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2 popular Summerlin-area restaurants expanding to Henderson

Updated November 8, 2023 - 7:05 pm

North Italia in the Summerlin area offers a safe space for stylish Italian grazing: sips of Greco di Tufo and barbera, plates of burrata with crisp pancetta, cacio e pepe refashioned as pizza, rounded anolini (from Emilia-Romagna) plumped with seasonal vegetables.

Flower Child, a quick walk across Rampart Commons from North Italia, offers an occasion for stylish healthy eating: ginger miso crunch with carrot zoodles, bowls brimming with vegetables and ancient grains, gluten-free mac and cheese (when you must), and a spicy tofu and avocado wrap with a gust of Thai basil.

The two restaurants share many customers, and you might say dining at Flower Child allows folks to tuck into the more indulgent offers at North Italia.

The restaurants are also siblings — did you know that? — and they’re taking the sibling act on the road, with openings planned for mid- to late 2024 in The District at Green Valley Ranch.

The timeline to expansion

North Italia and Flower Child are chain restaurants, too, each with more than 30 locations across the U.S. That will surprise some customers. Although neither could be mistaken for a mom-and-pop storefront, both restaurants, especially the buzzy North Italia, have pulled off the trick of seeming to be independent shops.

“We always try and feel as local as we can,” said Sam Fox, the founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts, which created both places. “We try and craft our message to the neighborhoods.”

In Henderson, unlike in Rampart Commons, North Italia and Flower Child will be free-standing, occupying adjacent but discrete pads, on the north side of The District, north of REI and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

The location was actually scouted before the Rampart Commons restaurant openings in 2019, but “it just took a while to move things along,” Fox said. “We worked on the plans and design for a long time, and everything has come together in the last six months.”

What’s next after Henderson?

Fox isn’t new to Vegas. His Culinary Dropout restaurant used to be in the old Hard Rock Hotel, before its conversion into Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, and his company used to own True Food, which is still in Summerlin.

North Italia and Flower Child are paired in Rampart Commons and will be in Henderson, but that’s the exception in the restaurant group. The only other pairing, Fox said, is in Gilbert, Arizona.

The menus at both restaurants are continually being developed, he said. Although it’s early for menu specifics in Henderson, much will be familiar from the Summerlin-area locations, he added.

The new restaurants could augur future development, pending the right spot.

“We’re excited to expand in Vegas and grow our business in the market,” he said. “Usually, one thing leads to another, but we have no firm plans. We haven’t been able to find another piece of real estate. We’ve looked at some casino deals. We could definitely do some business on the Strip.”

Las Vegas Boulevard? The perfect place for cacio e pepe pizza. And the healthy stuff.

Contact Johnathan L. Wright at jwright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @JLWTaste on Instagram and @ItsJLW on X.

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