A popular sports bar and restaurant, Lagasse’s Stadium at Palazzo, has confirmed it has closed permanently.
The venue never reopened after it was shut down, along with the rest of Las Vegas, in mid-March 2020, due to the COVID-19 crisis.
You remember COVID-19. Mother Nature’s biggest wet blanket, possibly ever.
Lagasse’s Stadium had 100 HD TVs, about five more than the typical Las Vegas sports bar. Photo courtesy of The Venetian.
Lagasse’s Stadium opened at Palazzo in 2009. It was one of the few venues in Las Vegas we can’t recall ever having visited, probably due to the risk of being high-fived against our will.
Lagasse’s Stadium was recognized as one of the best sports bars in Las Vegas, but chances are the rent was just too damned high given the uncertainty around the COVID crisis.
It’s also challenging to do a massive sports venue at the moment when there aren’t many actual, you know, sports happening. No, golf isn’t a sport. Ditto UFC.
Licensing deals with celebrity chefs is popular in Las Vegas, but those fees can take a chunk out of the profit for a casino resort.
Vegas is one third less Emeril.
For example, Gordon Ramsay’s deal with Caesars Entertainment gives the “Hell’s Kitchen” star five percent of gross sales of his restaurants, up to $10 million. Sales in the $10-15 million range earn 5.5%, and sales of more than $15 million result in a 6% cut. Emeril’s deal with Las Vegas Sands (owner of Venetian) is probably similar.
There’s no word yet on what might replace Lagasse’s Stadium, or when.
This will win you a bar bet: That’s the Rialto Bridge.
Lagasse’s Stadium was one of three Emeril Lagasse-branded restaurants on The Strip. The others are Delmonico Steakhouse at the Venetian and Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at MGM Grand. They don’t appear to be jeopardy.
If we could be done with all the bad news, that’d be great.
While most Las Vegas casinos have reopened since the shutdown, a notable straggler has finally announced a reopening date.
Tropicana Las Vegas will reopen Sep. 1, 2020.
There’s nothing sexier than a laptop tan line.
Tropicana has been closed since March due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The resort will open with safety protocols which have now become standard in Las Vegas casinos: The hotel and casino will be limited to 50% capacity, and social distancing and mandatory masks will be in place as well.
Several of Trop’s restaurants will be opening with the resort, including Robert Irvine’s Public House (meh), Red Lotus Asian Kitchen (also meh), Bacio (haven’t tried it yet) and Oakville Steakhouse (excellent).
Our face will be revisiting this dessert at Oakville on our around Sep. 1.
Tropicana recently sold itself (Penn National Gaming) to itself (Penn’s real estate investment trust). It’s complicated, but the upshot is the “sale” ensured rent would be paid all Penn’s casinos across the country, including Tropicana, throughout the crisis.
Penn also owns M Resort, which opened June 4, along with most other Las Vegas casinos.
Penn has made no secret of the fact Tropicana remains up for sale, but reopen it shall.
We honestly never realized how much we miss the Tropicana until we heard it’s reopening, and September can’t get here soon enough.
The devil theme continues with Yardbird’s deviled eggs with dill, chives and smoked trout roe.
It looks like Business.org grabbed this information from Yelp, which currently shows Bacchanal Buffet and Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen as first and second “most recommended,” with Yardbird third. The “highest-rated” Las Vegas restaurant on Yelp seems to be Bajamar Seafood & Tacos, whatever that might actually be.
Which brings us to the question: Why did we even write about this in the first place?
Oh, right, 666.
If you add up all the numbers on a roulette table, they add up to 666. That’s why it’s sometimes referred to as the “devil’s game.”
There. This wasn’t a complete waste of time. Probably.
Longtime Excalibur fixture Dick’s Last Resort is bringing its quirky restaurant to downtown’s Neonopolis mall.
Let the “negging” begin.
