Category Archives: Las Vegas Shopping

Let’s Blow Through What’s Going On at Linq Promenade

Change comes fast and furious in Las Vegas, so we thought it time to take another pass at what’s new at Linq promenade. That, of course, it code for security breaches!

First up, we poked our nose over the construction wall and In-N-Out, a long-awaited addition to the Linq mall (located between Flamingo and Linq hotels).

Presumably, the Strip outpost of In-N-Out will open by the end of the year, but at this point, there’s little to see in the way of progress.

Linq promenade In-N-Out

Why doth thou torment us so, In-N-Out?

Nearby, there’s another restaurant in the works, Canter’s Deli. Of Canter’s Deli fame.

This establishment, too, is supposed to arrive soon, but at the moment is little more than an empty room with sadness written all over it.

Linq Canter's Deli

Canter’s will take up residency in the space formerly used by the High Roller Ferris wheel ticket office.

Other parts of the Linq promenade, however, hold a bit more promise.

There’s a new restaurant in the works, Jaburrito, a place for sushi burritos, which we understand isn’t nearly as gross as it sounds.

Linq Jaburritos

Former home of a failed lingerie shop, Ruby Blue. There will be a quiz.

Linq promenade is currently decked out in its Halloween finest, including some impressive ghouls and werewolves along the pedestrian mall.

Linq promenade Halloween

Linq promenade, helping populate your nightmares since 2014.

The monsters at Linq are a fun diversion, and lots of visitors seemed to be taking advantage of the free photo op.

Linq promenade vampire

That time it got awkward because your fear was tinged with arousal.

In keeping with the Linq’s practice of refreshing its public art, there’s a new undead-themed mural.

Halloween zombie mural

Don’t believe zombies exist? Who do you think approved the Las Vegas stadium deal?

A new addition to the Linq promenade is an exotic vehicle rental stand.

Linq exotic car rentals

Drunk tourists, lots of traffic and three-wheeled vehicles? What could possibly go wrong?

The rates don’t seem particularly high, but we are a blog, not a Slingshot expert.

Linq exotic car rentals

Seriously, though, driving The Strip in a vehicle without a roof is a great way to take it all in.

Urban Turban, a popular Vegas restaurant, now has a stand at Linq (sorry, “open-air kitchen”), and it’s fully up and running.

The menu is somewhat limited, but what’s on it looks tempting.

Linq Urban Turban

Ripped from the pages of the bestselling book, “How to Open a Restaurant With the Change You Find Under Your Couch Cushions.”

Here’s the Urban Turban menu. What, you thought we were going to leave you hanging?

Urban Turban menu

Finally, a menu so streamlined even we could memorize it.

Nearby, of course, is the High Roller observation wheel. Nothing too new there, but we felt it was a good time to bring up the fact Las Vegas is home to the world’s largest Ferris wheel. It continues to struggle to meet ridership targets, but we shouldn’t take this engineering wonder for granted.

Thanks to the miracle and curse that is the Internet, there’s an easy way to see everything we’ve ever written about the High Roller wheel, and there’s been a metric hell-ton. Warning: Some of it is really weird.

High Roller wheel

Let’s take a moment to revel in the wonder and remember the High Roller has changed the Las Vegas skyline forever.

And some final newness, just behind the High Roller wheel is a seasonal attraction, The Zombie Escape. It’s a haunted house with zombies. Which we didn’t personally confirm, but what the hell else could it be?

Zombie Escape

The Zombie Escape felt a little cobbled-together, but we suspect it provides the promised thrills.

The Zombie Escape is $20, with $5 off for Total Rewards members.

That’s about all the news that’s fit to report, especially in a state of advanced intoxication. Allegedly. Here are more pics of the latest developments at Linq promenade. As always, you can thank us in Captain Morgan.

Linq Promenade Update, Oct. 2016

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Here’s Your Best Look Yet at the New Wynn Plaza Site

When Wynn Las Vegas announced it would build a new shopping area on The Strip, we sort of ignored it, because shopping. Now, we’ve seen the work-in-progress, and have learned Wynn Plaza could also include new dining and drinking options, so we’re in.

Here’s an exclusive look at the future Wynn Plaza experience.

Wynn Plaza

Yes, our camera probably should’ve been pointing toward Encore Beach Club. Freak.

The idea behind Wynn Plaza is three-fold.

