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Celebrated chef closes Chinatown Las Vegas restaurant

Updated December 1, 2023 - 2:00 pm

Half Bird Chicken & Beer, the rotisserie and fried chicken spot from chef Brian Howard, has closed its original location in Chinatown as of Friday. The restaurant opened in summer 2022 in The Center at Spring Mountain, at the corner of Spring Mountain and South Wynn roads.

“It just wasn’t the right brand for the neighborhood,” Howard, owner of Spaghetti on the Wall Hospitality, said in an exclusive statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We love Chinatown, and when we do open another concept on this block, it will be more of a chef-driven destination.”

The restaurant seemed to have several things going for it: a celebrated chef-owner; a busy center that continually draws diners, including younger diners; and an elevated (and slightly cheeky) approach to rotisserie chicken, fried chicken sandwiches and ramen (the last two still enjoying a long culinary moment).

At the same time, The Center at Spring Mountain has at least a dozen other food and drink spots; its parking lot is famously narrow and often filled; and some delivery drivers reportedly disliked picking up orders at Half Bird, whose dishes travel well, because of parking challenges.

Half Bird lies about a block and a half east of Sparrow + Wolf, chef Howard’s fine dining restaurant that is routinely named among the best in Vegas. The closing comes just weeks after Howard opened an already-busy Half Bird location at 725 S. Green Valley Parkway in Henderson. That area feels like a good fit for to-go orders and the family meals that Half Bird offers.

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

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