Emmitt Smith’s steakhouse has finally nailed down an opening date, announcing today that it will open on Monday, February 26, with two new chefs at the helm.
In 2021, former Dallas Cowboys running back and Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith first announced plans to open a Las Vegas restaurant. The 30,000-square-foot Emmitt’s Vegas was slated to open at the front of Fashion Show Las Vegas, facing the Strip, in 2022. However, the opening was delayed, at first for vague reasons, until a 2023 lawsuit revealed that legal drama had stymied its launch.
Emmitt’s Vegas will take over the space previously occupied by Sugar Factory (3200 South Las Vegas Boulevard, Suite 1240) — a sprawling multi-story space that looks out over the Las Vegas Strip. During a preview event in September 2022, Smith shared his plans for the space, which included a first floor reserved for fine dining, a lunch and cigar-centric Player’s Lounge that would double as Club 22 at night, and a 16,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor deck for live music and viewing parties.
At the time, chef Rainer Schwarz was attached to the project and developing courses like Chilean sea bass, Japanese A5 wagyu with foie gras, a raw bar featuring an opulent seafood tower, shrimp cocktail, and caviar — and a much-talked-about butter cake. But in August 2023, Schwarz filed a lawsuit that alleged a “conspiracy” had been developed by Trilogy F&B Group LLC (the majority owner of the restaurant and leaseholder), to deprive Schwarz, through his LLC, of the legal right to oversee, manage, and operate the restaurant — a role that the lawsuit claimed would earn $67 million. At the time the complaint was filed, the operator, Trilogy Group F&B LLC, issued a statement, saying only that it continued to move forward with the restaurant concept as helmed by Schwarz. Schwarz did not return a request for comment.
Now, two new chefs are attached to Emmitt’s for its — hopefully final — opening date. Corporate Chef Steve Mannino joins executive chef Antwan Ellis, who previously worked as executive chef de cuisine at Hamilton Princess Resort in Bermuda and Todd English’s Bluezoo restaurant at Walt Disney World. According to a news release, the menu still includes a “soon-to-be-renowned butter cake” and Southern-inflected food.
New photos of the steakhouse show a bar with hardwood floors, seating and a bar counter swathed in rich shades of blue, and modern lighting fixtures. One room features a wall entirely reserved for storing hundreds of bottles of wine, while another offers glimpses of the Las Vegas Strip afforded by expansive window seating. An open kitchen framed by white brick detail is divided by counter-height seating for diners.
Emmitt’s will open during an exciting time for the Las Vegas sports scene. While not a sports bar, the football player-owned restaurant fits in with a city that is still adjusting to being a full-blown sports town, with the Super Bowl taking up residence just north of Emmitt’s — at Allegiant Stadium this weekend, the Formula One Grand Prix returning to the Strip again this November, and the Vegas Golden Knights coming off a 2023 Stanley Cup win.
When it opens later this month, the restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, with lunch served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner served from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Brunch will be offered on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with the bar will remain open from 11 a.m. to closing.