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Top 10 casino restaurant and bar openings

30 Aug 2021

By Dan Ippolito
Typically, our openings and expansions columns are casino and sportsbook focused, but today we turn our attention to a more specific type of opening. There are never too many places or choices for food and drinks when visiting a casino, so as more and more new venues open up across the U.S., here we take a look at 10 new restaurants, lounges and sports bars that were unveiled in recent weeks, or are nearing a grand opening celebration.

10. Water Dog at Bally’s Atlantic City
On 16 August, Bally's Atlantic City unveiled Water Dog Atlantic City, an 8,000 square foot venue, featuring 220 dining seats, a 35-seat bar with a super-creative and fun cocktail list, a large open-floor concept with plenty of seating for fast-casual dining, along with live music every weekend.

The dinner menu features lobster rolls, Truffle Grilled Filet Mignon, Flat Iron Steak, Cedar Plank Atlantic Salmon, Roasted Lemon Half-Chicken, Port Rosemary Short Rib and Sea Bass with Tropical Salsa.

9. The Sand Dollar Downtown at The Plaza Hotel and Casino
This fall, the Plaza Hotel and Casino, which dates to the Rat Pack era as well and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, will open The Sand Dollar Downtown, a nearly 5,000 square-foot space adjacent to the Plaza’s casino floor.

It plans to offer its full menu of craft cocktails with pizzas made by Pop Up Pizza at the Plaza. Live music, both local acts and other headliners, will take the stage in the evenings on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

8. Harrah’s Cherokee to welcome Guy Fieri’s Kitchen and Bar
Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina announced the newest addition to its food and beverage roster from famed chef and restauranter, Guy Fieri. Opening in conjunction with the resort’s new 725-room hotel tower and 83,000 square foot convention space, Guy Fieri’s Cherokee Kitchen + Bar will begin taking guests to Flavortown with tasty twists on comfort food this fall.

“From the first time I brought my live stage show to Harrah’s Cherokee, I knew I had to open a restaurant on the property,” said Guy Fieri. “I’ve been all over the great state of North Carolina shooting Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and let me tell you, these folks know good food. So, I’m stoked to be able to make my contribution to the Smoky Mountain scene.”

The 200-seat restaurant will feature Guy Fieri’s “Real Deal” signature menu items and beloved favorites, including the multi-award winning Bacon Mac-N-Cheese Burge.

7. Cigar bar coming to Resorts World Las Vegas
Eight Lounge, a cigar and spirits lounge will light up Las Vegas beginning this fall. Located at Resorts World Las Vegas, Eight will offer premier hand-rolled cigars and spirits in a comfortable environment.

This cigar bar will join a list of over 40 food and beverage options at the the first resort built on the Las Vegas Strip in more than a decade, which celebrated its grand opening back in June.

With over 150 different cigars, Eight will carry tobacco products exclusive to its custom-built walk-in humidor. Limited edition cigars will also litter the cigar vault, giving guests the chance to try once-in-a-lifetime cigars.

“Eight’s uniqueness will be intriguing to cigar aficionados and novices,” said John Pettei, managing partner. “We’re shredding the clichés and stigmas associated with cigars— the old man in the smoky room — and bringing sophistication and sexiness back.”

6. Olives opens at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
Earlier this month, four-time James Beard award winner and celebrity chef Todd English announced the opening of his latest restaurant, Olives at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. English's Mediterranean-inspired restaurant was a staple on the Las Vegas Strip at Bellagio before closing its doors in 2018.

Located at the former of the Hard Rock Casino just off the Las Vegas Strip, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas opened its doors on 25 March.

Featuring a 185-seat dining room with a stone and steel hearth kitchen, Olives features raised bar with upscale lounge areas dressed in stone, terra cotta, wood, cork and Renaissance-inspired hand-glazed art.

“Mediterranean food in the dry heat of Vegas just feels right,” said Chef Todd English. “We’re happy to be partnering with Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, it’s a perfect fit. There is so much to do in Vegas, and to be staying in a great hotel with Olives as your kitchen just improves the whole Vegas experience by increasing comfort.”

