Category Archives: Las Vegas Restaurants

Joe’s Steakhouse at Forum Shops Institutes Optional COVID-19 Crisis Fee

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.

The reasoning for the fee is provided on the company’s Web site.

Joe's COVID fee

Don’t bury the lede, Joe’s. The fee is optional!

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 Seafood Las Vegas

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.

Joe's COVID receipt

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!

Thanks to Twitter followers @Austin5Fe and @trilldauterive for alerting us to this story.

Update (6/5/20): Perhaps not surprisingly, Mon Ami Gabi at Paris has also instituted this optional charge. Mon Ami Gabi has the same owner as Joe’s, Lettuce Entertain You.

Twin Peaks Goes Bust, Closes Permanently on Las Vegas Strip

Color us devastated. One of our favorite Las Vegas “breastaurants” on the Las Vegas Strip, Twin Peaks, has closed permanently.

Twin Peaks was best known for its ice-cold beer, rock climbing wall and chicken strips.

Just kidding.

Twin Peaks Vegas closed

We also liked the chicken strips a lot. Seriously.

The parent company of Twin Peaks wasted no time erasing the Las Vegas location from its Web site.

Twin Peaks closed

 

Word is the other Twin Peaks location in Las Vegas (Henderson, technically), at 9510 S. Eastern Ave., will be back. So, there’s that.

To see more about what restaurant we’re even talking about, fondle our girthy archives.

Twin Peaks, a thinly-disguised Hooters knock-off, was one the fastest-growing restaurant chain in America, circa 2014.

Beyond challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis, Twin Peaks may have suffered from being in a city where scantily-clad women aren’t exactly scarce.

During our visits, the Harmon Corner location did good but not great business.

Twin Peaks will truly be missed on The Strip, and our hearts go out to all the toothsome young women who will now have to seek other employment. It’s Vegas, so we get the feeling they’ll be just fine.

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 110: Let’s Vegas Again

Let’s talk about the reopening of Vegas, finally!

There’s so much good news, we’re going to have our podcast let out. What does that even mean? Who the hell knows? The bottom line: We get to gamble again!

In this episode, we chat with Derek Stevens, owner of The D and Golden Gate, about giving away 2,000 free flights to Las Vegas.

Derek Stevens

Thanks to Derek Stevens for being on our podcast and sorry about the parts where we talk.

We also get a sneak preview of plans for Ahern Hotel, formerly the Lucky Dragon.

Chef Marc Sgrizzi talks about his new restaurant, Chef Marc’s Italian Steakhouse, and also tells us how to pronounce his name.

Chef Marc's Italian Steakhouse

Ahern Hotel has some sexy stuff in store.

We’ve got all the latest scoop you won’t hear anywhere else, and some scoop we heard elsewhere but changed just enough to avoid getting into too much trouble.

Don’t miss our hastily slapped-together listicle, “11 Things We’re Doing on June 4.” Hint: They all involve gambling and drinking. Shocker.

It’s the podcast your mother would’ve warned you about if she weren’t so busy reading your diary.

Take a listen!

Three PizzaRev Restaurants in Las Vegas Close Permanently

The fallout of the COVID-19 shutdown continues with word three PizzaRev restaurants have closed permanently in Las Vegas.

PizzaRev

It’s all fun and games until the pizza places close. Because pizza.

PizzaRev acknowledged the closures on Instagram, saying, “Unfortunately due to the impact of COVID-19, some of our locations have permanently closed. Thanks for understanding.”

We called all the numbers for the restaurants, all were disconnected.

“Impact” is one word for it.

The Las Vegas PizzaRev locations were on S. Rancho Drive and S. Rainbow Ave. An additional store closed on W. Sunset Rd. in Henderson.

PizzaRev (the “Rev” stands for “revolution”) has 30-plus locations and got its start in Los Angeles.

The first Las Vegas PizzaRev restaurant opened in February 2016.

The chain is known for giving customers the option to customize their pies, as well as the use of 900-degree stone-bed ovens.

PizzaRev joins a growing list of Las Vegas restaurants that won’t back, even after the shutdown ends.

Two Miller’s Ale House Locations to Close

We hate having to report bad news, but lately, much of the news seems to fall into that category.

We’ve learned a couple of popular local restaurants won’t be back following the COVID-19 shutdown, Miller’s Ale House in Town Square and Henderson.

The messaging on the Miller’s Ale House Facebook page was sadly too optimistic given the current crisis.

Miller's Ale House Las Vegas closed

Miller’s apparently couldn’t overcome what aled it.

When we shared the scoop on Twitter, several longtime customers chimed in about the closures.

“This really sucks. I was a regular at the Henderson location. Great people…food and drinks.” ~@SkylarJameson1

“This place had great specials during football Sunday. I’m going to miss that mountain melt.” ~@JeremyandZimmer

“Great big game parties.” ~@Lewisromanowich

“Damn. Their drink specials were underrated.” ~@SirDreDeux

“Those wings were the bomb!” ~@chelseafanSTL

“I loved their food and UFC/fight parties.” ~@msmelibby

We enjoyed our visits to Miller’s Ale House a lot, and we wish the laid off employees (notified May 18, 2020) the best with job-hunting during a particularly challenging time.

Restaurants in Casinos Get Go-Ahead to Reopen

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has given restaurants inside Las Vegas casinos the go-ahead to reopen, despite the fact casinos remain closed.

Restaurants outside casinos were approved to offer dine-in service on May 9, 2020.

Joe's Seafood Las Vegas

Insert random food photo here. Thanks, Joe’s at the Forum Shops.

Restaurants within casinos have to meet certain requirements to be able to reopen. Put on your specs and take a look.

Casino restaurants

We are not entirely sure they’re still called “specs.”

The details are: Something about entrances, something about restrooms, something about directives, something about a population of 100,000 or more.

Look, we can’t do everything for you. We are a blog and we are quite possibly drunk. Read more. Here’s a link to the “Roadmap.”

Restaurants in casinos have to show customers can enter without “traversing the gaming floor.”

Customers also must be able to hit the restroom without doing any traversing, which sort of disqualifies most restaurants in casinos because we can’t really think of many that have their own restrooms.

Oh, well, on the bright side, this won’t mean much when the casinos open. Which they will do any minute now. And we aren’t just saying that because we’re drunk. Probably.