89101 Travel Guide

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Are We On The Verge Of Downtown Grand 2.0?

Where: 206 North 3rd Street [map], 89101
June 30, 2015 at 1:17 PM | by | Comments (19)

Sometimes it doesn’t take long for a project to be declared an utter failure. In the case of Downtown Grand, what started out as an less-than-Grand opening quickly spiraled into near-irrelevance. Now signs are pointing (both literally and figuratively) towards a relaunch of the ill-fated property. But is it too late to restore good fortune to the former Lady Luck?

This writer was the first VegasChatter-er to publish a review of Downtown Grand’s contemporary new rooms. Initially as an pampered invited guest, then two days later (incognito and on my own dime) for a different perspective. Feel free to look back at those write-ups here and here.

The former Player's Club desk, now a bank of empty slot machines

During that first stay, the Grand’s marketing team described ambitious future offerings, like “Commissary After Dark”, a nightclub-style venue that was to rise nightly inside "The Commissary" food court. And “Picnic”, downtown’s first and only daytime pool club.

Well, "After Dark" never happened and "The Commissary" went from an elaborate concept to a scaled-down food court with limited choices and hours. It now exists primarily as a place to get your "Grand Experience" (resort fee) coffee and maybe a sandwich or bar bites.

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Our Thoughts On 'Itsy Bitsy Ramen and Whisky'

Where: 150 Las Vegas Blvd. North [map], 89101
May 1, 2015 at 1:59 PM | by | Comments (2)

Downtown is becoming quite the hip and trendy location to visit in Vegas these days, and not just for the cheap drinks.

The area has welcomed a number of new eateries recently, including Itsy Bitsy Ramen and Whisky, which officially opened its doors at the beginning of April. We’ve given you the scoop on their concept and menu, and we’ve already heard mixed reviews of the restaurant so far. We wanted to check the place out to see what they had to offer and what the food and drinks were like, so we attended their official grand opening/media night.

You would think that a place with "ramen and whisky" in the title would serve either ramen - or whisky - for guests to try at this event. Unfortunately, they didn’t serve either (we are still scratching our head in confusion over this). They did have appetizers to taste: The Veggie Pot stickers ($5.50), Pork Pot Stickers ($6), Mushroom spring rolls with black aioli dip ($5.75), Japanese Street Corn ($2.75), and the Chicken Skewers ($4.75) were all appetizing, but they were nothing out-of-the-ordinary. They also weren’t the make-to-order Ramen we’ve heard so much about.

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Should You Indulge In Glutton?

Where: 616 East Carson [map], 89101
April 30, 2015 at 4:35 PM | by | Comments (2)

After the announcement of Glutton's downtown arrival, there wasn't much info released until its opening. Until very recently, there even wasn't much of a publicly available menu. But, it seems the new dining destination is up and running at what feels to be cruising speed after serving up its first customers on April 10.

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At Plaza, 'Lovers Or Losers' Isn't Always An Either Or...

Where: 1 South Main Street [map], 89101
April 16, 2015 at 1:56 PM | by | Comments (8)

Plaza's newest production, Lovers or Losers, hasn't fallen into the latter category just yet. It's still hanging around since we first spied signage for the show, hosted by actor actor Todd Bridges of Diff’rent Strokes, in early March.

The downtown hotel-casino hosts the live game show, which promises fast-paced fun "with a dash of sexy Vegas attitude, at 8 p.m. nightly, with the exception of Sunday and Thursday. VegasChatter fans Les & Flori J. (pictured above) attended recently and informed us that losers are, initially, winners, too, but may not feel that way for long:

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VegeNation Opens In Fremont East

Where: 616 East Carson Avenue [map], 89101
April 14, 2015 at 9:29 PM | by | Comments (9)

Two new Fremont East eateries, with two different visions. While indulgence is the name of the game at Glutton, which opened Friday, VegeNation, located right next door and which opened Monday, focuses on health-conscious fare.

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No More Unlimited Bubbly At Golden Nugget's Weekend Brunch

Where: 129 E. Fremont St. [map], 89101
April 10, 2015 at 3:11 PM | by | Comments (7)

Outside of "open" bars or plunking yourself down in the casino for a while, buffets are the last bastion for unlimited booze. Over the last few years, though, there's usually been an up-charge attached to that.

