Olive burgers, waffle fries, and cereal-stuffed milkshakes arrive at a new sports bar opening inside Circa at the end of the month. Victory Burger & Wings Co. from the owners of American Coney Island at the D Las Vegas anchors the three-story screen in Circa’s sportsbook and features its own radio booth.
Co-owner Chris Sotiropoulos says the conversation about a burger restaurant started in 2017 when Circa and D Las Vegas CEO Derek Stevens sat at Long Bar and talked about what a sports bar might look like at the new resort that opens on October 28. Sotiropoulos says he grabbed a napkin at the bar and started jotting down ideas, then called his suppliers the next day to order new products to start testing dishes.
The burgers use a blend of Black Angus ground beef, short ribs, and brisket. The 8-ounce burgers grilled on a flattop come in six varieties, and diners can swap out turkey burgers, grilled chicken, or an Impossible burger for any of the combinations.
Sotiropoulos says the Vegas Martini burger brings a twist to the Michigan staple olive burger. Instead of just mayonnaise, he uses a mix of cream cheese, mayo, and chopped olives in the burger with cheddar cheese on top.
“In Michigan, in the Midwest, olive burgers are kind of a little bit of a staple,” he says. “It’s only made with mayonnaise and chopped green olives.” But when he worked as a vice president for a national restaurant company, he traveled to college towns and always ate an olive burger when he saw it on the menu. A restaurant in Wisconsin turned him on to adding cream cheese to the mix.
Sotiropoulos credits his sister Grace Keros, who co-owns the company with him, with concocting the fondue burger with a creamy blanco cheese over fire-roasted red peppers, artichokes, and tomatoes.
The namesake Victory burger comes with cheddar cheese and thick-sliced bacon while the Victory Loco burger arrives topped with a fire-roasted combination of corn, poblano pepper, and onion, pickled jalapeños, creamy blanco cheese sauce, and sliced avocado. Other options include a barbecue burger and a classic.
Sotiropoulos says the jumbo-sized breaded chicken wings come coated in Buffalo, barbecue, garlic Parmesan, or red chili sauce with homemade ranch, bleu cheese, and jalapeño ranch for dips.
He says dishes using simple ingredients form the staple of his menu. Nachos, where every chip has topping on it, sweet breaded onion rings that pay homage to the version he serves at American Coney Island, and fried green beans bring a different spin to sides. “You know, everyone needs a vegetable on the menu, and we figured, you’re on vacation, let’s make it fried.”
Waffle fries, with a sweet potato option, also make the menu and can be topped with blanco queso and bacon.
For milkshakes, Sotiropoulos turned to his childhood for inspiration. “Everyone is doing kind of over-the-top shakes,” he says. So instead of sprinkles or syrups, Victory adds cereals to the mix, with Captain Crunch Berries, Chocolate Cocoa Puffs, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch playing the starring roles.
The sports bar also plans to serve beers, with some local options. The restaurant offers counter-service ordering, along with the option to place orders via iPad from the sportsbook.
“We really put our heart and soul into everything we did,” Sotiropoulos says. “It’s one of those things that we made sure that we put our taste spin on everything because we tried to create this phenomenal food experience but at the same time, make sure you feel like you’re part of the family.”