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Winner of free $1M diner to open in downtown Vegas

Even a free restaurant takes time.

In May 2022, Winnie & Ethel’s Downtown Diner won The Great Las Vegas Coffee Shop Giveaway, besting almost 90 other entrants for a free 3,000-square-foot restaurant built out with equipment, fixtures, furnishings and signage (plus branding and marketing plans).

Dapper Companies, a Vegas commercial developer, awarded the nearly $1 million restaurant, 1130 E. Charleston Blvd., in the Huntridge Center.

Now, almost 18 months later, Winnie & Ethel’s looks to be opening soon following the announcement it’s recruiting for front- and back-of-house positions.

“We’re looking to hire individuals who understand the importance of creating a warm and welcoming space for our guests,” said chef Aaron Lee, co-owner of the restaurant. “We’re excited to work with a team that shares our vision for what Winnie & Ethel’s can become.”

Visit winnieandethels.com/hiring for a list of openings and to apply. Selected candidates, the announcement said, should be prepared to start in late October.

Mallory Gott, founder and creative director of G+A, a Vegas design firm, joined chef Lee to develop Winnie & Ethel’s, which draws inspiration from round-the-clock diners of the 1940s and the history of the Huntridge neighborhood. The restaurant is named for Lee’s grandmother Winnie and Gott’s great-grandmother Ethel.

The menu, still being developed, features a modern seasonal take on classic comfort dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A bottomless 25-cent cup of coffee, a 1940s staple, comes with any entrée purchase.

“There was just something about how our grandmas’ food made us feel, and we hope Winnie & Ethel’s will bring that to the Las Vegas community,” Lee said.

The restaurant entrance faces South Maryland Parkway. It lies next door to Yukon Pizza, which opened in the Huntridge Center last December. Round-the-clock service at Winnie & Ethel’s begins in late 2023 or early 2024. Visit winnieandethels.com and follow @winnieandethels on Instagram and @winnieandethelsdowntowndiner on Facebook.

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

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