Vital Vegas

Pawn Plaza Sets Opening Date, Here’s a Sneak Preview

Rick Harrison, of “Pawn Stars” fame, is opening his new shopping center in downtown Las Vegas, Pawn Plaza, on Oct. 9, 2015.

Pawn Plaza was inspired by the popular Downtown Container Park, and should bring some much-needed life (and commerce) to a lackluster neighborhood in downtown Las Vegas.

It’s like they took the wheels off the Partridge family bus and started serving hooch.

While Pawn Plaza isn’t open to the public yet, that naturally didn’t stop us from doing a security breach to get some pics. Being the first Las Vegas blog to have been booted from the premises will be an honor we cherish always.

Rick Harrison went before the Las Vegas City Council for a zoning exemption to have less neon at Pawn Plaza than would normally be required. We won’t hold it against him.

Pawn Plaza is located next to the Gold & Silver Pawn shop made famous on History Channel’s insanely popular “Pawn Stars” reality series. That’s 725 Las Vegas Boulevard South in case you’d like to map it.

Most shipping containers are about 250 square feet. In some cases, two containers are smushed together. Which is probably not the technical term.

During our most recent visit, we learned Smoke’s Poutinerie is already open and serving customers.

We honestly would not know a poutine if we tripped over it.

Here’s a first look at the menu at Smoke’s Poutinerie.

Cheese curd is the new “What in the hell is cheese curd?”

Pawn Plaza reportedly cost $2 million to build. Or, perhaps more accurately, assemble. The entire shopping center is made of shipping containers.

When it opens, Pawn Plaza will house about 16 restaurants and retail shops.

Pawn Plaza tenants include Smoke’s Poutinerie, Rita’s Italian Ice, Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke BBQ & Tavern, Pawn Donut & Coffee, So-Cal Speed Shop and Vegas Flip Flops.

Rollin Smoke BBQ is said to be known for its Arkansas-style, hand-rubbed meats (motto: Some jokes just write themselves).

Especially intriguing is Inna Gadda di Pizza, from the folks behind the Pizzera at Cosmopolitan (often referred to as “Secret Pizza,” possibly the worst-kept secret in the history of secrets).

Several of the shops are appearing for the first time in Las Vegas.

Don’t despair, Rita, summer will be back again before you know it.

“Pawn Stars” cast members are expected to drop in on Pawn Plaza from time-to-time, so fans may get more face time with the reality stars there than in the Gold & Silver Pawn shop itself. The cast can no longer work the counter at the shop, so they tape the show in a set that replicates the real Gold & Silver Pawn, but behind the scenes.

Yes, in that order.

Rick Harrison has said he’ll even take on bartending duties at Rick’s Rollin’ Smoke Barbecue & Tavern once Pawn Plaza opens.

The existing Rollin Smoke BBQ has what’s known as a metric ass-ton of good reviews on Yelp. This bodes well.

Update (10/5/15) The tavern portion of Rick’s Rollin Smoke BBQ & Tavern has already opened.

Pretty cozy, and the more you drink the less you notice the hard wooden chairs.

Once the kitchen opens downstairs, food will be available at the bar. The food will arrive via a dumbwaiter.

Let’s just assume its a faux boar’s head, shall we?

Signature cocktails run $10, and our Captain Morgan and diet was $7. Here’s a first look at the cocktail menu at Rick’s Rollin Smoke BBQ & Tavern.

The Lil’ Pink Piggy gets the thumbs up.

Here’s a look at the beers on tap, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Rick’s touts 16 beers on tap, many from local breweries. We didn’t count. We are a blog, not an abacus.

Fans of “Pawn Stars” or old currency will want to check out the bar’s collection of antique bills, presumably acquired by Rick Harrison and his crew at the Gold & Silver Pawn shop.

Quite fun for fans of cabbage, or whatever people are calling paper currency these days.

Here’s the official Rollin Smoke BBQ site.

Pawn Plaza is also expected to feature live entertainment.

Live bands will perform on the second floor party deck. If you dance, please dance lightly. It’s shipping containers.

Pawn Plaza is the next phase in the evolution of an unlikely television phenomenon that’s made the quirky bunch at Gold & Silver Pawn international stars.

We could chillax here. If that’s still a thing.

Given that Gold & Silver Pawn is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Las Vegas, we suspect Pawn Plaza will be a big draw as well.