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A lone car waits at the drive-thru at Church’s Chicken on South Rainbow Boulevard

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How Las Vegas Restaurants in the Southwest Are Handling the Most Devastating Week in Dining History

Since Tuesday, March 17, the landscape in southwest Vegas changed from a thriving restaurant scene to a city of scant customers

A lone car waits at the drive-thru at Church’s Chicken on South Rainbow Boulevard
| Louiie Victa

It’s afternoon on Thursday, March 19, in southwest Las Vegas, two days after Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that all restaurants and bars in Las Vegas had to close, but could remain open with carryout, delivery, and drive-thru services. Some restaurants closed temporarily, while many remained open with a makeshift staff completing orders and keeping customers fed.

Drive thru and fast food business are king right now. What once were the hot spots are now empty.

Eater Vegas photographer Louiie Victa drove through the neighborhood to see what restaurants were doing. The scene, while devastating, showed some signs of life. Restaurants in the southwest are trying, but not in full swing.

A chef cooks
Chef Nicole Brisson works at the stove on a family meal for volunteer staff at Locale Italian Kitchen.
Louiie Victa

Chef Nicole Brisson at Locale Italian Kitchen in Mountain’s Edge choked up as she talked about her decision to offer curbside service. “It’s way harder than I thought it would be,” she said. She started selling her wholesale meats at cost to help out Las Vegans who can’t get fresh proteins.

Brisson worked at Eataly at the Park MGM and the former Carnevino at the Palazzo before she opened Locale with Andy Hooper last summer. Some of her former employees on the Strip who were laid off saw that Brisson was struggling and volunteered to help. “We made [a] family meal that day but got too busy to eat it. We invited the prep cooks we laid off to come pick it up for their families,” she says of a meal she put together on Thursday.

A chef packages dishes to go
Chef Jamie Tran at The Black Sheep packs up takeout dishes.
Louiie Victa

A humble staff of four now runs The Black Sheep, the upscale American-Vietnamese serving comfort plates. “I’m trying to support my staff,” chef Jaime Tran says. “I wanted to give them some hours so that they can have some income coming in. Any profit that’s coming each day, it’s going straight to the employees.”

Tran says she’s more hopeful since a steady stream of dinner orders arrived for curbside pickup.

Neighbor SkinnyFats, the casual restaurant with breakfast, burgers, and salads, continued to offer its happy and healthy menu for curbside pickup.

The restaurants Oming’s Kitchen, Mazzoa Donuts, and The Chicken Shack remain open on Blue Diamond Road.
The restaurants Oming’s Kitchen, Mazzoa Donuts, and The Chicken Shack remain open on Blue Diamond Road.
Louiie Victa

Along Blue Diamond Road, Oming’s Kitchen, The Chicken Shack, and Mazzoa Donuts remain open for takeout. Once in a while, a lonely car would pull up and grab takeout. A few customers trickled into Oming’s, where owner Salome Pilas reported a shortage of rice for her Filipino food on social media.

Fausto’s, top, closed, posting a handwritten sign on the door. Blue Bei Sushi & Grill remains open, as does BurgerIM.

Businesses along South Rainbow Boulevard offer a mixture of open and closed restaurants. Fausto’s Mexican Grill is closed with a handwritten note in the door, but BurgerIM with its fast-casual burgers, Blue Bei Sushi & Grill with a roster of sushi and handrolls, and L&L Hawaiian Barbecue with its Hawaiian menu of lunch plates, loco moco, and Spam musubi opened for takeout.

Customers wait to pick up orders at FukuBurger.
Customers wait to pick up orders at FukuBurger.
Louiie Victa

Colin Fukunaga, who owns FukuBurger with its Japanese burgers in the southwest and in Chinatown kept his restaurant open for takeout and delivery from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, but he’s still playing with hours.

“We only to fight to stay open if it is in compliance with the rules of the Nevada governor,” Fukunaga says. “Most of the employees’ parents have lost their jobs and are now the bread winners in the house. We are definitely losing money. But if we can manage to get near break even, it’s worth it to help.”

Firefly closed before Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered all restaurants and bars to close in Las Vegas. They can remain open with pickup and delivery services.
Firefly closed before Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered all restaurants and bars to close in Las Vegas. They can remain open with pickup and delivery services.
Louiie Victa
Suzuya Patisserie closed on Monday.
Suzuya Patisserie closed on Monday.
Louiie Victa

Neighboring Suzuya Patisserie with its Japanese pastries such as green tea log cakes and yuzu panna cotta remained open for takeout last week, but opted to close starting on Monday. Firefly closed before the governor announced the restaurants had to temporarily close.

