Blake Shelton is opening his Las Vegas bar, restaurant, and music venue this year. And, if all goes to plan, it will be open in time to watch the Formula One racecars zoom down Las Vegas Boulevard from its rooftop when the Las Vegas Grand Prix debuts in November. The country music singer and coach on The Voice is ready to introduce more honky-tonk to Las Vegas with Ole Red, his Tennessee-born restaurant that celebrates all things country with barbecue, moonshine cocktails, and performances from country artists on the brink of making it big.
Ole Red Las Vegas and Ryman Hospitality Properties broke ground this week and Shelton gave a first look at some of the food and talent that country fans can expect when Ole Red opens. The venue will occupy a new building at the Grand Bazaar Shops, on Las Vegas Boulevard at Flamingo Road. At approximately 27,000 square feet with 686 seats, Ole Red Las Vegas will be the brand’s largest location to date. The towering new bar and restaurant will have balconies on every level, providing stellar views from the center of the Strip. And each floor will provide a different experience.
“It’s impossible to describe this as one building,” Colin Reed, Ryman Hospitality Properties Executive chairman said at a Q&A at the Horseshoe. “There are multiple things that are going to be going on.” The first two floors will be hubs for dining and listening to music during the day. But after dark, Reed says that Ole Red will provide space for people to get up and dance with full-blown honky-tonk dance floors. The third floor will be reserved as a VIP experience with bottle service for folks whom Reed describes as “high-rated players who want a venue that is a little more luxurious.” Shelton clarifies: “rich people.” The roof will have its own food menu, cocktail flights, live music, and DJ sets, plus 360-degree views of the Valley.
Some culinary offerings on deck for Ole Red include brisket sliders with chorizo, smoked brisket, vinegar slaw, and onion straws on a brioche bun. Pulled pork sliders will be made with Ole Red sauce and slaw. And a new dish for the Las Vegas menu is the lobster corn dog, offered with three different sauces. The bar will have cocktails like the Warden with bourbon, peach, iced tea, and lemon juice, and a moonshine cocktail that tastes just like cherry limeade. In Nashville, the menu includes starters like fried pickles and green tomatoes, smoked wings with pickled jalapenos, a tater tot poutine with a fried egg, and Redneck Nachos with kettle chips, smoked chicken, and Velveeta beer cheese.
“I’ve been coming here a long time. I hosted award shows and worked concerts and was a fan and witness to Gwen Stefani’s residency,” says Shelton. “And every time I’m here, I want to see some damn country music,” Shelton says, adding that, much like his Nashville location, Ole Red will welcome talent from unsigned singers and artists previously featured on The Voice. He pitches a night at Ole Red as one in which the visitors play talent scouts, listening to music from country artists in a venue with concert-quality production. Reed says the goal is to complete construction on the new building in time for Ole Red to welcome guests as spectators when the Las Vegas Grand Prix debuts on the Strip on November 18.
Ryman Hospitality, which also operates the Grand Ole Opry, has locations in Orlando, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Gatlinburg, Tennessee; and Shelton’s hometown of Tishomingo, Oklahoma. Ole Red joins a roster of new restaurants coming to Caesars Entertainment properties. Chef Martin Yan, the James Beard Award Winner is opening M.Y. Asia at the newly rebranded Horseshoe Las Vegas this year. And Peter Luger is slated to open its first location outside of New York at Caesars Palace in 2023.