Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho to Open at Rio Las Vegas, Buzio’s Seafood to Close

TV host and restaurateur Guy Fieri has announced he’ll open a new restaurant, El Burro Borracho, at Rio Las Vegas in early 2016.

The new El Burro Borracho will be near the hotel’s VooDoo Beach pool in the under-performing Buzio’s Seafood restaurant space, which will close by the end of 2015.

El Burro Borracho

“Sombrero” in Spanish literally means “shadower.” Photo captions aren’t easy, you know.

El Burro Borracho is Fieri’s second effort in Las Vegas, following on the success of Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar at the Linq Hotel. There’s also an El Burro Borracho at Harrah’s Laughlin.

We had a great experience at Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar, so we’re optimistic El Burro Borracho (Spanish for “drunken donkey”) will have the same indulgent fare and festive atmosphere.

Rio Las Vegas

Rio Las Vegas opened on January 15, 1990 and is the home of the Chippendales. The flair bar in the lower right of this photo is where women hang out after seeing the show. Hint, hint. Seriously, though. Hint.

The menu at El Burro Borracho, as you might suspect, will feature Mexican-inspired dishes including: Crispy Mahi Mahi Juan Tacos, Flaming Queso Fundido, Acapulco Gold Salad, Drunken Fish Tacos, Lava Rock Shrimp, tortas, enchiladas, burritos and house-made salsas.

See the Harrah’s Laughlin El Burro Borracho menu here.

Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri was born Guy Ramsay Ferry. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Expect a robust selection of hooch, including imported beers, tequilas, margaritas and cocktails at Guy Fieri’s new Las Vegas restaurant.

Given the imminent closure of Buzio’s Seafood, it’s also worth mentioning the hotel’s Village Seafood Buffet also closed, as reported by our friends at Vegas Bright.

Rio Village Seafood Buffet

The Rio’s Village Seafood Buffet serves 25, 000 pounds of lobster each month. Good riddance, say lobsters.

There are lots of other restaurant options at Rio, of course, including Hash House A Go Go, Voodoo Steak, KJ Dim Sum & Seafood and an exceptional Indian restaurant conspicuously absent from the hotel’s news release for whatever reason, Royal India Bistro.

Also missing from the roster of Rio restaurants in the El Burro Borracho news release was Martorano’s. We’ve long suspected the opening of a Martorano’s at Paris Las Vegas signaled the beginning of the end for the Rio location, but no word on that to-date. (Update: A testament to this blog’s otherworldly prescience, Martorano’s closed at Rio Las Vegas on Nov. 1, 2015.)

We’re looking forward to El Burro Borracho opening at Rio, although the name is going to be challenging. There’s a chance guests will end up calling it the “Drunken Donkey,” or another variation like the “Hammered Ass,” but if the food and drinks are memorable, the name of the place shouldn’t hinder its success.

The Rio could use a little attention, and perhaps a new restaurant with a celebrity tie-in will help. We’d especially like to see the neglected Rio sign brought back to its true neon glory.

Rio Las Vegas sign

It’s not blinking. Those are just out.

Guy Fieri keeps busy with his gig at the Food Network, so it’s unlikely you’ll see him a lot at El Burro Borracho.

Still, Caesars Entertainment (the company that owns Rio Las Vegas) has a history of successful collaborations with the likes of Fieri, Gordon Ramsay (we see a “donkey” cross-promotion down the road), Giada De┬áLaurentiis, Bobby Flay and others, so El Burro Borracho will be a welcome addition to the Rio’s restaurant line-up.

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  • William Wingo

    We’ve had some tasty appetizers and drinks at el Burro Borracho in Laughlin. Enjoyed the ambiance, but appetizers and drinks were all we could afford. Also went to WSOP last April at the Rio. At least in terms of price structure, I predict it will fit right in.

    • Prices will probably be high, but technically this is off-Strip, so it might be OK. Like you said, it’s as much about the atmosphere as the food and drink.

  • Jokersmile

    Seafood and Vegas are never a good combo specific to fresh..ask any Chef why they never eat fresh fish primarily in Vegas.

    • That’s a great point. Nothing is native, so everything is making a trip from somewhere.

  • Michael Movestro

    Thanks for the link back, Scott!

    • Any time. Keep up the great work!

      • Wayne

        Love both of your sites. Thanks a lot!

  • wb7777

    I read that Guy Fieri patrons are only charged for their meals if they can keep them down before they leave.

    I have no clue how this restaurant will ever be profitable.