Pandemic prompts Area15 to pivot to a pop-up restaurant

  • Area15 opened Thursday morning with a pop-up restaurant owned by multi-award winner Todd English.
  • The inclusion of dining options was initially scheduled for the next phase at the close of the year.
  • Coronavirus-related regulations that require restaurants to serve food with alcoholic drinks prompted the opening of the scaled-down pop-up version of The Beast.
  • English and his team will serve food in Oddwood, The Portal, and Sanctuary, while The Beats itself will be located outdoors. 

Area15 opened Thursday morning with a pop-up restaurant from multi-award winner Todd English. The team had initially planned to include dining options when the next phase begins close to the end of 2020 but changed course due to the ongoing pandemic.

Anti-COVID rules requiring that food be served with alcoholic drinks prompted the opening of the scaled-down pop-up version of English’s The Beast in a currently unused event space.

CEO Winston Fisher said that they were fortunate that they could pivot.

English and his team will serve food in Oddwood, the center bar from Ryan Doherty of Corner Bar Management Group; The Portal, a multiple-use room with 360-degree, 3D-projection-mapped walls; and Sanctuary, a space reflecting its name with zen-like opportunity to escape the frantic vigor of the experiential retail and entertainment complex.

The Beast pop-up itself will be situated outdoors in the A-Lot, an art-decorated future event space.

The menu will reflect its transitory nature. English said an 80-foot-wide sculpture of the front of a car will front the real deal, which will serve 40-50 items from nine stations. However, the pop-up began with 15-20 dishes. English said that while the menu will, to some extent, reflect the Mediterranean flavors he’s popular for, the food will generally be American.

Some of the dishes on the menu include tuna tartar wonton tacos with wasabi aioli and avocado crema, $14; Todd’s Hot Chicken with buttermilk ranch slaw, $14; and heirloom cherry tomatoes with burrata and basil, $12.

English disclosed that he got involved in the Area15 project three years ago. He described it as “Mad Max meets Burning Man meets car culture.” As a chef, he has a wide reputation and is credited for revolutionizing the food hall at the Plaza in New York some 10 years ago.

English’s former Las Vegas restaurants include Olives at Bellagio and Todd English P.U.B at The Shops at Crystals. He is also the owner of the upcoming Olives at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Talking about the Area15 project, English said he took that concept and developed “the idea of taking it to the extreme.”

However, he currently shuns the label since it applies to the future The Beast. He said he is over the term “food hall.” However, he doesn’t intend it to be Food Court 2.0.

He said they were “taking a culinary artistic approach, with lots of fun.” English added it was about the experience when one watches them do the thing.

A shop from Boston-based Emack & Bolio’s is set to open soon at the other end of the complex, followed by the Lost Spirits Distillery.

I'm Adam Shaw, Senior Editor and one of the first members at VegasSlots. I'm a massive football sports fan but also love casinos and occasional trips to Las Vegas. Gaming runs in the family

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