Wolfgang Puck’s Spago Will Close at Forum Shops and Open Again at Bellagio

Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck is on the move. His flagship restaurant, Spago, will close at the Forum Shops and relocate to Bellagio.

Puck’s new restaurant will move into the space currently occupied by Todd English’s Olives, which definitely sounds like a euphemism for something.

Olives is slated to close this winter.

Spago opened in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace 25 years ago, in 1992. You know, back when woolly mammoths and showgirls roamed the Earth.

Spago Forum Shops

“Spago” in Italian means “string,” slang for spaghetti.

In an L.A. Times story, Puck said, “Twenty-five years ago when we opened in the Forum (Shops), that was the place to be. A lot has changed since then.”

As they say in the restaurant business, ouch.

Then again, we aren’t sure how much to trust a story that repeatedly includes an apostrophe in “Caesars.” Moving on.

Wolfgang Puck is widely credited with sparking the restaurant revolution in Las Vegas that continues to this day.

Wolfgang Puck

We took this photo of Wolfgang Puck flipping something back in 2012. As you might suspect, we are not a “taking notes” kind of person.

According to our friend John Curtas (a Las Vegas food critic who shared rumors of the Spago closure a month before anyone else), Spago is moving because the relationships that brought the restaurant to Caesars Palace no longer exist, as well as “rent issues.”

Apparently, there have been some discussions about the potential of Wolfgang Puck using the existing Spago space for a casual cafe, but that remains to be seen.

Wolfgang Puck

We’re always looking for an excuse to show off our food photography.

Bellagio is pulling out all the stops in anticipation of Spago’s arrival, including hiring high-powered architects Massimiliano Locatelli and Annamaria Scevola. At least we assume they’re high-powered, because they have exotic-sounding names. They also have a Web site that takes 14 minutes to load, and only the coolest architectural firms can get away with that.

The new Spago will have brass fixtures, leather seating and smoked-oak wood floors,
which sounds absolutely mouth-watering if you ask us.

No specific closing date for Spago has been announced, but it’s likely to happen in
January 2018, as that’s when the restaurant’s lease runs out.

Wolfgang Puck

The original Spago restaurant opened in West Hollywood in 1982 and boasted California cuisine and a mullet.

Spago is an excellent restaurant, although it’s been on autopilot for some time now, and a move to Bellagio could shake things up and return Spago to its former glory.

The new Spago should provide amazing views of the Bellagio fountains, as does Lago by
Julian Serrano.

16 thoughts on “Wolfgang Puck’s Spago Will Close at Forum Shops and Open Again at Bellagio

  1. Tommy Vercetti

    Had lunch there back in 1998ish, the worst pasta I’ve ever had in my live. I mean,Olive Garden is a lot better.

      1. Richey

        Yeah, Spago is not bad for the price you pay and the atmosphere. I imagine it will be even better at Bellagio, but I honestly do not see it doing well at Bellagio unless they revamp it. It isn’t a Bellagioy restaurant to me.

  2. mike__ch

    The way I understand it, Caesars doesn’t control Spago’s rent, Simon Property Group does. He’s complained about the rent jumps in the past. He’s one of the few “known” chefs who hasn’t favored a specific casino corporation through the 2000s, and obviously he’s not backing out of Venetian-Palazzo, but given that he already has restaurants at Crystals, Mandalay Bay, the chain outpost at MGM Grand, etc, I can see a move to Bellagio making more sense. Caesars seems to have largely featured Gordon Ramsay more than anyone lately.

    It also works for Bellagio, which replaced Circo with another “small plates” restaurant and is going to be expected to have at least one place for “Americanized” Italian food for the same reasons people would expect Paris to have a French restaurant.

    1. RustyHammer

      That’s great, thoughtful, on-topic commentary. I’m still not dining at Spago, even if it opens at El Cortez, but that’s interesting inside info on how the uppity restaurants work.

  3. Photoncounter

    You are not the only one. Paying $45 for half a plate of pasta and having to make a reservation to do so does not make sense to me. I hate Olive Garden and all chain restaurants and prefer so seek out Mom & Pop owned places which are always cheaper and frequently better. There are dozens of great restaurants in town run by locals who serve great food and really appreciate your business. At Spago and other “high end” joints on and around the strip they get away with over charging because they can.

    1. Manybar Goatfish

      Food is food. I could settle for a slice of mass produced pizza and ten domestic light beers while bleeding off half my 401K at the sports book. As long as the honey is happy, I’m happy. Pretending to be interested in food is a small price to pay (for harmony) in the bigger scheme of certain financial ruin come Football Sunday!

      1. Photoncounter

        Mass produced pizza fills the gut, soaks the booze – done that many times. Not sure risking half the 401K would make any honey happy!

        1. Manybar Goatfish

          Agreed. The topic of imminent bankruptcy doesn’t usually lend itself to pleasant dinner conversation. It’s probably best to keep that boring news filed under “secrets” for as long as possible.

  4. RustyHammer

    I don’t know what is to be let go. But keep making something out of nothing, if you must. And enjoy Spago. And please share a review for those of us who won’t be dining there.

  5. RustyHammer

    So now you don’t want discussion about the topic of discussion? Can you make up your mind? Just because I’m not interested in dining at Spago I cannot discuss it?

    You don’t want jokes about comments you make, you don’t want generic comments acknowleding I read your work, you don’t want thoughtful comments commenting on the topic of discussion.

    But insulting others who comment: You’re all about that.

    I try to respect your wishes, yet you keep changing your rules, seemingly for the sole purpose of spiting me. You might need anger management.

  6. Richey

    Spago was best with pizza. It was nice visiting there in the forum shops. I wonder what will replace it in the forum? I imagine it will be a restaurant because the last thing that is needed there is a clothing store. Maybe a cool pub? Spago is located currently right at the front of the forum shops near the casino so a pub would make sense. Maybe Flay can make a bar/pub restaurant since he is a Caesar’s guy.


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