Chef Marc Marrone works the fryer at Graffiti Bao.
Chef Marc Marrone works the fryer at Graffiti Bao.
Louiie Victa

Chef Marc Marrone at Graffiti Bao with its menu of fast-casual Chinese dining was a bit more upbeat considering the situation. He’s offering free lunches for kids, pickup, and delivery through PostMates, staying open so he can continue to pay his employees. On Sunday night, he announced that he’s working with Shetakis Wholesalers, which is opening it doors for customers to order meat and produce at wholesale. “We will be coordinating two to three weekly orders where you can fill the guide out, place your order, and when you arrive to Graffiti Bao at the designated times,” he says. Staff loaded the car as he spoke.

The kitchen at Japaneiro looking through the window looks empty, but the restaurant is still serving.
Louiie Victa
Customers still use the drive-thru at Jollibee. Others park and call to receive their orders.
Louiie Victa

The stretch south of the 215 hosts a battalion of Asian restaurants. Along Warm Springs Road, Japaneiro remains open for pick up orders of its sushi dishes.

Jenni Pho on South Rainbow Boulevard remains open for takeout while Jollibee with its Filipino fried chicken and spaghetti kept the drive-thru running, getting traction from the neighboring Smith’s grocery store.

Goong Korean Barbecue sells kimchi and meats to go.

Even Korean barbecues, traditionally places that serve meats cooked at the table, remained open to get rid of their remaining inventory. Goong Korean Barbecue sold meat and kimchi to go.

Lucki Thai Bistro, Omoide Noodles & Bowls, Oyshi Sushi, and Soya Korean remain open.

Lucki Thai Bistro had takeout dishes, Omoide continued to offer its menu of noodle soups, poke bowls, and other Japanese fare for takeout, and YuXiang Korean Chinese carried on.

Oyshi Sushi offered 15 percent off takeout dishes and sold fresh salmon. The new Ramen Show chose to close. Soyo Korean Restaurant continued to serve its Korean street food.

A lone customer waits for takeout fare at Taiwan Deli.
A lone customer waits for takeout fare at Cafe Summer Taiwan Deli.
Louiie Victa

Down the street, Taste offered its Chinese fare for pickup, as did Ohana Hawaiian BBQ. Zen Curry House Express with its Japanese curry dishes and Cafe Summer Taiwan deli also remained open.

A Running List of Las Vegas Restaurants Expanding Delivery Due to Coronavirus [ELV]

How Coronavirus Is Affecting Las Vegas Food and Restaurants [ELV]

Ohana Hawaiian BBQ

7435 S Eastern Ave Ste 107, Las Vegas, NV 89123 (702) 676-2098 Visit Website

THE CHICKEN SHACK

1112 Nevada Hwy, Boulder City, NV 89005 (702) 294-0423

Zen Curry House Express

7835 S Rainbow Blvd #9, Las Vegas, NV 89139 (702) 912-4404 Visit Website

The Black Sheep

8680 West Warm Springs Road, , NV 89148 (702) 954-3998 Visit Website

Eataly

3770 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 730-7617 Visit Website

Carnevino

3225 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109 702-789-4141 Visit Website

Japaneiro

7315 W Warm Springs Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89113 (702) 260-8668

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

4030 South Maryland Parkway, , NV 89119 (702) 880-9898 Visit Website

SkinnyFATS

3700 McKinney Avenue, , TX 75204 (214) 774-9951 Visit Website

Soyo Korean Restaurant

7775 South Rainbow Boulevard, , NV 89139 (702) 897-7696 Visit Website

Goong Korean Barbecue

7729 S Rainbow Blvd #5, Las Vegas, NV 89113 Visit Website

Cafe Summer

, Las Vegas, NV

Omoide

126 Bermondsey Street, , England SE1 3HS Visit Website

Mazzoa Donuts

5180 Nevada 160, , NV 89139 (702) 617-0371

Suzuya Patisserie

7365 South Buffalo Drive, , NV 89113 (702) 432-1990 Visit Website

Graffiti Bao

7355 South Buffalo Drive, , NV 89113 (702) 323-6033 Visit Website

Jenni Pho

7855 S Rainbow Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89139 (702) 269-0348

Jollibee

3890 S Maryland Pkwy Ste 137, Las Vegas, NV 89119 (702) 893-3005 Visit Website

Ramen Show

7835 South Rainbow Boulevard, , NV 89139 (702) 462-6723 Visit Website

YuXiang Korean Chinese

7729 S Rainbow Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89139 (702) 790-3474 Visit Website

Locale Italian Kitchen

7995 Blue Diamond Road, , NV 89178 (702) 330-0404 Visit Website

FukuBurger

3439 S Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89146

Burgerim

9635 Bermuda Road, Las Vegas, NV 89123

Oyshi Sushi

7293 West Sahara Avenue, , NV 89117 (702) 485-5010 Visit Website

Taste

7945 S Rainbow Blvd Ste B, Las Vegas, NV 89139 (702) 888-3110

Lucki Thai Bistro

7835 S Rainbow Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89139 Visit Website

Bazaar Meat by José Andrés

2535 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 761-7610 Visit Website

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