First, Wynn Plaza is intended to make idle space more profitable. Second, it’s designed to give a shopping center across the street, Fashion Show Mall, a little competition. Third, the new two-story structure, which essentially wraps around the Wynn’s self-park garage, will help extend the resort closer to the street. Actually, boulevard, but let’s not get bogged down in details.

Wynn Plaza

You say “backhoe porn” like it’s a bad thing.

From the looks of it, Wynn Plaza will integrate the space formerly occupied by the hotel’s Ferrari dealership, the only one licensed in Nevada. The Ferrari dealership has been at Wynn since 2005.

Wynn Plaza

We’re pretty sure that’s where the Ferraris used to be. Because they certainly aren’t in our garage.

The cost of Wynn Plaza is expected to be about $54 million, or the approximate amount casino mogul Steve Wynn spends on boxer briefs in any given month.

Wynn Plaza

Construction of Wynn Plaza is happening largely out of sight. Until now. Because that’s how we roll.

Wynn Plaza will be about 75,000-square-feet of luxury retail space, because you can never have too much luxury retail space. Wynn Plaza will bring the total amount of retail space at Wynn to more than 173,000-square-feet.

Wynn Plaza

We have no idea what those things are. We are a blog, not a structural engineer.

Wynn Plaza is scheduled to open in 2017 and will feature lots of things you could only afford if your wealthy uncle went into cardiac arrest.

Wynn Plaza is expected to have a skylight rotunda, whatever that might actually be.

Once complete, Wynn Plaza will have sweeping views of a giant dirt lot across Las Vegas Boulevard, called Alon (pronounced “AY-lon,” a French word meaning “resort unlikely to exist thanks to a crackdown on Triads and corrupt Chinese officials”).

Wynn Plaza construction

Clearly, our construction photo fetish is well under control.

Wynn officials have said Wynn Plaza will have “interactive and experiential opportunities,” at least one of which, we assume, will be having a salesperson sneer disdainfully at you like you’re Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.”

Wynn Plaza construction

Looking toward Fashion Show, the less aspirational shopping mall just across the street.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about Wynn Plaza. Not as it currently exists, of course. It’s piles of dirt. The future Wynn Plaza. Are you intrigued or shopping averse? What would you like to see at Wynn Plaza? By that, of course, we mean what types of bars?

Wynn Plaza construction

Before you build, it must be rototilled.™

Jokes aside, Wynn Las Vegas tends to do things right, and this blog certainly loves it some new, even if only for the design eye candy. Wynn Plaza’s design is said to have been inspired by Avenue Matignon in Paris, named after one of our very favorite Musketeers.

What, you thought we meant that things about “jokes aside”? Do you know this Las Vegas blog at all?

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Four, Count ‘Em Four, Shops Call It Quits at Pawn Plaza

To say downtown’s Pawn Plaza is going through a rough patch would be an understatement. A startling four shops have shuttered at Pawn Plaza in just a week’s time.

Pawn Plaza is a shopping complex fashioned from shipping containers, an idea inspired by downtown’s Container Park. Pawn Plaza sits next to the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop made famous in TV’s “Pawn Stars.”

Pawn Plaza

It’s like Piet Mondrian humped a container ship. Or something.

It seems Pawn Plaza is going through the same kind of growing pains Container Park experienced, just all at once.

Here’s a rundown of the casualties.

Smoke’s Poutinerie

The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop gets a huge number of Canadian visitors, so it made sense to have an eatery featuring this popular Canadian dish. No such luck. Smoke’s Poutinerie was the first of the four shops to close.

Pawn Plaza

We quite enjoyed whatever it was we ate here.

Inna Gadda di Pizza

The closing of Inna Gadda di Pizza came as a surprise because of the restaurant’s pedigree. The shop was run by some of the same folks who opened the popular Pizzeria at Cosmopolitan (often called “Secret Pizza”). The pizza was okay, but given the choice between Inna Gadda di Pizza and the excellent Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke BBQ, it was no contest.

Inna Gadda di Pizza

“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” translates roughly as “The Garden of Life,” further proof you learn a metric ass-ton of useless stuff writing a blog.

Pawn Donut and Coffee Shop

The Pawn Donut and Coffee Shop was managed by the company behind Inna Gadda di Pizza. The doughnuts were solid and the prices were good. It’s likely this small shop could hold its own, but when Inna Gadda di Pizza pulled up stakes, it was a package deal.