Downtown's Golden Nugget is known for its weekend champagne brunch, but VegasChatter reader @ivyboy recently discovered the bubbly doesn't flow freely, anymore:

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In Downtown, A Place For Gluttons Opening Friday

Where: 616 E. Carson Ave., #110 [map], 89101
April 8, 2015 at 12:19 PM | by | Comments (3)

After many months of delays and a teasing sign beckoning all to closed doors, Glutton will finally do its best to bust waistlines beginning this Friday at 5 p.m. in downtown's Fremont East.

Set on the corner of Carson and 7th (across from the Container Park as seen from the photo above), the spot is being opened by Chef Bradley Manchester. The mission statement of the new venture is that of culinary excitement, with dishes geared to be as interesting as they are delicious.

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In Fremont East, PublicUs Is The Epitome Of Hip

Where: 1126 Fremont St. [map], 89101
April 3, 2015 at 4:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

Downtown is not only growing up, but also growing out. As the area becomes safer, cleaner and filled with more resources, businesses are becoming more and more comfortable with their general distance from the epicenter that is the Fremont Street Experience. PublicUs is pushing that boundary, and is doing so with some of the hippest food off the Strip.

PublicUs is located on a very nondescript corner of Fremont East, "way" down at Maryland Parkway (Google map here). From the outside, it is very minimal; inside, it is a palace dedicated to hipness. Custom-warped wood benches, modernist wall treatments, and a centerpiece of a giant, beautiful espresso machine. This machine and all things coffee are manned by Cole McBride, one of the most awarded competitive baristas in the world. This man practically has a PhD in coffee. The restaurant even boasts laboratory-grade water treatment equipment.

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UPDATED: At Plaza, Louie Anderson's Run Is Over

Where: 1 South Main Street [map], 89101
March 30, 2015 at 11:56 PM | by | Comments (5)

Unfortunately, a succinct headline will have to do, for now at least, when it comes to Louie Anderson's departure from the Plaza.

VegasChatter Facebook fan Johnny K. first alerted us to the possibility the comedian's run at the downtown casino may be over last week. We were able to confirm it today through two separate enquiries. The reason why, however, is a mystery right now. We've emailed Anderson's management for a statement.

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The Market Brings More Options For Downtown Visitors

Where: 611 East Fremont Street [map], 89101
March 20, 2015 at 12:47 PM | by | Comments (5)

Downtown Las Vegas continues to evolve as a work/play/live community. In the past few years, we’ve witnessed the transformation of Fremont East from a depressed area into a thriving neighborhood and nightspot. Closed storefronts and empty lots have been reclaimed by a variety of unique shops and restaurants as well as a mall made of shipping containers. The one thing lacking had been a grocery store. That changed last October with the opening of The Market.

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At El Cortez, A First Taste Of Siegel's 1941

Where: 600 East Fremont Street [map], 89101
March 10, 2015 at 7:39 PM | by | Comments (2)

Sometimes you just happen to be at the right place at the right time. Last Wednesday afternoon, while nursing a hangover enjoying a nap at Oasis at Gold Spike, I was awakened by an email alert with a tempting offer. It was an invitation to head over to El Cortez for a taste of the menu to come for the not-yet-open, mobster-inspired Siegel's 1941.

Siegel's 1941 -- replacing the old school (and sorely missed) Flame -- once targeted a winter opening. Unfortunately, it's still under construction and playing catchup after various delays. A May 28 opening is now in the crosshairs, and the staff I spoke to seem to think they'll make it this time. Siegel's Executive Chef Aaron Neeley (who honed his skills inside restaurants at Caesars Palace, Venetian and Monarch Bistro of Houston, TX) is using the down time to try out some new dishes on diners at Cafe Cortez.

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Plaza's New Show Is For Lovers... Or Losers

Where: 1 S. Main St. [map], 89101
March 10, 2015 at 4:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

It looks like the Plaza is back with another short-lived new show. Lovers or Losers: The Game Show is a live production sure to please fans of the Game Show Network (GSN). Whether those people are the ones frequenting Plaza and will actually buy tickets remains to be seen.

The game show takes advantage of the fact that thousands of couples come to Las Vegas either on vacation or specifically to get married. Why not put them on the spot and test their love? Couples are pitted against each other and must use their skills and love to make sure they come out as lovers and not losers. #seewhatthey #ohyoudid

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