That's the sound of economic growth in the valley as Las Vegas oh so slowly recovers from the worst recession in decades.
Yet despite the lagging recovery, the restaurant industry - one of the hardest-hit segments of the economy as disposable income became disposed income - is showing encouraging signs of life, with openings across the valley.
Among them in recent months have been three bakeries: Chocolate & Spice, which opened May 1; Bread & Butter, which opened last fall; and a branch of the German Bread Bakery that opened last month.
At Chocolate & Spice, 7293 W. Sahara Ave., the chef/owner is Megan Romano, who was executive pastry chef for 12 years at Charlie Palmer's Aureole at Mandalay Bay, and with the Palmer organization for 16 years total. She and her husband, Joe, had opened several restaurants for Palmer, and Romano felt prepared to open one of her own.
"It's something you always want to do," she said. "You kind of wait for the right time."
Economic conditions aside, this was the right time, in part because she was looking for some flexibility to accommodate the schedules of her children, ages 10, 8 and 4.
Which is not to say Romano is working shorter hours these days.
"It's long," she said, visibly fighting a sigh. "But you know it's coming."
Romano said she planned the opening so that she could get a feel for such things as demand and flow during the slower summer months, "and then I'll get on a schedule."
Open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Chocolate & Spice specializes in not only the handmade chocolates and delicately flavored pastries and cakes for which Romano is known, but also frittatas, sandwiches and soups, ice cream and sorbets. Since the bakery-cafe is open into the early evening, she also is offering takeout dinner service.
"We're on the way to a lot of places," she said.
There have been a few surprises. Lunch business has been higher than expected, and weekday business stronger than weekend, she noted.
Romano said she wanted a neighborhood restaurant - "not overly pricey or stiff" - and has regulars that come in three, four or five times a week.
"I think people crave a neighborhood spot," she said. "They want to know that there's a connection."
And while many people come in for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner, Romano said the sweets - which she points out are not overly sweet - are quite popular. A customer favorite: banana cream pie made with a puff-pastry crust, a loose pastry cream, bananas and a honey-caramel sauce. Like other Chocolate & Spice pies, they're 4 ounces, sized for one or two people.
Flexibility is an important part of the mission, Romano said. While grab-and-go choices abound, custom products are available with a day or so notice.
"We're still looking at what people are looking for, and trying to give them what they need," she said. "We're trying to give them lots of reasons to come back."
Chris Herrin, chef/owner of Bread & Butter at 10940 S. Eastern Ave. in Henderson, said he's wanted his own place only since "I was 10, 12 years old."
"It was always the goal, just to go out, have fun and do a place that was a little hole in the wall kind of thing," he said.
Herrin earned his chops along the way, most recently as pastry chef at Bouchon, where he had a seven-year tenure. At Bouchon, Herrin said, he used to write thank-you notes to customers, and when Bread & Butter opened, it had 1,000 friends on Facebook.
"It helped with opening from the beginning, and we never got a chance to catch a breath," Herrin said.
He said he has many repeat customers, some of whom come in as many as five times a week.
"We're very user-friendly," he said; some of the regulars just come in for coffee and a bagel, while others sit down for lunch.
The number of regulars prompted him to post a plea on Facebook to the effect of, "If you were going on vacation and you come to the restaurant every week, you've got to call and let us know, because we get worried."
But there have been some bumps along the way.
"It's like my dad told me: Education ain't cheap," Herrin said. "You're at your highest high or your lowest low when you own a restaurant."
One of the biggest challenges, he said, was that while he moved into a space formerly occupied by a bagel shop, it wasn't the turnkey operation he envisioned. A bagel shop, he pointed out, doesn't generally have 40 seats filled at once; as a result, the air-conditioning couldn't keep up.
"I think the hardest part has just been the discipline of staying with it," he said. "It's seven days a week. It doesn't stop at 4 just because we close. It's 12 hours a day, all the time."
Bread & Butter offers a broad selection of baked goods, such as strawberry muffins, peanut butter and jelly brioche, sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, cupcakes and whoopie pies. There's also housemade caramel corn, house-blended cereals, breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches and salads.
Herrin said he's had some guidance from established restaurant owners including Andre Rochat of Alize and Andre's at the Monte Carlo and John Arena and Sam Facchini of Metro Pizza, as well as potential competitors including Layers Bakery & Cafe and Sunrise Cafe.
"All of those have been really helpful to us," Herrin said.
He also said he's grateful for community support, notably from the Anthem area, and community groups including the Red Hat Society, for many of which he's done demonstrations.
"This is 'Cheers' for up the street," Herrin said. "We're like 'Cheers,' but after you realize you can't drink anymore."
At the German Bread Bakery at 9255 S. Eastern Ave., owner Ramona Traila said the month-old location was born because of frequent requests from east valley residents who didn't want to travel to the original German Bread Bakery at 2237 N. Rampart Blvd.
"OK, we are coming to you," she said.
Because of their lease agreement and food-service license, the German Bread Bakery has no facilities for on-site food consumption, but there's plenty available to take home. That would include, of course, many varieties of German-style bread such as at least three rye variations, plus pretzel breads, fruit and coconut cream danishes, coffeecakes including poppy seed, chocolate croissants and cakes.
"It's really good stuff," Traila said. "It's healthy," without artificial flavors.
The bakery also offers a line of grocery items, including Knorr sauces, mustards, curry-gewurz ketchup at two heat levels, chocolates, cheeses, krauterbutter, matjes herring and numerous varieties of sausages (including chipolata, worthy of note by British ex-pats).
Traila said business is strong at the original location and better than expected at the offshoot, despite the fact that in the summer, in Las Vegas as in Germany, business tends to be slow.
"The word of mouth is really good," she said.
Contact reporter Heidi Knapp Rinella at hrinella@review journal.com or 702-383-0474.