According to Eater Vegas, Dick’s Last Resort will move into the space formerly occupied by the ill-fated Cannabition Museum. The museum’s footprint was huge, about 10,000-square-feet, and the space was adorned with massive, cannabis-themed murals.
It’s a strange time to open a Las Vegas restaurant, but Ahern Hotel has done just that.
Chef Marc’s Italian Steakhouse has flown under the radar since its debut, but we expect that’s going to change dramatically.
The bread alone makes Chef Marc’s a destination restaurant.
Do not weigh yourself after looking at this photo.
Ahern Hotel, of course, is the rebranded Lucky Dragon. The hotel is located a block or two west of Las Vegas Boulevard on Sahara.
If Ahern sounds familiar, it’s because Lucky Dragon was purchased by Don Ahern, owner of a construction rental company, Ahern Rentals. We have no idea how much John Ahern knows about running a hotel, but after meeting Chef Marc Sgrizzi, we’re convinced he knows talent
when he sees it.
Marc Sgrizzi is the former owner of the popular Chef Marc’s Trattoria in Lakeside Village, wherever that might actually be.
Ahern Hotel still has a lot of Lucky Dragon inside.
Our first interaction with Chef Sgrizzi was when he called back to confirm our dinner reservation. We naturally assumed he recognized our name and wanted to roll out the red carpet for a self-important social Las Vegas influencer. Yeah, no.
Come to find out, the chef was literally calling every customer to confirm their reservation to ensure his longtime fans knew how to get to his new restaurant.
The only thing that impressed us more was the chef’s life-altering Jidori Chicken Parmesan, easily one of the best we’ve ever had. And we have had some chicken parm in our day.
If we ever have to choose between rescuing a baby or this chicken parm from a fire, well, you’re on your own, baby.
One of our favorite Las Vegas restaurants, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab at the Forum Shops, has risked the ire of customers with a new “COVID-19 offset fee” in the amount of four percent on all checks.
While we’d typically lose our mind over a fee like this, we’re reeling in the WTF this time. Hear us out.
We’ll say up front we think this fee is a bad look for Joe’s and its parent company, Lettuce Entertain You.
But everyone can agree restaurants are going through a particularly difficult time right now.
Yeah, understatement of the year.
In Las Vegas, most have had zero revenue in more than two months during the shutdown.
Joe’s will change your life. You can’t put a price on that.
Even as restaurants have opened their doors again, they have been faced with a daunting 50% occupancy limitation. Even the most financially successful restaurants (Joe’s is one of those) are struggling with the unprecedented financial challenge that limitation (in addition to new costs related to safety protocols and equipment) presents.
To the credit of Joe’s, they’re transparent about the fee. It’s not only on the restaurant’s Web site, it’s on the menu and printed on the checks.
Optional is cool. Keep an eye out for restaurants where it’s mandatory.
The biggest saving grace is the restaurant makes it very clear customers can simply ask to have the fee removed.
So, it’s completely optional.
We initially figured we’d ask to have the fee removed, but as we thought about it further, we’re pretty sure we’re going to pay it.
Why? We love Joe’s. We love that Joe’s employees are finally back to work. We want to place to thrive, and we don’t mind helping Joe’s through a rough patch.
Yes, Joe’s could just add 4% to their prices, but that could end up being permanent. This “offset” fee is very much temporary, just the way we prefer our fees.
As mentioned, Joe’s is one of the best restaurants in Las Vegas, and it’s hard to get too mad when you love something so much. They get a pass from us this time.
If you refuse to pay fees out of principal, good for you. As to have the 4% removed from your tab and tip the server 24%. You can afford it. You’re eating at Joe’s!
Update (6/5/20): Mon Ami Gabi at Paris has also instituted this optional charge. Mon Ami Gabi has the same owner as Joe’s, Lettuce Entertain You. Another Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, El Segundo Sol at Fashion Show mall, has also started the charge.
Mon Ami Gabi: So good, it’s hard to hate.
Update (6/12/20): Joe’s and Mon Ami Gabi have dropped their surcharge. You’re welcome.