Chef Todd English gets ready to open his 6,500 square-foot food hall at Area15 on January 28. The Beast Food Hall originally opened at the 200,000-square-foot entertainment venue with interactive artwork as a pop-up in September, showcasing some of the food he plans to serve.
Unlike a food court that generally offers a variety fast-food national chains, a food hall mixes smaller artisan restaurants, much like Block 16 Urban Food Hall at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas offers Hattie B’s Hot Chicken out of Nashville, Lardo from Portland, Oregon, and more.
English set up the food hall as a test kitchen for his restaurants around the globe. Different stations focus on specific cuisines. Diners can find a wok station, burning station for Roman-style flatbreads, barbecue station, and even a vegan menu as well. English plans to rotate the menu, and chefs will bring different recipes that, if successful, will roll out to English’s restaurants worldwide.
Some of the teased dishes include tuna tartare wonton tacos, chile-lime watermelon salad, chilled shrimp, loaded fries with short rib ragu, Buffalo wings, and Korean chicken wings. One of the specialties, sliders, stuffs the smaller sandwiches with crispy chicken, cheeseburger, eggplant Parmesan, and barbecue short rib. The Beast Food Hall also offers a communal dining area complete with two bars.
English at one time had Olives at the Bellagio, now occupied by Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, as well as Todd English P.U.B. at the Shops at Crystals, now called just the Pub. English’s most enduring venture, Olives, debuted with the Bellagio in October 1998. The Bellagio announced the restaurant would close back in 2013 before a very surprising reprieve. The Mediterranean-inspired restaurant closed for good in January 2018. Todd English P.U.B. closed in December 2017. English was also once behind the menu for Beso, the Las Vegas restaurant and nightclub fronted by actress Eva Longoria that closed in 2011 a few steps away from his former pub. When Virgin Hotels opens, English revives Olives at the resort that’s renovating the former Hard Rock Hotel.
The Beast plans to be open Monday to Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. Reservations are required for admission into Area15, and The Beast will seat customers on a first come, first served basis. Social distancing rules and regulations will be strictly enforced for all parties.