If anyone in Los Angeles knows the perfect bottle of wine to suit to the tastes of the Hollywood elite, it’s Christian Navarro, the president and principal of Wally’s Wine & Spirits. A-list celebrities such as Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, and Diane Keaton turn to him for advice before they buy a bottle. And now the sommelier to the stars plans to do the same in Las Vegas, bringing Wally’s Wine & Spirits to Resorts World this summer when the casino and hotels open on the north end of the Strip.
Wally’s, which has locations in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, brings a restaurant, wine bar, and specialty gourmet market with a mind-bending 8,000-plus labels to the neon of Vegas. Tourists can pick up spirits, beer, and gourmet food items as well, or sip on one of 125-plus wines by the glass.
“I’ve had my eye on Las Vegas for a while and have been waiting for the right opportunity,” Navarro says of his expansion to Las Vegas, where he felt the variety of experiences at Resorts World would sync with Wally’s for its first location outside of California.
Even with the star power of Wally’s, the wine shop that originally opened in 1968 treats customers of all stripes the same, whether novice or expert. “While our locations in California are known for attracting celebrities, our goal is to appeal to everyone, and that will still be our top priority at our Resorts World Las Vegas location,” he says. “The beauty of our concept is you can enjoy a $12 glass of wine or an $80 glass and still feel comfortable and enjoy the complete experience. We aim to be an approachable, laid-back spot where everyone can come in and feel like a VIP.”
The space blends a restaurant, social wine bar, and specialty gourmet market where every visit could bring a new experience together. ”What’s unique about the concept is you can visit the venue several times and have a totally different experience each time — from grabbing a cocktail before a night out, enjoying a custom wine tasting and cheese platter, or sitting down for a curated array of wine pairings.”
At the restaurant, diners can find classic dishes such as a roasted whole chicken topped with truffle jus and fresh shaved truffles, and the Wally burger made with wagyu beef, Old Amsterdam Gouda, and caramelized onions, a fan favorite. “We plan to work with local purveyors and vendors to bring local ingredients and brands to the menu,” Navarro adds. On the gourmet shop side, customers can find imported cheeses, charcuterie, caviar, oils, and much more.
As for parsing through such a vast wine list, Navarro says his team of experts can guide customers through the list for the perfect glass at any price point. “It’s designed to be a place for people to come, hang out, explore and enjoy, no matter your level of knowledge around wine.”
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