10 New Things You Might Want to Know About Linq Hotel and Promenade

There’s been a lot going on at the Linq Hotel (formerly the Quad) and its adjoining pedestrian promenade (formerly an alley). Let’s do a little catching up.

1. New Bar Coming to Blvd. Cocktail Space

The shuttered Blvd. Cocktail piano bar will soon be given new life. Fine Entertainment is expected to open up a bar featuring beer from around the world, all served in cans. Fine Entertainment is the same group behind PBR Rockbar at Planet Hollywood, Rockhouse at Venetian and Chayo Mexican Kitchen at the Linq. No word on when the new offering will open, as it hasn’t even been announced yet. (Update 12/11/15: It’s AmeriCAN.”)

Blvd. Cocktail Co.

It’s hard to go wrong with more beer and less piano.

2. New Executive Team for Promenade and High Roller

The Linq promenade continues to struggle, but there’s a glimmer of hope in the form of a new management team. Caesars has brought on Shaun Swanger as V.P. and General Manager of the promenade and High Roller Ferris wheel. Swanger has an extensive background in shopping center development and operations. Other new hires are a Managing Director of Sales for the High Roller, Ron Drake; G.M. of the Linq promenade, Tonia Chafetz (formerly of Tivoli Village, another struggling shopping center here in Vegas, but don’t hold it against her); G.M. of the High Roller Eric Eberhart; and Director of Marketing for the promenade and High Roller, Lindsay Sanna (we worked with her at Caesars, she was nice and was the one who first floated the name The Quad, but don’t hold it against her). It’s been frustrating to watch such a squandered opportunity at the Linq promenade, so here’s hoping some new blood shakes things up for the better.

Linq promenade

Please try and reach your full potential, Linq promenade.

3. Nook Cafe Opens

It opened under the radar (possibly for fear of it competing with restaurants on the promenade), but the Nook Cafe has opened inside the Linq Hotel in the former Betty’s Diner. There’s a quickie version, Nook Express, nearby. The Nook Cafe serves up salad, pizza, sandwiches and other standard cafe fare.

Linq hotel Nook Cafe

Slogan: “You’re tanked, what do you care if we’ve gotten a James Beard award or not?”

Here’s a look at the Nook Cafe menu, in all its “20% more than you’d like to pay” glory.

4. Vortex Level is Hosting Events

It’s a glorious, underutilized space, but the Linq’s vortex level has been seeing some action recently. Caesars has been looking for a partner to create a permanent venue, but no luck so far. Aside from the sweet light funnel experience (photo below), the area provides one of the best views on The Strip. There have been rumors a Playboy Club is coming to The Linq, and we’re hoping this will be the spot.

Linq Vortex elevators

You might say the Vortex is sort of a very public secret at the moment.

For today’s security breach, here’s the impressive light fixture atop the Linq hotel. It’s even cooler at night.

Linq Vortex

Concerts, events, weddings, square dances. Let’s make this a thing.

5. The Poker Room Lives

The poker room at at the Linq has been nomadic for some time now, closing and re-opening in different locations around the hotel. After being closed for six months, the poker room has yet another new home, near the southwest entrance, just across from the Flamingo.

Linq poker room

The poker room feels temporary (again), so don’t get emotionally attached.

6. Mat Franco Moves In

Magician Mat Franco recently opened his new show at the Linq hotel, “Mat Franco – Magic Reinvented Nightly.” We’ve heard exactly zero about it, despite a major showroom renovation to accommodate the “America’s Got Talent” winner. Come to find out, it wasn’t a huge gamble on the part of the Linq or Caesars Entertainment, as NBC paid for the lion’s share of the renovation, presumably so it could say one of its winners snagged a bigtime show on the Las Vegas Strip. The best review of the show we’ve heard so far was from another Strip magician, who said, “It wasn’t bad, but he’s not reinventing anything.” The Linq’s “Divas Las Vegas” show remains at the hotel, but comedy-juggler Jeff Civillico has moved to Flamingo Las Vegas.

Mat Franco Las Vegas

With all the reinventing going on, the U.S. Patent office must love Mat Franco.

7. Gordon Ramsay’s Fish & Chips Is Out

We were so excited when it was announced celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay would be opening Gordon Ramsay’s Fish & Chips at the Linq promenade. For months now, however, we’ve heard nothing about the restaurant and it appears the restaurant isn’t happening. It’s always possible the project could come back to life if the promenade turns around, but until then, we’ll have to made due with Ramsay’s three other Las Vegas eateries, two of which are excellent (Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris and BurGR at Planet Hollywood). Ah, what might have been.

Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips Las Vegas

Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips opening now would take an act of cod.

8. Flour & Barley Has Incredible Meatballs

So, it’s not exactly new, but it was new to us. While the pizza at this Italian restaurant wasn’t memorable, the meatballs sure were. They’re our favorites on The Strip, and there are a lot of great meatballs on The Strip (Old Homestead Steakhouse at Caesars comes in a close second). Our favorite meatballs in town are still the ones at Pizza Rock, but Flour & Barley’s are worth a try.