Pawn Donut and Coffee

“Folks, we’re closing the shop, so we have to move everything out.” “All right, I’ll get a shoe box.”

Las Vegas Flip Flops

It’s a shock a flip flop store would fail given the huge public demand for, you know, flip flops.

Pawn Plaza Flip Flops

You will be missed, Las Vegas Flip Flops, by both of your loyal customers.

Thanks to Eater Vegas and Las Vegas Advisor for sharing news of the shuttered shops.

So, what’s the story at Pawn Plaza?

It’s been reported businesses at Pawn Plaza have been struggling overall, with disgruntled shopkeepers claiming the shopping center’s failing to meet their expectations.

Pawn Plaza’s PR team says, rightly, it’s the nature of the business that some stores will survive, others won’t.

Gold and Silver Pawn

The Gold & Silver Pawn shop continues to draw throngs. Just walk over to Pawn Plaza and buy something, people. It’s 14 feet away.

Pawn Plaza says it looks forward to announcing new tenants soon. Then again, what else are they going to say?

Is Pawn Plaza worth a stop? Of course! Did we mention Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke BBQ? It has a bar. ‘Nuff said. Bonus: “Pawn Stars” star Rick Harrison even tends bar there most Friday and Saturday nights.

Oh, and try Rita’s Italian Ice and Custard. The frozen custard is amazing, but just make sure it’s custard you’re getting because of the occasional egg shortages. It’s a thing.

Rita's Italian Ice custard

First, the custard is spectacular. Second, our future as a hand model is assured.

We’re rooting for Pawn Plaza to find a new batch of shops to fill out its roster. Pawn Plaza is a colorful addition to a blighted part of downtown. It’s just a matter of finding the right mix of shops and not relying solely on pawn shop visitors to support them.

And more bars couldn’t hurt.

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15 New Things Happening at Linq Promenade Mall

The Park, a mid-Strip restaurant row from MGM Resorts, has been in the spotlight a lot lately. Its four new restaurants are a perfect complement to the new T-Mobile Arena and upcoming Park Theater. Read more.

But the Linq promenade from Caesars Entertainment isn’t going down without a fight.

The Linq promenade, a dining and entertainment mall located between the Flamingo and Linq hotels, is in the throes of a bona fide renaissance, including a slew of intriguing new diversions, edible and otherwise. Even the under-performing High Roller observation wheel is showing
signs of new life!

It’s time to revisit the Linq promenade, end-to-end, to see what’s new and what’s in the works.

1. Center Strip Box Office

This giant box office is adorned with any number of video screens and it quite the eye-catching new addition to the Linq mall. We’re not sure which tickets you can purchase here, but the most prominently-displayed shows are those at Caesars Entertainment resorts. One word of caution:
You may see the word “Concierge,” but beware. In recent years, concierge services are often thinly-disguised ticket hawkers pushing shows that aren’t the best in quality, but rather those that pay the largest commissions. See more of the concierge outsourcing ugliness.

Linq promenade

“Caveat emptor,” which is Latin for “keep one hand on your wallet.”

2. Amorino Gelato

A new gelato shop is under construction, taking a spot previously used by a retail shop. This chain got its start in Paris, and has a lot of promise.

Linq promenade gelato

This blog loves it some gelato.

3. Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips

This long-awaited new fish and chips shop is finally being built and is expected to open in fall 2016. The space was formerly a Purple Zebra slushy drink store. No, Chef Ramsay won’t be making your fish and chips personally, but he’ll show up occasionally. It’s the law.

Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips

Don’t freak out. Purple Zebra slushy drinks are still available inside the Linq hotel.

4. Shadow Dancers at O’Sheas

This is our most exciting exclusive in ages. The exterior of O’Sheas at the Linq hotel now features shadow dancers! Fans of the previous incarnation of O’Sheas (a self-contained casino rather than a casino within a casino) will recall O’Sheas had shadow dancers of its own, in
the windows facing Las Vegas Boulevard. These aren’t quite as R-rated (they seem to be animated, as opposed to using human models), but they’re still worth a peek.

Linq promenade shadow dancers

We love this titillating nod to the original O’Sheas!

Oh, all right, here’s some video. Freak.

