VEGAS RESTAURANT ROUNDUP: Emmitt Smith Recovers Ball, New Lotus of Siam, Brisson-Rocheleau Breakup

It’s been almost a year and a half since former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith announced the imminent opening of his first fine-dining establishment. (No, Emmitt’s Las Vegas won’t be a sports bar.) Whatever the reason for the delay, Smith’s restaurant appears to still be making its way toward the end zone.

Emmitt Smith
Emmitt Smith is still opening that upscale eatery at the Fashion Show mall. (Image:

According to Clark County business license records, a permit is pending for the 22K square-foot location, which will occupy two floors and include a lounge, nightclub, and terrace, where Sugar Factory used to operate.

Last year, Emmitt’s announced Rainer Schwarz (0f the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and Bungalows on Laguna Beach) as its head chef. Schwarz then hosted a menu preview at the Fashion Show mall that included his Chilean sea bass, Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef with foie gras, and butter cake.

Comings and Goings

The Khao Soi Crispy Duck at Lotus of Siam, which is opening a fourth Las Vegas location (Image:

Lotus of Siam is opening a fourth Las Vegas area location in Henderson, in a mixed-use space under development on the corner of St. Rose Parkway and Bermuda Road. A favorite of Las Vegas locals and the late Anthony Bourdain, Lotus of Siam currently serves authentic northern Thai fare at 620 E. Flamingo Road and inside the Red Rock Casino in Summerlin. Its original location, on East Sahara Avenue, is reportedly undergoing renovations. The Henderson location, which will feature a Thai-style sushi bar, is expected to begin service by the end of 2024.

Karved, the Maryland Parkway sandwich shop known for its rotisserie chicken and beef, is opening a new location at the Gramercy, where it will join Spanish fusion restaurant Anima by EDO and Jamaican/New Mexican restaurant DW Bistro.

Las Vegas appears to be getting a Better Buzz Coffee. According to the What Now Vegas blog, paperwork for permits was recently submitted to Clark County for “a ground-up build of a 1,681 square-foot, standalone building with a patio and a drive thru, plus related electrical, mechanical, structural, and plumbing work.” The blog didn’t mention the location. The small-batch roaster brand currently has 15 stores encircling San Diego, Calif.

After nearly a decade at Red Rock Resort, Hearthstone Kitchen & Cellar is closing on April 30. The American food restaurant was a partnership between Station Casinos and Clique Hospitality, which will reportedly offer positions at its other eateries to displaced Hearthstone staffers. No replacement has been named.

Banger Brewing, at 450 E. Fremont St. in downtown Las Vegas, is also closing just before the decade mark. “As life moves on, Banger Brewing will too,” the company announced on Facebook. No reason for the decision was provided. The taps stop flowing on Friday, March 31.

Chef Nicole Brisson
Chef Nicole Brisson (Image:

Latest Dish

Chef Nicole Brisson has split from her culinary partner, Jason Rocheleau, with whom she created the venerated Brezza and Bar Zazu at Resorts World. Brisson was the youngest female to become a chef at a reputable Strip restaurant. Rocheleau has left Brezza and Bar Zazu, but continues to spearhead Amari, the restaurant both had planned to open in the Sundry food hall under construction at the upscale Uncommons development in southwest Las Vegas.

Two chefs and a wine bar from Las Vegas are 2023 finalists in the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards. Chef Oscar Amador of the aforementioned Anima by EDO is a finalist for Best Chef: Southwest, as is Chef Kaoru Azeuchi of Kaiseki Yuza. Garagiste Wine Room is a finalist in the national category of Outstanding Bar. Winners will be announced June 5 at a ceremony in Chicago.

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