5. Ruth’s Chris at Soaring Eagle
Ruth’s Chris Steak House is bringing its food and signature “sizzle” to Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The restaurant will become the signature steakhouse for the resort, and the brand’s fourth location in Michigan.

In addition to its menu, Ruth’s Chris offers an award-winning spirits program with a wine list that features over 200 labels, premium wines by the glass and hand-crafted cocktails.

“At Ruth’s Chris, we are dedicated to providing a comfortable, inviting and memorable experience to all of our guests,” said Cheryl Henry, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc. “We look forward to serving those enjoying a visit to the Soaring Eagle Resort and Casino.”

An opening date is expected to be announced soon.

4. New dining venues at Hollywood Casino York
Thursday, 12 August marked the grand opening of Hollywood Casino York, the third gaming and entertainment facility for Penn National Gaming in Pennsylvania.

Hollywood Casino York includes three casual dining options – Diner&Drinks, Barstool Bar and The Classic Grill.

Diner&Drinks is a full service, classic casual restaurant that seats over 125 patrons in the dining room and bar.

Barstool Bar patrons will enjoy a full selection of cocktails and draft and craft beer while watching the latest action on the wall of high definition televisions and also light snacks directly from the bar.

The Classic Grill offers a grab-and-go option for burgers, sandwiches, salads, snacks and more. This 24-hour venue seats approximately 40 people and brews Starbucks Coffee.

3. Lisa Vanderpump’s second Las Vegas venue
Lisa Vanderpump is set to bring her signature design aesthetic to Paris Las Vegas in the winter for her second Las Vegas venue, Vanderpump à Paris.

Each cocktail will be carefully crafted, with nods to Paris and presented in playful ways with incredibly visual garnishes and presentations. The wine list will also reflect France with a vast variety of selections, as well as the Vanderpump Family's signature branded Rosé, Chardonnay and Cabernet.

"We are so excited to be expanding in Las Vegas, and Vanderpump à Paris has been a passion project of ours for a long time. Vanderpump Cocktail Garden has been such a huge success and working with Caesars has been a wonderful experience; we can't wait to bring another concept to life under their umbrella," said Lisa Vanderpump.

2. WynnBet Sports Bar at Encore Boston Harbor
Encore Boston Harbor will unveil the new WynnBet Sports Bar will open on Saturday, 11 September. The new venue, located just off the casino floor in the former home of the buffet, was originally scheduled to open 4 September.

The space will feature more than 60 televisions, a 10-foot high and 123-foot-long immersive video wall, a collection of trophies, a full-service bar and cuisine from Shake Shack and Frank & Nick's.

A 15-seat full-service bar with tabletop video poker sits in the middle of the venue, while dining and lounge seating surround the space including more than 40 VIP seats and reclining media chairs.

Encore Boston Harbor celebrated its grand opening back in June 2019. The $2.6 billion resort is ready to be part of the Massachusetts sports betting world once the state legalizes sports wagering.

1. Bud Light Beer Garden
MGM Resorts and Bud Light have joined forces to introduce the Bud Light Beer Garden to the Las Vegas Strip, the only-in-Vegas tailgate experience. Non-stop outdoor action awaits football fans before and after all Raiders and UNLV home games as well as select sports and entertainment events at Allegiant Stadium.

The 130,000-square-foot space located within walking distance of the new stadium is free to enter and opens four hours prior to each event.

Fans attending the Bud Light Beer Garden will enjoy:
  • Interactive football challenges and life-sized Jenga and chess
  • Live DJ entertainment
  • Sports betting suites from MGM Resorts’ sports betting company, BetMGM
  • Food and beverage favorites from MGM Resorts’ restaurants including International Smoke by Chef Michael Mina and Ayesha Curry, Diablo’s Cantina, Public House and Beerhaus
  • $99 VIP All You Can Eat & Drink package, featuring buffet access to stadium favorites from MGM Resorts’ restaurants and unlimited drinks
  • M life VIP Experience, including private VIP Clubhouses and two-level suites
  • Special appearances by professional sports legends
 
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