5. Kitson’s Replacement

It was quite a blow to the Linq promenade when one of its anchor retail shops, Kitson, closed. The Kitson sign hasn’t come down, but there’s a new store in the space. It’s a giant gift shop, not quite as quirky as Kitson, but a seamless replacement in a prominent spot in the mall.

Linq mall

We asked what the name of the Kitson replacement is, but an employee said it doesn’t have one. Let’s get on that.

6. Amazon Locker

We’re not entirely sure what an Amazon Locker is, but the Linq promenade has one. The Internet says Amazon Lockers are a way for Amazon customers to get their purchases without having them shipped to a home or business address. While this seems useful, we’d rather make
some snarky comment about how the whole thing reeks of “How do I get sex toys in Las Vegas without going to a creepy adult store or packing them in my suitcase?”

Linq Amazon Locker

Oh, great, something new for us to be stuffed into.

7. Virgil’s Real Barbecue

We had such high hopes for the F.A.M.E. Asian market, but it took a nosedive. Virgil’s Real Barbecue will soon take its place. Virgil’s comes from the folks behind Carmine’s, a great Italian place at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. Again, this holds promise.

Linq Virgil's Real Barbecue

Virgil’s is expected to open in fall 2016, so you know where you’ll find our face, slathered with BBQ sauce, right around that time.

8. In-N-Out

When we broke the news In-N-Out was coming to the Linq promenade, little did we know it would be one of our biggest stories of 2015. Now, construction is under way, and we’re predicting this newest In-N-Out location will provide a much-needed boost to the Linq mall. We feel a little badly for its neighbor, Flour & Barley, but in Vegas, only the strong survive.

Linq In-N-Out

Expect lines. Expect friendly service. Expect Bible verses on the bottom of the drink cups. We’re eating there, anyway.

9. Exotic Car Rental

We didn’t see that coming. Apparently, you can now rent exotic cars, including Lamborghinis, at the Linq promenade. A sign says prices start at $399, for four hours. There’s even an exotic car on display on the mall.

Linq exotic car rental

Sort of a bummer for Governors.

10. Urban Turban

Boom, another exclusive, and that’s the story we’re sticking to. A popular Indian restaurant in Las Vegas, Urban Turban, will soon open a kiosk at the Linq promenade. The stand will offer a slimmed-down version of the restaurant’s menu, including favorites like lamb, butter chicken, tandoori chicken and others.

Linq Urban Turban

We may break stories, but we don’t break details. You’ll figure it out.

11. Murals

The Linq mall has made good on its promise to update its wall-sized murals from time to time. There’s a whole new batch of murals from local artists. They make a great free photo op for the tourists.

Linq murals

Just in time for “Sharknado 4,” three minutes of which took place in Las Vegas.

12. Lines at the High Roller

One of the most surprising new things at the Linq promenade has to be, wait for it, lines at the High Roller observation wheel. The world’s tallest observation wheel has struggled with ridership numbers since it opened, but Caesars Entertainment continues to aggressively promote it, and it appears those efforts may be bearing fruit. While the wheel’s operators won’t admit it, we credit a truly strange story for raising awareness about the High Roller internationally. Hey, whatever works.

Linq High Roller line

You go, world’s largest observation wheel that people definitely should not have sex on.

13. Photo & Go

Photo & Go isn’t completely new, but we’ll be damned if we’re going to do a listicle with just 14 things on it, thank you very much O.C.D. Photo & Go originally opened in a different location in the Linq promenade as the Polaroid Fotobar. Photo & Go is a downsized version of the store, with a focus on allowing customers to print photos from their smartphones onto a variety of tsotchkes.

Linq Photos & Go

If casinos want to appeal to Millennials, they should invent a slot machine that also prints photos from smartphones onto tsotchkes. You’re welcome.

14. C & E Studio

It’s some kind of art gallery, with a selection of upwards of a dozen “urban art pieces” we probably can’t afford. Let’s just say you shouldn’t get too emotionally attached to this shop.

Linq art gallery

The gallery hosts street artists out front. Spraycan art is surprisingly popular in Las Vegas, with a typical piece selling for $40-50.

15. Canter’s Deli

Last but not least, it’s Canter’s! Yes, yes, we broke the story of Canter’s coming to the Linq promenade last year, too, but not everything has to be about us. Canter’s will take up residence in what was previously a part of the High Roller ticket office. The opening date of Canter’s has been pushed back a time or two, but with everything going on at the Linq promenade, we have high hopes it will open soon.

