58°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Golden Knights Tuch-Puck line powers new Las Vegas restaurant

Alex Tuch knows his pucks, but didn’t know the uppercase Puck until recording a Vegas Golden Knights video.

We speak of celebrity chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck.

“We were doing promo videos with him on the ice, and we hung up some pots and pans in the net,” the Golden Knights right wing said during a phone chat Tuesday afternoon from Nashville, where the Golden Knights play the Predators on Wednesday. “We shot frozen burgers and apples at the net, having a great time. I speak a little German, and he’s Austrian and also speaks German, and I was trying to impress him by speaking it.”

Several months after that Puck drop, Tuch learned the celeb chef with the hockey-friendly surname might actually be a business partner.

“When I heard that,” Tuch said, “my jaw hit the floor.”

So it is that Tuch and VGK teammates William Karlsson, Deryk Engelland, Reilly Smith and Shea Theodore have partnered in Wolfgang Puck Players Locker. The restaurant and nightspot opens in January in the same Downtown Summerlin location as Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, about a slap shot from the Golden Knights’ City National Arena practice facility.

The concept is to introduce a new menu with traditional sports fare (including Smith’s own pizza recipe, which was also featured in a Puck video) and a new beverage program. Games will be displayed on big screens in genuine sports-par spirit. The Golden Knights players, and Puck himself, will receive a locker for their favorite spirits (Tuch’s is whiskey) while also appealing to families visiting the Downtown Summerlin retail, restaurant and entertainment district.

Tuch was originally drawn to the project by his buddy and Tommie Battaglia, founder of VGK suit designer Gaetano Brand. Battaglia had been looking for a restaurant partnership and sought advice from Tom Kaplan, senior managing partner for Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, who assisted on scoring the Puck location.

Element Hospitality’s Steve Kennedy and Jonathan Spadafora, who run Chateau and Beer Park at Chateau at Paris Las Vegas, are also key culinary-industry partners in the new restaurant.

The Golden Knights players are eager to open the Players Locker, not just as entrepreneurs, but as customers.

“Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world,l but I think it’s also the food capital of the world, with a lot of diverse options, celebrity chefs and many hidden gems. It’s really cool to be a part of that,” Tuch said. “But we have seen a lack of restaurants off the Strip for us after our games. We play 41 home games and 90 percent of those are at 7 p.m., and almost the entire team lives in Summerlin.

“When it’s 10:45 p.m., it’s really hard to sleep and we just want to grab a bite and a drink and hang out where it’s not as hectic as the Strip.”

Tuch says the players’ involvement, especially during the season, is similar to Golden Knights fan fave Ryan Reaves’ participation in his 7Five Brewing operation.

“Wer’e not the day-to-day operator, but we will show up for appearances and the grand opening, do some schmoozing,” Tuch said. “It’s a quick phone call or text, answering questions, and then we go back to our main profession.”

Cat-ching up with Dirk

Longtime Las Vegas magician and big-cat entertainer Dirk Arthur is my guest on the next PodKats!, which posts Monday. Arthur has most recently been managing the Houdini’s magic shop at Circus Circus, what he calls his “day job” since his “Wild Magic” show closed at Westgate Las Vegas in April 2018. But Arthur is in talks with Admit VIP founder Pete Housley and veteran Las Vegas entertainment manager Chip Lightman for a return to the stage by next spring — with his assortment of exotic animals.

Arthur’s not specifying where this might be, but he is gearing up for a return to the stage, as the only entertainer in Las Vegas — or in the country — using exotic cats in a residency show.

Piero’s turns to turkey

Freddie Glusman checks in to remind of the annual charity Thanksgiving feast at his Piero’s Italian Restaurant. Beginning at 11 a.m., Glusman and his crew will serve upwards of 1,300 gourmet turkey dinners to several Las Vegas youth charities. The event started in 1995, and each year Glusman partners with Youth Charities of Southern Nevada in a fundraising effort to make the event possible.

“We’ve raised over $600,000 since we started. The money donated actually becomes two fundraisers,” Glusman says. “We serve the families, and then we donate the remaining funds to 12 charities in need for Christmas. These donations will be distributed to different churches, schools and nonprofit organizations.” Volunteers and families are welcome to participate, and the gang hits the scene to prep at 9:30 a.m.

PodKats!

