Here’s one way to guarantee a good breakfast: Invite the owners of a place you like to open in your building. That’s how Broken Yolk Cafe came to be part of the plans for the S&L Building at Las Vegas Boulevard and Carson Street downtown.
Building owner J. Dapper, who bought the building last year, frequents a Broken Yolk in San Diego, where he has a home. When an outlet of the chain opened at Town Square, Dapper stopped in for breakfast during the first week. And there he met franchisees Randy Corrigan and Barry Tu, who are partnering in the downtown project with McKenzie Cox.
“We started talking, got to know each other, and literally by the end of the conversation I was telling them about my project,” said Dapper, principal of the Dapper Cos. “They seemed pretty interested in the downtown area.”
Corrigan said Dapper asked if they might have a few free hours that week.
“We said, ‘We’ve got a couple of hours now,’” Corrigan said. “We ended up spending pretty much the whole day touring the area.”
He said they realize the neighborhood is in its revitalization phase.
“It’s still rough around the edges in parts,” he said. “But he showed us Carson Kitchen, the Donut Bar. You could really see what they’re talking about, the new hotels that are opening.”
Corrigan said the partners opened a Broken Yolk Cafe in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter about nine years ago, when revitalization efforts there were just getting started.
“We’ve signed a 20-year lease” on the downtown space, Corrigan said. “Hopefully we’re there much longer. We’re in it for the long haul and want to see it grow.”
He said that while the market demographics for most Broken Yolk Cafes lie in the 30-to-55 age range, they know downtown skews more toward millennials. To that end, he said, they plan indoor and outdoor bars and a livelier vibe.
“Like a cool ‘Brady Bunch’ look,” he said. “Retro ’70s hip, cool.”
Which is in keeping with Dapper’s vision for the building, built in 1975 with Walter Zick and Howard Sharp as architects. But details are still being worked out, Corrigan said.
Dapper said he hopes to bring the building “back to its original splendor.”
The name S&L, Dapper said, is an homage to the past, since it originally was known as the Nevada Savings & Loan Association Building. The design is almost complete, he said, for a rooftop restaurant from former Tao Group corporate chef Marc Marrone and Fukuburger’s Colin Fukunaga.
There’s also a post office on the building’s ground floor. Dapper said the post office will remain in a smaller space, sharing the floor with Broken Yolk Cafe. The property’s covered parking, he said, will be demolished in the next couple of weeks, and the post office will be temporarily moved into a modular building in the next 90 days, until the S&L refurbishment is complete.
“They’ve signed a 10-year lease with us,” he said of the U.S. Postal Service. “We’re rebuilding a brand new, beautiful post office. It’s going to be the nicest post office in town.”
Dapper said he thinks the full remodel will take 10 to 12 months, with everything opening in the fall of next year.