Battista’s Hole in the Wall Could Close, Per Rumor

A Vegas institution, Battista’s Hole in the Wall restaurant, could close if rumors are true.

We first caught wind of the potential closure of Battista’s, a beloved restaurant near the Flamingo casino and infamous Stage Door Casino, in a tip on Twitter.

The Tweet claims, “A new group from Chicago is taking the spot for a new restaurant and entertainment venue.”

Battista's Hole in the Wall

It couldn’t hurt to swing by Battista’s Hole in the Wall, just in case.

We contacted Battista’s and were informed they have heard nothing whatsoever about the prospect of Caesars Entertainment ending its lease when it comes up for renewal in May 2020.

A rep said, “You would think we’d know about it. We make them money.”

Battista’s Hole in the Wall has been around since 1970. A 50-year run is rather astounding, as that is nearly 6,200 Las Vegas restaurant years.

Back in 2005, the owners of the restaurant, Battista and Rio Locatelli, sold it to Caesars Entertainment (called Harrah’s at the time).

Stage Door’s lease, by the way, runs out in 2030. Nobody expects the colorful bar will survive beyond that, so drink up.

Battista Locatelli wrote a memoir about his adventures in restaurateuring. Rio Locatelli passed away in 2018.

Here’s look at the restaurant, along with a good dose of throwback charm.

Were Battista’s Hole in the Wall to close, a quirky chapter in Las Vegas history would close as well.

Innumerable celebrities have found their way to Battista’s, known for its (wait for it) off-the-wall Italian decor and Gordon Jaffe, an accordion player who roams the restaurant as he has for more than three decades.

Lots of longtime fans of this barely off-Strip restaurant will bemoan its demise if the rumor pans out, but change is a constant in Las Vegas, just like poker chips, neon and women carrying their pumps after a night in the club.

You’ll know when we know, but food for thought.

8 thoughts on “Battista’s Hole in the Wall Could Close, Per Rumor

  1. Coop

    It may be the curse of the word “Immerse”.

    From Las Vegas Weely July 23, 2014…
    “Battista Locatelli bought the lot where his restaurant resides in 1978. The Stage Door, a tiny casino with two bars and an adjacent liquor store and sundries shop, had opened in 1976. When Locatelli retired in 2005, he sold the entire center to Harrah’s, now Caesars Entertainment, which owns many of the properties on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard and developed the Linq and the Cromwell.

    There are 16 years left on the Stage Door’s lease. Once Caesars became the landowner, there was obvious speculation that the gaming and hospitality giant would eventually build something bigger and flashier at the site, or at least use the land to complement its surrounding properties.”

    With 11 years left on that lease how will Caesar’s push them out?
    Has my smart hard working uncle been pushed out once again? OH to own property in Vegas…

    1. Boulder Steve

      A friend owned a bar and after the property was sold the new landlord him out but he had 10 left on his lease. The new owners would call the police and file false reports about fights and drug dealing in hopes to get his liquor license revoked.

  2. Pkokkinis

    Good riddance, but sorry for the folks losing their jobs. Gordy was the best. We used to go a couple times a year for the past 20+ years but took it off our list about 5 years ago when service and food quality was consistently bad and getting worse with every visit.

    1. Vegas Insight

      I finally went to dinner there in Dec. 2018. More than 20 years after I first set foot in Vegas. And during my very first day in Vegas, I walked to the Maxim Casino, so I had to walk right by Batista’s.

      At $10/plate, I might find my way there every trip. Prices are not obscene, the place is indeed kitschy and the dude certainly works the accordion. But overall, I wasn’t blown away by the experience, given the price, and it wasn’t that expensive. You won’t find much better for less on the strip. But I don’t do the strip much these days, so it doesn’t matter.

      I have no basis for comparison, so who knows what I missed 15 years ago, but I have no incentive to return. You hate to see “old school” Vegas go away, but it happens every year, somewhere, and Batista’s isn’t one I’ll shed a tear over.

  3. Boulder Steve

    Surprised its lasted this long. Its been a slow but steady decline. You can only live off your past reputation for so long. Hope the Stage Door hangs around another 10 years but Caesars may make them a offer they cannot refuse and buy out the remaining years. Dive bars can be fun..dive restaurants not so much.

  4. LIncoln

    This is the saddest news out of Vital Vegas in the five years I’ve been following you. And that includes the “Manhattan Express” getting re-named. I went to Battista’s the first time in 1988 after a Don Rickles concert. We’ve been there almost each time since, which schemes out to about once every five years. Loved the booths, decor and photos of Vegas icons of yesteryear.


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