Flour & Barley meatballs

Loved them, even though there’s green stuff on them.

Flour & Barley has an open kitchen and the bar carries Captain and diet. And all was right with the world.

Flour & Barley Las Vegas

The folks that run Flour & Barley, Block 16 Hospitality, have strong pedigree. They also run Holstein’s at Cosmo and Public House, wherever that is, we were probably drunk there, too.

It’s worth noting the Linq promenade is making a big push to lure Las Vegas locals, so just about every restaurant and bar, including Flour & Barley, offers locals discounts (typically 15-20%) when you show a Nevada I.D.

9. Off the Strip Restaurant Unveils New Menu

To start, Off the Strip isn’t. It’s on The Strip, and it’s one of the best restaurants at the Linq promenade. The restaurant recently launched a new menu that features brunch dishes served from 5:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There are things like jumbo shrimp cocktails, pancakes, yogurt parfaits and chicken and waffles. The dinner menu has been updated, too, including a build-your-own burger option. We love the place, and we’d love to know what you think.

Off the Strip restaurant

The patio is lovely when it’s not 140 degrees out. So, basically, one week in November.

10. High Roller Finally Embraces Sex on the Wheel

Some time ago, we wrote a story providing tips for having sex on the High Roller observation wheel. It was far more popular than we ever anticipated. We intended it to be tongue-in-cheek, but now it’s clear even the folks at the High Roller are seeing the marketing opportunity of a “550-Foot High Club.” Check out this wrap touting the High Roller as a place to get some horizontal refreshment on the vertical. No, it’s not Photoshopped!

High Roller fun comes full circle

Saucy! The High Roller has finally figured out how to make back some of its erection costs on the back end.

That’s about it from the Linq Hotel and promenade. Yes, there have been more changes to the Linq than Terry Fator’s Facebook relationship status, but we love all the new, all the next and we definitely love all the WTF. So, keep it coming! If you get our drift.

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  • Jose

    Yeah Off the Strip restaurant is terrible! All simple frozen cooked foods, certainly nothing amazing by any means. Flour and Barley and Guy Fieri much better.

    • Enjoyed what I had, but didn’t have too large a sample.

    • MrSnarkyPants

      Opposite opinion. I’ve never had a bad meal at Off The Strip, either breakfast lunch or dinner. We usually crash next door at Flamingo, and since all of the Flaming-o’s restaurants either suck or are closed I spend most trips eating at the Linq. Off The Strip rocks, and their kitchen is both open late at night and early in the morning which works with my schedule when I’m in for conventions so I eat there a lot. Guy Fieri’s restaurant is overpriced tourist trash. Flour & Barley is hit or miss.

      Also, I’ll second the opinions on prices. If you’re going to put in a bunch of chain spots that I can eat at anywhere in America (Tilted Kilt, Yard House) and charge double to eat there than back home, I’ll go somewhere else.

      • Yeah, I like Off the Strip, and enjoyed Guy Fieri’s place quite a bit, too. Flour & Barley was disappointing, especially with so many other great pizzas on The Strip.

  • NHBill603

    They got out ahead of themselves with that development.
    It’s costs were so high it’s rents had to be too high which caused prices to be exorbitant which as a new property it had not yet earned.

    • It was a bold idea, and the offerings are great, so unsure what’s keeping it from succeeding. May be right about the price points.

  • FYMYAWF

    Too bad about GR’s fish and chips spot. Was looking forward to some late-ish night hangover killing going on there.

    Being an Mlife guy I’m wondering if the Linq’s tanking is giving pause to the developers of MGM’s project between Monte Carlo and NYNY. Seems like the same basic deal, though in not as good a location. The anchor though is the Arena, so maybe they figure if they can keep enough events rolling in there the crowds will take care of themselves.

    Interesting times coming up in the next few months.

    • It’s a good question, although what’s already in place at New York New York seems to be doing well. Agree it’ll be interesting to see how the two venues differ.

  • TheRobin

    If they simply lowered the prices 15-20% FOR EVERYONE, then it would have a much better go of it… Soaking the tourist (who ARE the reason these places even exist) is a very stupid business move.

  • Andrew Davison

    Went into tilted kilt and the wife got charged $11 for a draft stella WTF that’s £8 in england never went back ..what a rip off

    • Wow. Yeah, Strip prices, but maybe you have a point…lower the prices and up the volume. It can only help the wheel to get more people down there.

  • Misslaydj

    Agreed with Flour and Barely pizza. I’m from NY and the pizza is totally trash. I will try the meatballs. Because of u I tried to the meatballs at pizza rock after the mob museum in april and they were pretty good. I love gyro’s so will be willing to try at the nook.

  • Misslaydj

    also I really really like the linq. I cant remember what it was like before thought I have been there several times before it was built. its really amazing what they did and it s a great happening spot to go to. squeeze is one of my favs and so is osheas