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
New lunch menu at Momofuku Las Vegas
Chef Michael Rubinstein talks about the new lunch menu at Momofuku. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Cube by Nanotak at Intersect Festival - VIDEO
The cube synced with driving electronic music and glowed with LEDs that twinkled along the cube’s lines. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Elvis Presley tribute artist Trent Carlini dies - VIDEO
Trent Carlini, a renowned Elvis Presley tribute artist who performed at several Las Vegas resorts for almost 30 years, has died. Clark County officials confirmed Carlini died on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, at a Las Vegas hospital. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Intersect drone light show - VIDEO
The Intersect Music Festival in Las Vegas featured a special drone light show. (Samia DeCubas)
Shirley Chung is “coming home” for Paired dinner
Celebrity chef Shirley Chung is back in Las Vegas to co-host a sold out collaborative dinner Saturday night at Red Plate in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dandelion Chocolate opening at The Venetian
San Francisco’s Dandelion Chocolate will open its first Las Vegas café and retail store in The Venetian on Saturday. To celebrate, they’ll be offering guests free hot chocolate. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lbertine Social’s Pastrami Feast
Libertine Social's massive, house-made short-rib pastrami for $175 latter consists of three bones of short rib brined for seven days, smoked for six hours and cooked sous vide for two days before it’s finished in the restaurant’s pizza oven to give it a bark. It’s then carved and presented tableside with an assortment of sides and lettuce for making wraps. What’s “leftover” is then returned to the kitchen and prepared as Reuben sandwiches.
Ellis Island unveils The Front Yard
Ellis Island’s marketing director Christina Ellis talks about the new addition of the Front Yard. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump dropped from Terry Fator’s show on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Fator has edited out one prominent figure: President Donald Trump, a focal point of Fator’s regular stage show and also Christmas show over the past 3½ years. The Trump puppet, with his pop-up hairpiece, has been sidelined from both shows until further notice. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Double Down Saloon
The iconic Vegas dive bar turns 27 this weekend. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making Elvis French Toast at Toasted Gastrobrunch in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Alfie Szeprethy, executive chef at Toasted Gastrobrunch in Las Vegas, makes Elvis French Toast by layering banana, peanut butter and bacon between brioche and grilling it in French toast batter. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cosmopolitan Tree Lighting Starts the Las Vegas Holiday Season - VIDEO
With a flip of an actual switch the Cosmopolitan lit their tree to signal the start of the Las Vegas holiday season. Golden Knights favorites Marc-Andre Fleury and Max Pacioretty were on hand to help with the event and skate around the rink with fans. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Views of the first Las Vegas Pizza Festival - VIDEO
The inaugural Las Vegas Pizza Festival, held Nov. 16 at the Industrial Event Space, drew 1,500 pizza lovers to sample the wares of 20 local pizza makers. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights documentary premiere brings out emotions - VIDEO
A couple of thousand ticket-holders braved marathon traffic and road closures to arrive at T-Mobile Arena three hours before game time to watch the long-in-the-works documentary. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon attracts 35,000-plus runners - VIDEO
More than 35,000 are registered to run in this year’s marathon or half-marathon. They’ll start their journey at 4:30 p.m. and conclude it under the neon lights on the Strip. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Heather Bray, as Elvis, wins women’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon - VIDEO
Heather Bray completed the 26.2-mile course Sunday in 3 hours, 13 minutes for her first marathon victory. She had run in two others, posting faster times in both. But the costume was heavier than her usual workout garb. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bobby Flay Celebrates 15 Years Of Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace
Bobby Flay talks about his Mesa Grill restaurant at Caesars Palace celebrating e its 15th anniversary. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Smoked Sazerac at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in Las Vegas
Chase Jefferies, a bartender at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in Las Vegas, makes a Smoked Sazerac by shaking Hennessy, Bulleit Rye, Pernod Absinthe, maple syrup and Peychaud’s Bitters with ice, then filling a snifter with applewood smoke and pouring the drink over an oversized ice cube. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Red Rock Canyon free to all Monday for Veterans Day - VIDEO
In honor of Veterans Day, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is free to all visitors on Monday. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Artist dedicates heart sculpture on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Artist Katy Boynton dedicated her sculpture depicting a giant steel heart to the Las Vegas community Saturday night outside Fashion Show mall. (James Schaeffer /Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Warm Salt-Roasted Beets at La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway in Las Vegas
Chris Yamauchi, sous chef at La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway at Wynn Las Vegas, roasts fresh beets for three hours, peels, cubes and chills them, then sautés them with butter, sherry vinegar and black pepper and tops with goat cheese and pistachios. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
O.J. Simpson files lawsuit against The Cosmopolitan over TMZ story - VIDEO
A lawsuit filed Thursday alleges that The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas defamed O.J. Simpson when hotel employees told TMZ he was kicked out of the casino “for belligerence” in November 2017. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Smith Center will now be charging $5 fee to park - VIDEO
Patrons now have to pay to park to attend events at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in downtown, continuing a recent trend in the Las Vegas Valley. (James Schaeffer / Review-Journal)
Prove you're a local: Try to pronounce these Nevada cities - VIDEO
Try your hand at pronouncing these Nevada cities and watch as other locals from Downtown Summerlin attempt to get the names right along with you. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making Cochinita Pibil Tacos at Santos Guisados Tacos & Beer in Las Vegas
Lola Vasquez, a cook at Santos Guisados Tacos & Beer in Las Vegas, makes Cochinita Pibil Tacos by rubbing a pork shoulder with signature seasoning, marinating it in a mixture of achiote, peppercorns, clove, cumin, salt and fresh lime and orange juices and roasting overnight. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal )
Joey D'Ambrosio talks about playing on "Rock Around the Clock" - VIDEO
Saxophonist Joey D'Ambrosio, who lives in Henderson, was a member of Bill Haley & His Comets. “People were looking for something new,” D’Ambrosio said. "When they heard ‘Rock Around the Clock,’ there was something about that record that turned them on.” (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nation’s Largest Student Farmers Market
600 students participate in massive farmers market, Oct. 23,2019. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Giant Student Farmers Market in Las Vegas
The largest student-run farmers market in the country involved 600 kids from more than 50 schools in the Las Vegas area selling fruits and vegetables grown at their schools. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves beer special in the Las Vegas Arts District - VIDEO
James Manos of Able Baker Brewing talks about offering a Golden Knights game-day promotion to celebrate partner Ryan Reaves at its Main Street tasting room. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas native Ethan William Childress of "Mixed-ish" - VIDEO
Interview with Las Vegas native Ethan William Childress, a young star of the new ABC comedy "Mixed-ish." (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review -Journal) @bizutesfaye
THE LATEST