Denny's, the 59-year-old American diner chain that made its name serving up plates of eggs, hash browns and pancakes, opened one of its largest restaurants in the world on Thursday in downtown Las Vegas offering something a little different than its grand slam breakfast - a wedding chapel.
The restaurant in Neonopolis along historic Fremont Street also offers several unique menu items including a bacon-flavored martini coined the "Bakontini" and an Elvis-inspired "King Stack" featuring peanut butter, bananas and bacon between two slices of French toast.
"We wanted to offer much more than a grand slam breakfast ... we wanted to offer customers an American diner," said John Miller, Denny's Corp.'s CEO. "We had to create something unique to Las Vegas."
Miller said the chapel is scheduled to host its first wedding ceremony in the first quarter of 2013. Details of the wedding were not disclosed.
"I ... hope it's Kim Kardashian because then you could have repeat performances," James Wines, architect and creative director of SITE Architecture, remarked at Thursday's ribbon cutting ceremony.
With this new restaurant, Denny's now operates 28 locations in Southern Nevada. The company hopes to capitalize on the redevelopment that is under way in downtown Las Vegas and along Fremont Street.
The restaurant's neighbors include a new attraction. SlotZilla, an 11-story-high zipline, will include a giant slot machine that will spit out riders about 120 feet above the street, for a longer, faster ride. The new zipline, which is scheduled to open in June, replaces a 2-year-old zipline.
The area is also home to the Heart Attack Grill, which holds a Guinness Book of World Records for the highest-calorie burger. The former City Hall, located about two blocks away, will soon be home to Zappos, while nearby remodeled hotels and casinos were expected to have a positive impact on Denny's business.
"This is a marriage made in heaven," said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who credited Denny's for completing the project "in a constantly changing environment."
Goodman took a moment to pitch the benefits of Las Vegas by reminding Miller that Las Vegas has no corporate taxes and no income taxes.
"What a wonderful place to relocate your company," the mayor said.
For Rohit Joshi, whose firm Joshi & Associates is developing Neonopolis, Denny's is simply "one more piece to finishing off the puzzle."
"This changes Neonopolis," Joshi said. "It's going to have a huge impact on business. Denny's is just like a lot of our new tenants."
Joshi said for Neonopolis to be successful it had to "concentrate on food, beverages and entertainment." Those items are known as the three pillars of Neonopolis, he said.
The 6,400-square-foot restaurant - known as Denny's on Fremont - will employ almost 100 people.
"It's good for downtown," said Nick Seghetti, a server with Denny's, before the diner opened. "It will be a staple for Neonopolis attracting locals and tourists to Fremont Street."
The restaurant also has a full-service bar and an outdoor patio. The menu includes meatloaf, chicken pot pie, as well as build-your-own burgers or pancakes.
Miller said it's among the company's 10 largest restaurants in the world and is owned by the parent company instead of being franchised. He declined to say how much it cost.
"Before Twitter and Facebook, the diner was the original social network," Miller said. "It's uniquely American. The diner allows you to come as you are and connect with your family, friends or other people."
Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@review journal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @sierotyfeatures on Twitter.