The first new casino built from the ground up since 1980 makes its debut in Downtown Las Vegas. The 1.25 million-square-foot Circa revealed the first five floors of the swanky resort at midnight on October 28, with the largest sports book in the world, a year-round pool experience, four restaurants, and an adults-only experience, open only to those 21 and older. Owner Derek Stevens broke ground on the resort in February 2019, and plans to reveal the hotel rooms in December.
Visitors can park at Garage Mahal, an eight-story parking structure with 982 parking spaces across the street from Circa offering its own ride-share hub on the third floor. An art installation designed by Egads dubbed Time of Your Life chandelier spans 22 feet and greets drivers as they enter.
Visitors then cross an air-conditioned bridge to access the casino floor, which spans two floors. To the left of the garage entrance sits Jack Pots, a coffee shop created by Paul Saginaw and Steve Mangigian. Customers can find Michigan’s Zingerman’s coffee, along with a custom blend exclusive to Circa.
The 24-hour coffee shop offers a roster of breakfast favorites, sandwiches, and salads.
As visitors continue walking on the second level, they will encounter the 7,000-square-foot gaming floor to the right and a high-limit gaming area to the left. Aside from 49 table games and 1,350 slot machines, the casino floor features an HVAC systems in the to ventilate the casino.
On this floor, Le Thai chef and owner Dan Coughlin introduces 8 East, his pan-Asian restaurant with Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Thai dishes. A wall of 40 Maneki-neko waving cats, a Japanese symbol of good luck, stands outside the restaurant. The menu features small plates meant to share, a variety of skewers, and dishes served family style.
Head to the right to find Saginaw’s Delicatessen, a 24-hour deli from Paul Saginaw with a seven-foot sculpture of the owner greeting customers at the front. The menu features reubens, matzo ball soup, onion rings, salads, latkes, chopped liver, breakfast specialties, and more.
“I’d tell you to order the corned beef Reuben, the king of sandwiches,” Saginaw says of what to come for. “It’s really the quintessential delicatessen sandwich. … It’s as good as a five-star meal.”
On the dessert side of the menu, Saginaw’s features favorites from his Ann Arbor, Michigan, original deli that opened 39 years ago. Traditional cheesecake, carrot cake, a Boston cream pie, sour cream coffee cake, and “a really great pecan pie that can make you cry” make the menu. The deli even serves a 99 cent shrimp cocktail from 3 to 5 a.m.
Those who want to head up to Stadium Swim with its six pools, two spas, 15,000 square feet of wet space, and 4,000-person capacity can queue up in the next space to the right.
Stadium Swim offers a 143-foot by 40-foot LED screen with 14 million megapixels at the entrance. Among the amenities, two swim-up bars, 30 cabanas, 38 daybeds, 337 chaise lounges, and food from Saginaw’s Deli and Victory Burger & Wing Co. Customers can order from iPads while continuing their sunbathing. At front of the venue, a bar featuring frozen cocktails awaits.
Customers access Stadium Swim via a three-story escalator, the longest in Nevada.
Back down on the second level, visitors will find boutiques with swimwear and resort attire, followed by an art gallery from Chris Ihle. A life-size replica of Stevens made from Lego blocks, Ihle’s medium, greets customers.
Next, Victory Burger & Wings Co. from the founding family of American Coney Island, the hot dog restaurant at the D Las Vegas, also owned by Stevens. Chris Sotiropolous and his sister Grace Keros created the sports-themed restaurant that has the Vegas Martini burger, an ode to the Michigan favorite olive burger. The menu also features jumbo wings, salads, and milkshakes mixed with breakfast cereals.
Overhead, the pendants are all in the color of a football, while the chairs take on the hue of a basketball. The cashier stand looks like a baseball dugout, and a scoreboard hangs from the ceiling.
The sports bar overlooks what Circa dubs the “world’s largest sportsbook,” a stadium-style betting extravaganza spanning three stories with room for 1,000. Every seat comes with a power outlet.
A 78 million-pixel screen anchors the sportsbook. Gamblers can sit in The Dugout, a VIP area with 28 seats in front of the screen; The Legends Club with 18 recliners behind The Dugout; The Champions Club with booth seating; The Circa Club Upper and Circa Club Lower with 14 booths; or the North and South Stands with tiered viewing and 164 seats. Victory Burger and the resort’s barbecue restaurant, Project BBQ, serve food for the experience.
Rounding out the second floor is Overhang Bar, an ode to a section of right field at Detroit Tigers Stadium open 24 hours daily.
On the first floor sits Mega Bar, Nevada’s longest bar at 125 feet with 120 beer taps. Customers should look at the wallpaper, compiled of newspaper clippings. The 53-seat bar features 47 double-stacked televisions.
Out of all the bars at Circa, Vegas Vickie’s brings a truly Las Vegas experience, anchored by the original neon sign of Vegas Vickie, the kicking cowgirl. The 25-by-20-foot neon sign that sat outside Glitter Gulch originally debuted in 1980, and Stevens acquired it in 2016. YESCO, the neon sign company, spent seven months restoring the sign, complete with a repaired kicking leg.
The lounge features seasonal cocktails and vintage drinks with sheer drapes to offer some privacy. Artwork in the middle of the bar creates a V shape in honor of the stunning sign that visitors can see from the second floor down to the basement in a three-story atrium.
In the basement sits Barry’s Downtown Prime from Barry S. Dakake, a long-time Las Vegas chef who helmed N9NE Steakhouse and Scotch 80 Prime at the Palms. His regal steakhouse spans 3,200 square feet with eight rooms that can expand and contract to accommodate large groups to intimate settings. The restaurant serves table-side dishes along with a vegan menu and steakhouse favorites.
Dakake teams up with Yassine Lyoubi, Marco Cicione, and Donnie Rihn for this steakhouse filled with vintage glamour, including artwork from 40 artists adorning the walls. Navy and oxblood walls, warm brown and white oak parquet floors, walnut millwork throughout, burnished brass furnishings, and antique mirrors decorate the space. One room features an illuminated three-dimensional, rose-inspired ceiling while another comes with a lighted olive tree.
Outside the resort, on the Fremont Street Experience, sits Circa Bar with 24 frozen cocktail flavors and dancing flair bartenders. The bar top uses recycled Skyy vodka bottles.
Next door, Project BBQ, a permanent food truck serving Carolina barbecue dishes such as brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and the garbage bowl with a little of everything on top of kettle chips. Chef Rex Bernales partnered with Rob Baker, Mo Pierce, and Steve Hamlin on the restaurant near the Main Street Stage on the Fremont Street Experience.
Next up for Circa, the opening of the remainder of the resort, including 777 hotel rooms, with 512 opening on December 28. At the top of the resort, the Legacy Club on the 35th floor features a view of the city, five fire pits, and a 10-foot display of 1,000 ounces of gold.