage of Bank Atcharawan [ELV]
Unnamed Robot Bar
Location: Miracle Mile Shops
The Players: Rino Armeni, former operator of Pips Cucina and Wine Bar at the Aliante and two robot bartenders.
The Situation: The rise of the machines. Place your order on a tablet or app and watch two robotic arms, dance, shake, stir and present your drink. You pick the ingredient combination and step back and watch the show.
Opening: Estimated end of spring
Location: Hawaiian Marketplace
The Players: The creators of "best hot dog in New York since 1932."
The Situation: New York legends Papaya King invaded Las Vegas last year, sitting across from the Hard Rock Hotel but the move to the Strip may become the fast casual hit the Hawaiian Marketplace has dreamed about. Neighboring the newly minted Rock & Reilly's and a Chili's Grill & Bar the perpetually teetering retail center may finally get a second life.
Opening: Construction is well underway.
• All Coverage of Papaya King [ELV]
Location: 2477 S. Rancho Drive
The Players: The hottest fast food import in Las Vegas
The Situation: Move over White Castle, Chick-fil-A needed to hire security to deal with the lines and traffic in the first weeks following its expansion to Las Vegas. The third home, located within walking distance from Palace Station, looks to be even more of hot ticket, a quick ride from the Strip, and for many, may overtake In-N-Out Burger as their first or last stop from McCarran.
Opening: March 30.
• All Coverage of Chick-fil-A [ELV]
Canter’s Las Vegas
Location: Tivoli Village
The Players: A Los Angeles legend returns to Las Vegas
The Situation: Canter's Deli was just too big for its original Las Vegas home at T.I., but the kings of the deli sandwich are returning in a super-sized form. The deli’s first expansion at Tivoli Village is pitched to the locals, with a bakery, patio seating and a classy diner interior featuring their famous menu favorites. The tourists will have their chance then the second home debuts at The Linq in late June.
Opening: Late May
• All Coverage of Canter’s Deli [ELV]
Location: Fremont East, next to Atomic Liquors
The Players: The famous downtown bar adds dining right next door.
The Situation: In the time it took to conduct 20 nuclear test explosions back in the 1950s, Atomic Kitchen’s slow arrival is all forgiven and the former garage space has been transformed into an almost ready to open restaurant and lounge. Adjacent to the venerable Atomic Liquors, the industrial-chic setting will serve an upgraded bar menu spin for the Fremont East crowd.
• All Coverage of Atomic Liquors [ELV]
24 Seven Cafe
The Players: Station Casinos begins to make its mark on the resort
The Situation: Every casino deserves a version of good, reliable coffee shop and Station Casinos is investing heavily in upgrading the Palms’ always open cafe with a $2 million makeover that will transform the interior space and update the menu.
• All Coverage of the Palms [ELV]
Location: 1025 W. Craig Road
The Players: The "world’s largest Latin chicken chain."
The Situation: Sometimes considered a spicy rival to Chick-fil-A, Pollo Campero doesn't pretend to be fine dining, but for its many hard-core fans, there's nothing finer than the marinated, hand-breaded chicken flavored with a "proprietary blend of Latin herbs and spices." Plus, empanadas, bowls, plantains, yuca fries, rice and beans and flan and "4 Leches" for dessert. A second location will also arrive later this year, across from the Charleston Swapmeet.
Opening: Within weeks
• All Coverage of Pollo Campero [ELV]
Kitchen Table Squared
Location: The Gramercy
The Players: Chef and owner Javier Chavez expands to Spring Valley.
The Situation: Kitchen Table in Henderson is spreading its wings, with chef Chavez headed to Spring Valley and joining Pinches Tacos and DW Bistro at The Gramercy. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Latin American restaurant will expand on the original’s globally infused comfort food menu, promising a "Social Eatery" striving to offer a "convivial dining experience."
Opening: Late spring
• All Coverage of The Gramercy [ELV]
Bandito Latin Kitchen & Cantina
Location: 325 Hughes Center Dr.
The Players: Kent Harmon, formerly with Border Grill at Mandalay Bay
The Situation: The corner spot, with high, high angular walls of glass will be easy to find on Flamingo Road when Kent Harmon debuts Bandito this spring. Open for lunch and dinner, the Latin American menu will make Mexican-inspired dishes a specialty. A promised focus will be Strip-worthy customer service, plus a commitment to welcoming locals, curious tourists and in the later hours, industry colleagues.
Opening: Late April