Linq Canter's Deli

Canter’s Deli has a long and impressive history we didn’t have time to look up.

That’s it! Everything you need to know about what’s happening at the Linq promenade and probably more.

Given the bumpy history of this very pleasant pedestrian mall, we love all the fresh activity and look forward to trying the plethora of new offerings. And not just because we’ve been waiting two years to use the word “plethora” in a blog post. Probably.

Linq Promenade Update

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Vital Vegas Podcast, Episode 14: Pawn Plaza Polka and Lucky Dragon WTF

In this thrilling last episode of Season One of the Vital Vegas Podcast, we stroll the length and breadth of downtown’s Pawn Plaza.

Pawn Plaza is the brainchild of Rick Harrison, the star of reality juggernaut, “Pawn Stars.” The Container Park-inspired collection has restaurants, shops and a bar, and is well worth a stop, especially because of the bar thing. The other parts a nice, too.

Pawn Plaza

Pawn Plaza is the first place we ever had poutine. Think loaded potato skins, but more popular with Canadians.

Also in this episode, we blow through “15 Crazy-Ass Things in a Las Vegas Weekly Story With Andrew Fonfa, CEO of the Financially-Beleaguered Lucky Dragon Resort.” Here’s the story in question.

Because we’re the podcast that goes the extra mile, we also talk about how we became 32% Irish this week. No, really.

Take a listen, already.

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Vital Vegas Podcast, Episode 4: Talking the Talk

Shockingly, there’s a fourth episode of the Vital Vegas Podcast. We did not see that coming.

In this week’s episode, we cover a lot of ground.

There’s an interview with comedian and juggler Jeff Civillico. The Flamingo headliner has a new TV show about Las Vegas, and the show is produced in a shipping container that sits on a water fountain at Linq promenade.

Las Vegas Good News

“Las Vegas Good News” host Jeff Civillico interviews a Brooklyn Bowl performer whose name we would convey if we were a note-taking type person.

Visit the Las Vegas Good News Web site, watch for the show in your hotel room or on Channel 13 (the ABC affiliate in Las Vegas) and make sure to keep an eye on Chelsea Phillips-Reid, one of Civillico’s bevy of co-hosts. Her pre-taped, “Daily Show”-style interview (back when “Daily Show” was funny) with a Gilley’s chef was a stand-out on the episode we attended.

We also chat with Seth Debowy, an entrepreneur whose company, Vegas Felt Co., makes clothing from salvaged casino table felt. Debowy provides an insider’s look into the process of developing his line of collectible clothing, and shares a few felt secrets, too.

For example, the vast majority of casino tables don’t actually use felt. We also learned if a high roller requests it, casinos will give them the table felt after their play. And also possibly cocktail servers.

Vegas Felt Co.

Take little piece of your favorite casino table game home with you.

The clothing company has come a long way since we first checked in. Check out the company’s official Vegas Felt site for more information.

Also on the show, we give our imbicilic take on the latest Las Vegas news, share some Las Vegas history (Barbary Coast closed this week back in 2007, now it’s the Cromwell) and drop the usual exclusives, including the fact Cosmopolitan resort is on the precipice of rolling out a drink voucher system at all its casino bars.

Barbary Coast security

Like many classic Vegas casinos, Barbary Coast had catwalks where security could peer down on tables to watch for cheats. This rare pic shows the peep holes.

Don’t miss some great listener questions: What’s the most trouble we’ve gotten into for a security breach? What’s a recommended panty-dropper cocktail? What are our five favorite video poker bars? All that and much, much less.

Oh, in the spirit of Jimmy Kimmel’s popular “Mean Tweets” segment, we read mean reviews of our podcast. Out loud. Somebody’s got to do it.

This iTunes review is a definite highlight: “End this abortion of a show before you lose all credibility.” Honestly, that’s an insult to abortions.

Take a listen. You can find all the episodes hereSubscribe at iTunes, and leave a review. Drop us a line to ask a question or tell us to STFU. You can also Tweet to @VitalVegas.

The Vital Vegas Podcast. It’s all the things you’ve come to loathe about this Las Vegas blog, but with more annoying ice-clinking.

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