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Iconic Strip restaurant ends 29-year run

Updated May 24, 2023 - 5:15 pm

The restaurant that helped launch the Strip’s celebrity culinary phenomenon is no more.

Planet Hollywood Restaurant, a Las Vegas institution for nearly 30 years, closed its doors for good Wednesday afternoon, a hotel representative confirmed. The restaurant stopped serving at 3 p.m.

Some 30 employees of the iconic restaurant owned by hospitality giant Robert Earl are being offered jobs elsewhere in his company.

Earl also owns Brio Italian Grille at Town Square, Buca di Beppo and Earl of Sandwich, with several Las Vegas outposts.

Planet Hollywood opened its original Forum Shops location in July 1994. Co-investors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis led a celeb-laden grand-opening party. The restaurant seated 500 guests, more than double its first location in New York, located at the space where Carmine’s Italian restaurant currently operates.

In 2012, Planet Hollywood moved to the Forum Shops’ terrace level, with outdoor patio seating overlooking the Strip. The restaurant continued to be known for its TV and movie memorabilia, and such best-selling dishes as chicken crunch tender.

But the second location was comparatively far from the Forum Shops’ entrance to Caesars Palace’s casino and the crowd walking into the mall.

The company cited that location in announcing the closing.

“After 29 years in two locations inside the Forum Shops, Planet Hollywood Restaurant in Las Vegas is closing its doors. We’ve had a great run,” the representative said in a statement. “But it’s been a challenge to maintain a healthy business since we moved from our original location to a space that, although far removed from the main mall traffic, allowed us to continue serving our loyal guests. We are pleased that we can offer positions to our hard-working team at our other restaurants.”

Earl also owns Cafe Hollywood at Planet Hollywood hotel-casino, now owned by Caesars Entertainment. That 24-hour eatery is laden with video photos of Earl’s old movie-star friends. Go there to reminisce about a restaurant that, for a time, was as famous as its owners.

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.

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